As summer approaches, kids are delighted, but parents may be concerned. Endless hours of play looming in the child’s mind; endless hours without any real ‘academic’ support or practice may loom in a parent’s mind. Particularly if the child is struggling is already struggling in school. Clearly we don’t want to deprive our children of freedom and play that summer vacation affords. But as adults, we know all too well that time away from studies can take its toll on skills and abilities gained over the school year.
So what are the alternatives? Hire a summer tutor? Expensive? Enroll in a summer tutoring center? Even more expensive, and decidedly your child will not thank you for pushing more academics during the summer. There is a solution, however, that is neither costly, invasive of summer freedom or frustrating for the child. Summer tutoring is one of the easiest tasks you will accomplish this summer with all the free printables available on the Internet.
I have tutored children during the summer months, off and on for over 27 years now. Trust me when I say that it is not difficult or time-consuming. My students and I have always enjoyed our tutoring sessions. Often the tutoring was that extra boost they needed to succeed. The success of my students and I have enjoyed it can be enjoyed by you and your children, at no cost, too. Here is how:
Fact Find: Ask your child and your child’s teacher what skills the child needs to practice. These might be weak areas or simple skills that the child will need for next year. Phonics, vocabulary, word study, spelling, fluency.
Set two or three specific goals: ‘improve fluency to 30 words per minute’, ‘master long vowel combinations’, ‘read all 100 basic sight words’, ‘read 5 chapter books of 200 words each’.
Create a summer schedule with your child: Ideally, your child should practice each skill for 10-15 minutes every other day during the summer. You can arrange the times and days to suit your schedule and your child’s needs. Is your child a morning person? Schedule 10 minutes of practice to be done after breakfast and before the TV goes on or she goes out to play. Does your child go to daycare? Arrange to practice at home in the evening or on days that she is at home.
Help Child Select Appropriate Reward System (see my article)
Fill out a calendar (templates available on all word processing software). Highlight the days and times agreed upon between you and your child for practice.
Assemble a folder of free printable resources:
-Attach a copy of the practice schedule to the inside of the folder.
-Visit my blogs at www.freeprintablelessonplans.blogspot.com or www.freelessonplans4u.blogspot.com or www.freeprintableactivities.blogspot.com. You will find links for hundreds of free printable activities for use as summer practice activities.
-Select the resources that you want to print. Print enough activities to fill the summer folder and reach the goal. A general rule of thumb: 90 days of summer= 45 practice activities of 15 minutes each.
-Label each assignment in the order it should be done.
-Label left pocket of folder ‘to do’ and the right pocket ‘done’.
-When practice work is completed, the child must show you or another parent, grandparent or older sibling.
-Correct the assignment; if your child has mastered the activity, put a star on it and remove it from the folder.
-You and child both initial space next to the practice session to show that it was done.
-Save all assignments to show your child all her progress at the end of summer.
Show your child that you are proud of their effort. Celebrate your hard work this summer!