Video Zumbies OUT—Productive Summers IN

Picture courtesy of google images

Picture courtesy of google images

Many of us are kicking off summer vacation this week.  For the most part, this is FREE TIME for many kiddos–meaning, parent enforced activities are not mandatory.  It’s break week!  But for many of us endearing parents (and I’m going to assume that includes everyone reading this blog) we recognize that 2.5 months of no instructional or academic time is detrimental to our youths development (and if you didn’t know just pretend you did!!!)  Despite our every desire to place our kids in the best summer camps our cities have to offer…many can not.  Many of us can not afford the financial burden that these camps amount to during the summer months.

One thing is for certain, your child can not afford to engage in anymore VIDEO induced ZUMBIE like behaviors…PERIOD.  T0 add anymore hours of video gaming to his/her schedule would only be wasted time and contribute negatively to both their physical and mental well being.  So, I would like to REMIND everyone that there are some NON- fee related options available.

Summer is certainly a time where with targeted goals, clear objectives and creative planning our youth can master concepts in areas in which they struggle.  It does require planning but there are some KEEY things that you can do.

*Sidenote: this is a great time to establish long term goals for the upcoming school year. Your summer activities should be dedicated to helping your child achieve these goals.  In our case, this was really easy!!  Zaire  fell just short of advanced performance (the highest scoring percentile)  on all 3 areas of his STAARS assessment.  And while he passed…he is committed to achieving more.  HIS CHOICE, NOT MINE—Who am I to argue!!! So this year, we are working toward achieving Advanced status.  As such, we are engaging in the my top 4 plus additional SUMMER Educational Must Do’s.

My TOP 4 SUMMER Educational Must DO’s!

1.) Register by creating an account with  BEESTAR.org an innovative online resource that offers FREE WEEKLY Math Exercises.  I registered “Z” (for those of you who don’t know he’s my son) and I like the format. Be sure to answer the Sample questions provided, as these 2 samples will familiarize your child with the program.   I’ll keep you posted if my opinion changes.  He get’s his FREE REST WEEK but he will complete his first questions though.  Click here: BeeStar

2.) Daily Reading is Essential.  I know we’ve said this before, but we really have to stick to it.    This year, Z will be completing his summer Bluebonnet Readings.  For some reason…I didn’t make him do this in previous summers (shameful truth), we just read sporadically but following this list will give him purpose and will  keep us focused on a goal.  Not to mention, he’ll be ahead of the game before he school year even starts. He wants to read all 20 of the books before the close of 5th grade.  Click here for the reading list and access the additional resources .  Add a weekly summary presentation requirement to this and your child will get plenty of reading fluency and comprehension practice.  (Great Tips for Building Comprehension Can be found online–just google search)

3.) If your child is still utilizing his/her fingers to complete computations on any level of basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and simple division) you should allow them to create problems and flashcards with these basic facts and drill until they are memorized. You should also take part in the fun and create problems. Honestly, there are no tricks to this madness, learning the facts and committing it to memory is the only way.  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE—MENTAL MATH IS ESSENTIAL!

4.) Daily Journal Writing- Free writing is good for the mind, body and soul.  Though you want to encourage creativity, you should also require age appropriate grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure rules.  If you follow my firm Keey 2 Kids online you can get our daily/weekly journal prompts and encourage your child to participate in our interactive activities starting Monday June 17, 2013 (it may actually launch this week).

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