Monday, May 9, 2011

What Enrichment Activities Do You Have Planned For Your Child During The Summer Months?

By Dupe Aleru|May 9, 2011|9:25 a.m. 

As schools are wrapping it up for the year and summer seems to be luring closer, parents should be asking themselves, "What do I have planned for my child during the three months of summer?"

Sure a family vacation is nice, but what will your child be doing day in and day out for 3 whole months? Children who are in transition from kindergarten to first grade or from first to second and so on (primary grades), need summer enrichment in order to hang on to the skills taught during the year in order to make a smoother transition in the grade ahead.

Parents should seek alternative programs during the summer such as: summer day camps, summer enrichment programs, tutoring, sports, extracurricular activities and so on. Interaction with peers is also important, so joining a football team will be great for a child to continue to exemplify sportsmanship, sharing, caring and friendship. Local pee wee baseball teams and AYSO are also a great way to meet new friends while sharing play dates. 

Sure, most camps cost quite a bit of money, but there are also programs that are low cost or free. Parents can check in their cities directories for events during the summer months. One can visit museums and aquariums (look for discounts), and even a trip to the farmers market can be a great lesson in disguised! Festivals, art shows, fairs and such may also be free to the public! Parks and recs may also host arts and crafts and other fun enrichment activities in addition to libraries hosting author readings and book signings.

In addition, parents can do a lot of enrichment at home by reading or having their child read to them, administering a math facts test, practicing writing (short stories, daily journal etc.) and sight word practice (a word a day). There are tons of fun ways to include enrichment in the daily routine...get creative and have fun!

The fact of the matter is, children need to get out, enjoy the fresh air, meet new friends, continue their enrichment and be confident in their abilities to pick up where they left off the year before when the new school year begins. Enrolling their child in a summer program can allow parents the comfort of knowing they are assisting and encouraging their child to utilize the skills and tools taught during the school year so they can link those skills and prior knowledge to the new skills that will be taught in the grade ahead. 

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