It’s almost time for school to start. “What?” you say. “How is that possible?” It’s only July! And yet back to school ads are in all the newspapers, and the in-store displays for school supplies and clothing are in every store I visit.
As an educator I’m thinking, “Oh no! How can summer be over, didn’t it just start?” As a parent, you may have similar thoughts because right now the kids don’t have to be rushed out of bed in the morning, and the lazy days of summer can be so relaxing. Reality is that now is the time to begin thinking about school. Take a minute and ask your kids how they feel about having only one more month of summer.
In earlier blogs we talked about vacation “brain drain.” (Time to start planning for summer). We discussed the importance of keeping the kids engaged in “educational” type activities, without making it apparent, since research shows that children may easily lose one month of grade level equivalency during the summer.
My suggestion for this week is to start a plan with the kids for what they want, or think they need, to make the upcoming new school year perfect.
- Younger kids can look at ads in the newspaper, cut out what appeals to them and make a “scrapbook.” They could also go on line, with your help, and look at the advertisements and create their own drawings, or make a list of their must have items.
- First and second graders could do similar activities but be responsible for adding up the items and figuring out how much these items actually cost.
- Give the older kids a budget to work with and let them use their math skills as they compile their list of supplies. They might have to make some hard decisions, or at least ask for you to increase their spending allowance. Be sure to encourage them to write an appeal for increased spending allotments.
As always our goal is for you, the ultimate teacher, to keep the kids engaged in learning and keeping their minds active without letting onto the fact that they are really taking part in educational activities. Getting them excited about going back to school by engaging them in planning will hopefully make those first few days more stress-free.