Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Parenting Pointers: End of School Year and Summer Tips

 Barbara Dianis, education expert and author of Grade Transformer for the Modern Student, wants to share these tips to help your child succeed academically.
As the school year is swiftly coming to a close, parents often wonder what they can to do to help ensure their children or teenagers finish the year off strong.  The last weeks of the school year can be the most hectic balancing acts for parents and students because of the additional fun end of the school year events.
1)    One of the initial ways for parents to help their students stay on track academically is to monitor their grades and upcoming tests, quizzes, exams and assignments. Keeping track of grades can help parents determine if there are missing assignments and whether or not their children or teens need some last minute scholastic assistance.
2)    Another effective way to help students finish strong is to have a daily homework and study time that fits around the additional end of the year activities. Making sure your children or teenagers are continuing to study and turn in all of their work is especially important at the close of the school year. If students need extra instruction in a subject-area  try to help them find online sources that explain the same concepts using a different approach and includes visuals to help improve their understanding.
3)    Additionally, parents can help their children or teenagers prepare for quizzes, tests and exams by helping drill the material orally and on a white board. In the final weeks of the school year parents can keep reminding their students of the finish date and encourage their sons or daughters to work until the last school bell rings.
End the end of the school year parents are often wonder what they can do over the summer to keep their children or teenagers up to speed academically. A half an hour to an hour daily of academic learning can help students close learning gaps and help them perform scholastically at higher levels during the upcoming school year.  Summertime is an ideal time for children and teenagers to strengthen their academic skills and still have plenty of time leftover for sports, clubs, summer jobs or other summer activities.
1)    Set aside time for your children or teenager to read each day during the summer break-15 to 30 minutes is all it takes per day. During the summer, students have more time to read for enjoyment while preserving and strengthening their reading skills. In addition, keep a dictionary or online source to help students decode words they are not able to read by using the phonetic spelling provided. Students can progress several months in their literacy and reading skills during summertime.

2)    Children and teenagers should practice affixes and vocabulary words to help improve their reading and spelling skills. Most multi syllable words are made up of prefixes and suffixes added to a base word. Online or in dictionaries are places to find a list of affixes and their meanings. Children and teenagers can make flash cards of prefixes and suffixes. On the reverse side of each affix flash card, the meaning of the affix should be written. Teenagers can help prepare for the college entrance exams by learning the meaning of the affixes included in high school curriculums such as auto and mono.  

3)    Work on 3-4 math problems a day that students learned during the previous school year so their mathematical skills don’t become rusty. Parents may wish to purchase a math workbook at a teacher supply store or online that is designed to review and teach math procedures at your teenagers’ mathematical level.  Working 3 to 4 or more math problems daily can help students close gaps in their math skills, and preserve their knowledge, they learned in the prior year.

4)    To improve reading comprehension, consider offering your children or teenagers a reading comprehension workbook, which will test them with self-quizzes. Teens can benefit scholastically by working in a reading comprehension workbook a few minutes daily to help reinforce and strengthen their reading comprehension skill. Teacher supply stores and online sources offer reading comprehension workbooks with short stories and self-quizzes. The stores tend to be high interest and help students develop important reading comprehension skills such as retaining facts and making inferences. 

5)    Instruct your children or teens write creative writing paragraphs weekly. Writing a creative writing paragraph weekly will improve teenagers’ written language skill. Parents, each week help your children or teenagers choose topics such as a family vacation, special outing, movie, sports game, picnic, birthday party, celebration or holiday memory to write a paragraph about. Break the writing process down into asking your students to write seven to a maximum of twelve sentences describing their topic. In addition, students benefit from using a thesaurus and changing several common words to more interesting words. Encourage your teenagers to reread their creative writing paragraphs and edit them for clarity and flow.
Pinpoint the subject or subjects your children or teenagers experienced some learning challenges in the previous school year. The summertime is an ideal time to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to help your children or teenagers work on the subject area(s) of difficulty for them. Again online sources or teacher supply stores offer a wide variety of learning material, workbooks, computer games, or games to reinforce and strengthen their scholastic skills
Parents with a child or teen who struggled academically at the end of the year generally wonder what can be done to help turn their student around scholastically.
1)    Parents can utilize their child’s or teen’s graded papers or online grades to help them determine what subject areas need to be readdress and re taught over the summer.

2)    The subject area(s) of concern can be re taught by asking their son or daughter to correct their mistakes on the graded papers. If they don’t have the graded assignments, then purchasing workbook online or at a teacher supply, store can provide additional instruction.  Dedicating several hours per week to re teach core learning concepts that were not mastered can help students improve their skill levels by several months or more.

Another common question parents of students ask, are there any tips to help students be ready academically for the upcoming school year.
1)    Parents can help their children or teens be better equipped scholastically by spending some time pre teaching core learning concepts they will be presented with in the fall.

2)    Most curriculums provide online objects or topics to be taught, and students can work on learning some of the key concepts using online sources or workbook. Toward the end of the summer, is an ideal time for students to pre learn some core concepts. Pre learning is a fantastic way to help students absorb and retain more of the concepts when they are taught them in the fall. 

Students of all types and grade levels can use the additional time in the summer to help spring board academically into a successful new school year.

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