Last Month of the Academic Year
May 25, 2018
Only a month to go until school is out. For students, teachers and parents alike, the last weeks of school can be both exciting and challenging. Students are looking forward to the summer break and, as a result, their interest in schoolwork may wane. Teachers have just completed the strenuous state assessment tests and now have a classroom of students more interested in summer than science. For parents, the end of one school year signals the impending start of another one. So, how do you ensure your child is ready to tackle the next grade?
The end of the school year is really a time to prepare for transition - the transition from one grade to another, but also the transition from in-classroom learning to the continuous learning that takes place outside of school.
At this time of year, Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels, advises parents to focus on three areas - helping their child make the most of the final weeks of school, knowing what the next grade level will bring and looking for ways to create learning opportunities during the summer break.
Make the most of the final weeks of school.
- Speak to your child's current teacher or a teacher in the next grade about the upcoming curriculum.
- Ask about new subjects and changes in focus. For example, in 4th grade, students usually begin to “read to learn” rather than “learn to read.” If your 3rd grade student is struggling with her reading, this summer would be a good time to focus on improving reading skills.
- If the next year will mean a change in schools - such as entering high school - take advantage of orientation sessions where you and your child can learn more about the new school.
Let your kids be kids.
Summer vacation is a great tradition. It's important to enjoy the time off. But, you can also learn as you have fun. In fact, the best learning occurs when children don't realize they're learning. Parents can design summer vacation activities that are both fun and educational. For example:
If you know your child will be studying history next year, visit local historical sites, or borrow historical books and/or novels from your local library.
Continue reading throughout the summer. Visit a local library where they can help you select books appropriate for your child's age and interest. Or, go to www.BookAdventure.com. Book Adventure is a free, Sylvan-created interactive, reading motivation program. Students choose their own books from more than 7,500 titles, take short comprehension quizzes and redeem their accumulated points for small prizes. Book Adventure also offers teacher and parent resources and tips to help children develop a lifelong love of reading.
Plan family activities that are fun, interactive and educational. To help you get started, Sylvan Learning offers a free activity booklet, Family Learning Fun. The booklet provides seven different ideas and activities that will help sustain and inspire academic discovery. It is available in the “Parent Resources” area of Sylvan’s Web site at www.SylvanLearning.com.
Develop writing skills by writing or emailing pen pals.
Demonstrate the value of continuous learning to your child by showing how you continually learn - such as regular reading, developing new skills for a job or learning a new hobby or sport.
For more educational resources for children in grades pre-K through 12, please visit www.SylvanLearning.com
Know what the next grade level will bring.
- You can help your children review by asking them to show you what they've learned or by working through homework problems together.
- Schedule a last meeting or discussion with your child’s teacher. Identify successes and challenges.
- Help your child stay motivated about school so he gains the full benefit of his final days in the classroom by putting a reward system in place.
- Have a conversation every day about school.