Just as the countdown to the end of summer is ticking away, the wind up for back to school is, once again, quickly upon us. Students are donning their back packs, grabbing their lunch boxes, and imagining the prospect of being reunited with their friends again. After the past year of spending more time at home, some children may be feeling nervous or anxious about school, and many parents wonder if their children are ready academically, socially, and emotionally.
Ensuring your child is ready for a successful school year is one of the most important factors in a child’s education. School readiness is not only how well a child is prepared, but how parents can be supportive in this process.
Below are Some Suggested Tips to Get Parents Started This Year:
Talk about what is in store for your child. Ensure your child feels safe. Researchers report that the brain will pay attention to safety and well being above anything else. When children feel anxious or scared, learning is inhibited. When your child feels nervous, validate their feelings and allow your child to express their feelings, while setting a positive tone about the school year.
Having these positive discussions, which may include getting good grades, trying out for a new sport, or learning a new concept will help your child process feelings and lesson anxiety. Other areas might have a more negative tone, perhaps dealing with anxiety such as meeting new people, encountering bullying, or having a demanding schedule. Talking about these areas will help your child to begin to focus his or her mental energy on the new school year. Over the past year and a half, our children have certainly learned how to be resilient, and this will help them to be school ready this year.
Create Routines and Schedules. To support children’s emotional and physical well-being, a predictable routine goes a long way. Discuss the routine with your child and model for them how to get ready for school. Visual notes posted in an area at eye level will provide an organized, sequential order to a hurried morning, and ensures that the necessary items such as eating breakfast and brushing teeth are completed before rushing out the door. Your child will feel more independent, and will confidently grow when he or she is able to successful prepare for school without parental reminders. Check out this free resource:
Encourage School Readiness Skills. While most children faced a flexible learning situation last year, many parents are wondering if their child is behind academically. Although learning may have looked and felt different last year, it is important to emphasize children never stopped learning!
Encourage your child to think about newly acquired information in a variety of ways. When suitable, have your child make personal applications, analyze information by asking questions, use critical judgement, and synthesize information in their own words. This process helps children to make connections and link meaning to past learning, and in actively doing so, they increase their retention. In addition, ask your child open-ended questions to promote more complex thinking and language skills. Examples include:
- What do you notice while you were reading?
- What were you thinking when you solved the equation?
- What do you think will happen next?
Bridge 2 Learning reminds parents that even with the numerous preparations and best of intentions, many students may need extra help to meet reading benchmarks and literacy goals. Getting help at the first sign of trouble will help students from falling further behind in their reading achievement as the school year progresses.
The 2021-2022 school year is upon us, and no matter how your child is feeling about school, by taking a little bit of time to help your child express their feelings, sharpen their pencils, and prepare for a new school year, parents can help their child make the transition from the long, carefree days of summer to the more structured focused days of classroom schedules and assignments. Good luck to all our students and their parents as we embark on an exciting new school year!
The end of the school year is approaching quickly, and students are looking forward to the longer days as their thoughts turn to swimming, bike riding, boogie boards, and building sand castles. Although we are all looking forward to the slower pace of summer, educators and parents are keenly aware of the loss of learning momentum and skills during the summer months. Research indicates that children, who continue to read and learn during the summer months do not suffer learning loss or show signs of regression when compared to students who are not engaged in reading over the summer. The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) notes, “the cumulative effect of summer learning loss as one of the principal factors – along with nutrition, parental involvement, and child motivation- that are deepening the achievement gaps between students” (NWEA, 2019). The issue for learning loss becomes more significant when students are not motivated to read and their learned skill set starts to decline.
Here are some ways to help your children stay sharp over the summer and make reading more enjoyable
📚All Reading Material Counts!
Encourage your child to read all forms of reading material such as short books, magazines, comic books, joke books, non-fiction, fiction, graphic novels, and ebooks. Some suggested titles for graphic novels are CatStronauts, Narwhal and Jelly, and Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series. Audio books help to build literacy skills and struggling readers can use audio books to record their reading as they follow along with printed text.
📽Have a Book Party!
Read together as a family, and celebrate the completion of a book by having a special family party. This could mean having a family night of popping some popcorn and watching the movie of a book you completed such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Black Beauty, Elosie,The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and many more. Another idea could be a trip to the museum related to the historical context of the book such as George Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge, Betsy Ross House, or Independence Hall. One of my fondest memories as a child is of a family vacation based on the book, Misty of Chincoteague.
🛠Encourage Your Child to Read How to Books!
