Viewpoint – Does your child forget everything he learned?

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Within 24 to 48 hours after learning new concepts, students often begin to forget information unless it is reinforced or applied immediately. Thats why, during summer break, even the best students forget lessons they have learned during the schoo

l year.

While a break from school is great for recharging your childrens batteries, if students arent using the skills they acquired in the classroom, they could find themselves lagging behind once the school bell rings again. Sylvan Learning Center offers recommendations to inspire academic discovery when away from the classroom.

Writing To enhance writing skills, encourage your child to start a diary or write letters to a grandparent or friend. If you are traveling on a vacation, ask your child to keep a travel journal recording where you stayed and what you did. At the end of every day, talk through the activities with your child and help him or her with a journal. It not only improves writing skills, but also creates great family memories.

Mathematics Helping mom or dad with grocery shopping develops opportunities to use math skills, such as making change, figuring proportions or weighing fruits and vegetables. Providing assistance with cooking can also familiarize children with weights and measures, organization and planning and following a recipe. Perhaps you and your children could make a special dessert for the whole family. Help children pick a recipe, create an ingredients list and go shopping together.

Reading You cant start too early. You cant read too much. Reading to young children nurtures an interest in language, words and communication. For older kids, reading together can be fun and interesting. Children also learn by example. If parents are setting aside time to read, this reinforces the importance and enjoyment of reading. Local libraries offer infinite resources for children. Librarians can recommend books appropriate for your childs reading level and interests, and many libraries offer free childrens programs and clubs.

Research There are an abundance of sites that provide summer reading lists for children. At www.bookadventure.com children (K-8) create personalized book lists from more than 7,000 recommended titles, take quizzes on the books theyve read at school or at home, and earn prizes for their reading comprehension. The program is designed to motivate students to read more often, for longer periods of time and with greater understanding.

Analysis and Logic Many family games and puzzles are not only fun, but also encourage children to develop and reinforce skills. A simple card game can involve mathematics, analysis and logical thinking. Be sure to select games appropriate for your childs age level.

Summer Enrichment Programs There are many enrichment activities available for children when school is out-of-session. Sylvan Learning Center offers engaging programs that keep the interest and fun in learning alive through the summer and into the school year. Visit http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com/academic-camps/index.cfm for additional information.

Dr. Malhotra is the Center Director at the 4694 King Street Alexandria Sylvan Learning Center.

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