It doesn’t have to be division, multiplication or grammar says HISD’s Alicia Thomas. Just reading a little every day or week will help keep children sharp.
"Reading over the summer is so important. That’s something parents can really make a difference by encouraging their students to read. And they can read anything, the comic strips. They can read books from the library."
Thomas says HISD builds in review time at the beginning of each school year because they know students have forgotten some of the things they learned the previous year. She says it’s good for students to enjoy their vacation.
But if they aren’t practicing their skills, they’ll likely lose some of them over the summer:
"If they don’t read if they aren’t writing, if they aren’t thinking about math if they aren’t learning, reading about social studies or science topics."
Her advice to parents, make your child read and write over the break. It doesn’t have to be about a specific topic. She says it can be about skateboarding or even playing video games.
"Write about what they did that day — even if they went with their parents to the grocery store. Have them sit down and write about what they saw and what they did. The way to be a better writer is to write and the way be a better reader is to read. And practicing those skills over the summer makes a huge difference in students being ready to come back to school."
Depending on the child, reading and writing may be one of the last things they want to do when school is out. Thomas advises parents to hold firm and explain why it’s important. She says they pay off will come in September.
Some ideas for educational online activities can be found on HISD's webiste.