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5 Things Teachers Wish Kids Did to Prepare for the School Year
The Family Education website reports the average child has lost one to three months of learning by the end of summer vacation. Math skills seem to suffer the most, while the loss in reading skills varies, depending on how enriching the home environment is.
An informal poll of five teachers sheds some light on what teachers really want their students to do to prepare for the new school year.
Practice Reading & Writing
The overwhelming majority included reading in their list of important skills to maintain over the summer. One NY State teacher recommends children read for 30 minutes each day. Another teacher says students should practice formal writing, as well as reading skills, during the summer months.
Practice Math Skills
Teachers would also like their students to practice math facts while on vacation. This can be a hard task for students who don’t want to touch a math problem until fall. Parents can make math work fun by playing games with their children that require extensive use of math skills. Try Yahtzee, Monopoly and Sorry.
A high school teacher from Connecticut suggests students get in the habit of engaging in conversations with adults about issues that make them think. This will enable them to explore topics, develop logical arguments, and flex their critical thinking skills.
Work on Social and Behavioral Skills
Think beyond the basics to help your child improve his or her social and behavioral skills over the summer months. An elementary school teacher from New York suggests parents help their children learn patience for themselves and others. Parents can also help their children practice conflict resolution skills using words.
Learn to Be Fearless
A healthy dose of fear is a good thing in childhood, but in learning, it can become a stumbling block. One teacher recommends parents teach kids to be risk takers in the classroom. Get them excited about learning and pumped up for the new school year.
Kids don’t have to start the school year lacking in skills that they had just a few months ago. Keep them engaged in reading, math and conversation to exercise their brains, but don’t overlook the social and behavioral skills that go a long way toward making them successful in the classroom.