Ann Dolin: Summer is about letting kids relax and wind down from a busy and stressful school year. But students can loose up to four months of learning over the summer. So you may want to take some steps to encourage learning over the break.
First and foremost encourage your child to read. Studies show that students who read four or more books over the summer do much better on standardized test in the fall and their first quarter grade see a huge boost.
This scholastic summer reading challenge is a great way to keep kids reading. Kids can participate in interactive blogs and write book reviews, so that the writing skills are tied in with the reading program.
The next step is to set a routine for 20 or 30 minutes of reading and learning time. For reluctant readers, try getting a kindle or another eReader. Sites like Amazon and the American Library Association have great list of books for teen girls, teen boys and reluctant readers of all ages.
Allow your child to pick books of his or her choice. When students feel more involved in the process there is going to be a lot less resistant. And for writing practice consider encouraging your child to start an evening journal before bed. A little bit each night adds up to a lot of writing practice in the long run. This summer is for relaxing but with the right approach your children can keep exercising their brains and be ready for school in the fall.