Kids love to create and get involved in doing things, so use reading to launch a new skill or craft. This could be learning a new cooking technique, trying a science experiment, exploring arts and crafts activities, or developing a construction project. This will also help to develop a strong connection between books and getting actively involved in creating fun things to learn. I have found that kids will want to return to these kinds of books over and over again. Find books like these at the library such as The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book, Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!), Adventure Girls!, Adventure Boys!, and Fun and Easy Crafting with Recycled Materials.
Visit Bridge 2 Learning!
Bridge 2 Learning Tutoring Services offers literacy programs that are personalized and exclusive to your child’s specific learning needs. Our research-based instruction and multi-sensory teaching approach is designed to strengthen reading, phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, writing, fluency, and comprehension skills. Our lessons are highly interactive, and are developed and taught by an experienced Reading Specialist.
We strive to make learning fun!
Our Program Offerings
*Kinder-Ready! Pre-Emergent Literacy Program (Rising Kindergarteners)
*Early and Emergent Reading Classes
*Reading Intervention Program
*Reading Enrichment for Kindergarten – 6th Grade
*Fine Motor Olympics for PreK- 1st Grade
*Spanish Language Fest for PreK- 1st Grade
*Kids Summer Science for PreK- 1st Grade
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We offer flexible scheduling with no lengthy contracts.
Wishing you all a beautiful start to your summer!
Summer learning is important THIS YEAR MORE THAN EVER for your child to continue learning and to ensure a smooth transition for next school year. Bridge 2 Learning offers multiple options for summer learning to help students stay actively engaged and continue to build their reading and math skills this summer.
Although summer is usually a time to slow down and enjoy the long days of warmth and sunshine, a strong body of research shows, “students lose reading skills over the summer months” (Reading Rockets, n.d.). Additionally, some students fall behind in applying previously learned math skills over the summer which leads to teachers having to spend time reviewing math content in the beginning of the school year. This is also widely known as the summer slide, and there are things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Here are a few things to consider:
Summer learning can help strengthen literacy and math foundations students need to succeed for the next school year.
Summer learning will help to reinforce a consistent routine to ensure a smoother transition to next school year.
Summer learning fosters social and emotional development necessary for self-regulation skills and academic achievement.
Children lose essential reading and math skills over the summer, and many fall behind compared to their classmates who are actively engaged in reading, writing, and math activities during the summer. Children, who read a lot over the summer sustain vocabulary and reading comprehension. Likewise, students who are actively engaged in using critical analysis to apply mathematical reasoning to solve problems are more likely to sustain and improve their math skills for the next school year.
If you are trying to improve your child’s reading or math abilities, there are a few things to you can do to encourage your child to engage their minds and imaginations over the summer.
As parents, you can provide books that match reading levels and interests, however, you will need to monitor your child’s reading comprehension. Research indicates that it is more than just handing a book to a child to read over the summer. Improving or sustaining summer learning is most effective when parents or family members can provide guidance and critical thinking activities (Kim & White, 2008). Just by providing children with books without guidance made no significant difference in decoding skills and comprehension for younger children and only a slight difference for older children. Even having teachers or librarians encouraging students to read had little to no impact on comprehension skills. The report continues to state, “We saw a significant difference when we provided books and adults were involved to guide reading skills and understanding” (Kim & White, 2008). Parents can determine if their child understands what he or she is reading by asking questions about the story, allowing their child to refer to the text to locate specific details, and summarizing the material in order to deepen comprehension skills.
All good readers use these reading techniques; however, it is essential that adults be explicit when monitoring comprehension. Reading with others and having the opportunity to critically think and discuss reading material fosters learning and skill building for vocabulary, fluency, spelling, writing and comprehension skills. Comprehension is most beneficial when children receive help from adults, who can ask questions and guide them to better understand what they are reading. This type of reading exercise will help your child to become strong readers.
At Bridge 2 Learning, we are excited to announce our Summer Book Club, where students will be actively engaged in reading while using effective literacy techniques to deepen their comprehension skills. Over the course of four weeks, we will be holding 90 minute reading and discussion sessions along with writing activities in a fun environment where students can read and discuss an interesting story, while also continuing to build their literary skills over the summer months.
We also offer fun and engaging game-based math activities to ensure your child is actively engaged and applying critical thinking skills over the summer to ensure their math skills are fresh and current for the next school year.
We are here to help to ensure your child’s reading and math skills remain strong all summer long, and to help your child achieve success for the next school year.
Contact us today or visit our website to register:
Please let me know your thoughts.
Happy May Everyone!