Summer is here. It's a time for vacations, beach days, camping in the backyard, and rest. It's also the time to start preparing your child for the next school year. From a teacher's perspective: how to prepare for school. Here are 7 things to do over the summer to prepare your child for the next grade.
I know. Y'all probably think I'm nuts. Summer vacation is just starting, and I'm giving you a list of things to do for the next school year. Before you get too upset, most of these are fun activities. I promise!
7 Things Parents Can Do to Prepare Their Child for the Next Grade Level:
- Research Science and Social Studies standards for the next grade: Standards are available on every state's website. Plan two or three day trips that will spark interest in what your child will be studying next school year. For instance, in California…..fourth graders study the California Missions. If you have a 4th grader…..visit your local mission. This is not about reading text books or studying flash cards. It's about excitement. Let your child see REAL LIFE examples of our standards. Let them enjoy. Let them explore.
- Join Your Local Library: Most local libraries have great programs over the summer. Visit them to find out about reading contests. Check out books each week. Let your child pick books of interest to them. Reading is fun, and we want them to remember that!
- Connect with School Friends: Connect with students from your child's class over the summer. Set up a few play dates……that way the transition back to school will be easier!
- Visit School: I know, I sound crazy. Visit school over the summer? Stick with me here. Summer is the perfect time to visit campus and peek into the classrooms. You can talk about the next year, check out the playground…..and kids love seeing their school without a million kids around!
- Prepare a New Work Area: Summer is the perfect time to design and decorate a homework area. We all need a place to focus and work. Spend the summer painting a desk, picking out new pencil buckets, or selecting new shelves. Start the new school year with a fresh and organized work space.
- Interview an Older Friend: Connect with a student who has just finished the grade your child will be starting (ask a teacher for a recommendation if you don't know a family personally). Invite them and their family over for a snack. Ask a few questions about their experience. Ask about their favorite parts of the year and any suggestions they have. They'll be a WEALTH of knowledge!
- Start a School Countdown: Frame the start of school as something positive, not as the end of all the fun. Enjoy summer…..but help your child to anticipate the first day of school with excitement. Plan a few back to school activities (new clothes, a new backpack, classroom visit) in the weeks before school starts and look ahead on the calendar to discuss them. Planning for this transition BACK to school will make the end of summer a smooth experience!
Have a wonderful summer, enjoy those later evenings, days at the pool, and vacations…….I know us teachers are!