Ann Dolin: Each summer many parents and school age kids think to themselves, its summer shouldn't I give my kids a break from learning. Well the answer is yes, but not completely. In fact studies show that students can loose up to two and a half months of academic progress by doing nothing at all.
This is known among educators as the summer learning slide. The good news is that it can be prevented and it only takes 20 to 30 minutes a day out of your child's schedule.
One way to keep kids engaged is to take learning online. There are many great websites that provide fun ways for children to practice math or hone their reading skills. Just be sure not to count these educational games against your child's daily allotment of computer time. This is the kind of screen time you want to encourage.
When it comes to reading, research shows that students who read at least four books over the summer avoid reading achievement losses. To motivate your child to hit that magic number, consider enrolling him or her in your local library's reading program or in the summer reading challenge at Scholastic.
For older kids consider purchasing an eReader, kids are far more likely to pick up an electronic book than a traditional one. And don't forget writing too, a fun way to get your child to write is through a nightly dialog journal.
Try not to correct every misspelled or grammatical error, this is a time for your child to equate writing with relaxation and enjoyment and that's what summer vacation is all about.