The National Summer Learning Association is an organization that highlights the need for continuing academic support for kids during their summer “time-off.”
“To succeed in school and life, children need ongoing opportunities to learn.
This is especially true during the summer months.
Although many imagine summers as carefree and relaxing – it is ever important to offer educational opportunities such as summer camps, trips to museums and libraries.”
According to educational children’s book author Kate Boehm Jerome, the so-called “summer slump” is a real phenomenon. “It’s well documented that if kids don’t engage in at least some kind of educational activity over the summer, they can lose some serious academic ground”, says Jerome.
So how can you avoid the backsliding while still giving your kids some well-deserved down time. Jerome’s advice is to “Lighten up!” “You don’t need an elaborate plan and you don’t have to spend a lot of money”, Jerome states. “Even five or ten minutes a day of meaningful engagement can make a difference.”
Jerome recommends taking advantage of “teachable moments” throughout the day—but with a twist. “When my kids were growing up, I’d ask them to read things to me all the time. It didn’t matter what…the back of a cereal box, an article in the newspaper, a short passage from a new book. The kids really enjoyed the notion of teaching me new things rather than vice versa”, smiles Jerome.
What about the Struggling Reader?
“Try not to overwhelm your child”, advises Jerome. “Small successes can lead to big gains. Early on, my son hated reading long chapter books but he loved non-fiction books loaded with short passages of interesting facts. After he found success with those kinds of books, he soon moved on to longer, more challenging reads. You may have to search a little harder —but certain books will grab even the most reticent reader. And if a book inspires even one question…then there is opportunity for the learning cycle to continue!”
Jerome should know. She’s spent her entire career developing successful educational programs that have been read by literally tens of thousands of kids—of all ability levels—over the last 25 years.
Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know
Her non-fiction series Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know and What’s So Great About This State? was created for Arcadia Publishing. Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know features twenty-two U.S. cities such as Houston, TX; Orlando, FL; Dallas, TX; and more. What’s So Great About This State? offers eleven states in it’s series with more to come.
The Cool Stuff series supports Jerome’s philosophy that summer reading should really engage kids. “Short passages…cool pictures…interesting features like ‘By the Numbers’ and ‘Strange But True’–these are the kind of things that get any kid reading and talking—and it works particularly well for struggling readers” says Jerome.
And don’t forget about that parental involvement! “I love it when kids and parents dig into one of my Cool Stuff books together!” says Jerome “However, I love it even more when my book gets tossed onto the couch because it inspired a new conversation or adventure!”