Commentary by Beth Niedermeyer
The first week of summer break is in full swing, and I hope our students and families are enjoying their time away from busy schedules and academic challenges. But summer break shouldn’t be a time for learning to end altogether. Students who stay engaged throughout the summer come back to school in August showing less learning loss and are more prepared to hit the ground running.
The best way to keep kids engaged in a learning mindset throughout summer break is to integrate learning into your plans.
Take your children to interesting places and talk with them about what they see. All kinds of math, problem solving, critical thinking and content knowledge can be gained through everyday activities.
Pose questions and let your children provide the answers, asking them to explain what they mean, why they think something and how things compare.
As for reading, visit the library often, and take books and magazines with you wherever you go. Read a book with your child and discuss it in your own book club. Read a book and then watch the movie version. (I’ve found the book is usually better!) Encourage the reading of signs and billboards on road trips. Connect book themes with summer activities you have planned. Encourage your child to keep a summer journal. It’s OK to let your child read at a comfortable (as opposed to challenging) reading level and to explore all types of reading materials, not just books.
There are some great online tools and we’ve compiled a list of math, reading and summer learning resources for you to check out on the front page of our website at www.noblesvilleschools.org
Have a wonderful summer vacation and I look forward to reconnecting in August!
Beth Niedermeyer is superintendent at Noblesville Schools. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 773-3171 ext. 10500.