Giving your child a mental boost before heading back to school

A summer full of fun and games —and no learning — can set some kids up for failure the first day back to class. Over time, what's called summer learning loss can create a gap of up to two to five years by the time students reach high school.

It’s why Reidland Elementary Family Resource Coordinator Marianna Romero makes sure students in her Adventures Program stay sharp.

“We've done cooking things where they've measured. We've done fun games, like multiplication and bingo,” Romero said.

 Summerlearning.org shows most students lose about two months of grade level math skills over the summer. Low-income students can lose more than two months in reading skills.

OnlineCollege.org says just under 10 percent of kids are in either summer school or year-round school. That means more than 90 percent of students across the nation run the risk of summer learning loss.

“Teachers have to take pretty much the first month of school to get their students geared back up,”” Romero said.

Paige Settles already feels better about starting fourth grade because of the Adventures Program.

“I feel like I have been in a routine, and I feel like I've done school a lot because we've learned more, I think, this summer,” Settles said.

A routine is what Romero suggests getting back into with earlier bed times.

“Reading with your child 20 minutes a night is going to make a world of difference if you can start now and keep doing that as school starts,” Romero said.

As well as mentally engaging them.

“Let them help you cook and measure as you're cooking and baking dinner at night. At the grocery store, let them use their mental math and figure out what this plus this is going cost mom when she gets to the cash register,” Romero said.

They’re little refreshers that help students like Paige succeed.

“I think I'll know more things than I have before because we've learned a bunch,” Settles said. 

Romero recommends for kids to socialize to work on cooperation and sharing skills before getting into classroom settings, especially if they're an only child.

SummerLearning.org also suggests visiting a library, keeping a summer journal, or even planting a garden to keep your child mentally active.

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