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Monfredo: Summer Learning Activities For The Children … Exclusive Report!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


When we think of summer, we think of a happy, carefree time when children can have fun and unwind. Sometimes, however, we forget about the potential learning opportunities to which we can expose them.  So this summer what is your child doing?  By now those who have read my columns know that literacy is an area that I have advocated for years. As a former principal I know how devastating the summer can be for some children if they are not engaged in learning activities.  Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they’ve learned or slip out of practice during the summer months.  Remember the more that you read the better reader you become.

 Here are some reading ideas that could improve your child’s reading this summer.  One of my next stories will also center on the importance of math time in the summer.  First let’s look at additional reading ideas.

•    Read five -six books this summer – Research shows that reading just five or six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing.  In the selection of the books make sure they are not too hard or too easy.  Books should be selected on the interest of the child.  If you’re not sure what book will be best visit the Worcester Public Library and talk to one of the librarians.  If possible, try to include weekly trips to the library for they have so many great activities taking place such as this weekend’s theme which was “Harry Potter.” The libraries have lots of programs that motivate kids to read and they also have a copy of the Worcester schools reading list.   As I stated in the past…IT’S THE BEST BARGAIN IN TOWN and all children should be brought to our city libraries especially in the summer time.
•    Read each day – encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read…. In the morning it could be the comics in the newspaper or today’s weather report… in the afternoon look for recipes on the web and perhaps cook together… in the evening have your child read to you pages from the book that he/she is reading.  Work on building fluency as your child reads.  The rule is to read as one talks, not too fast and not too slow.
•    Playground activities – In Worcester we have plenty of programs being offered. Recreation Worcester is a free program for youth ages 7 through 13. It includes free, supervised, recreation programming at 10 parks across the City, Monday through Friday from June 27th through August 19th from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  You can drop in any time! