Summer is a Child’s Opportunity to Learn

Eau Claire, WI (PRWEB) June 19, 2007 — For most children, summer is a time to leave classes and homework behind. However, when they return to school in the fall after the long summer break, students can find themselves struggling to catch up.

Skills and knowledge gained throughout the school year fade during the summer months. According to Sylvan Learning Center, the leading provider of in-center and live, online tutoring at home to students of all ages and skill levels, loss of content retention begins within 24 to 48 hours of learning unless the new information is reinforced or applied immediately. After a month without reinforcement, approximately 80 percent of what a student has recently learned can be lost.

According to Sylvan, a break from school is great for recharging your children's batteries, but if they aren't using the skills and knowledge that was learned in the classroom, they could find themselves lagging behind when school starts up again.

For children who have been struggling at school, summer can be their opportunity to catch-up on key skills and feel more confident when they head back to class. For students who do well, it's an opportunity to keep their enthusiasm for learning high.

Parents can play a key role in reinforcing learning on an ongoing basis. Sylvan Learning Center has prepared practical tips for integrating continuous learning into fun, family activities all summer long:

Summer Fun Tips:

– Read with your child.
You can't start too early. You can't read too much. Reading to young children nurtures an interest in language, words and communication. For older kids, reading together can be fun and interesting. Parents can even turn Harry Potter mania into a learning opportunity. Read the books together with your children and ask questions about the plot and characters.

– Search for reading activities on the Internet and create a reading list.
There are an abundance of sites that provide summer reading lists for children. At www.bookadventure.com, children (K-8) create personalized books lists from more than 7,000 recommended titles, take quizzes on the books they've read at school or at home, and earn prizes for understanding the books they've read. The program is designed to motivate students to read more often, for longer periods of time and with greater understanding.

-Plan a field trip. Plan a trip to an interesting site close to home — an historic site, a museum, the zoo, etc. Research the trip in advance with your child and discuss it afterwards.

-Find pen pals. Encourage your child to write notes and letters to family members and friends as a way of practicing writing.

-Plan a meal together. Helping Mom or Dad with the regular grocery shopping and meal preparation creates opportunities to use math skills such as making change, weighing fruits and vegetables, etc.

-Visit the library. Libraries can recommend books appropriate for your child's reading level and interests, and many libraries offer free children's programs.

-Keep a journal. Give your child an empty notebook to keep a summer journal. Regular entries will keep writing skills active.

-Summer enrichment programs. There are a variety of enrichment programs available for children. Sylvan Learning Center offer engaging programs that keep the interest and fun in learning alive through the summer and into the school year.

Tips: Making Your Home a Year-Round Place for Learning

-Work area — Set up a simple table or desk in a well-lit area. Add a supply of pens, pencils, markers and paper and you're set.

-Reference materials — Make sure you have a dictionary, atlas and other resource materials available so your child can research information.

-Your example — Parents can help encourage learning activities by example. Read with your children. Discuss trips and experiences. Keep your own daily journal.

For more educational resources for children in grades pre-K through 12, please visit www.educate.com or call 1-715-858-1234.

Kayann Boutell-Bock is the Exceutive Director at the Eau Claire Sylvan Learning Center, the leading provider of in-center and live, online tutoring at home to students of all ages and skill levels. With more than nearly 30 years of experience and nearly 1,200 centers located throughout North America, Sylvan Learning Center has positively changed the lives of over two million students and families. Sylvan's trained and certified teachers provide personalized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state exams. At Sylvan, students develop the skills to do better in school and the confidence to do better in everything else. For more information regarding the Sylvan Advantage™, call 1-715-858-1234 or visit www.educate.com/info.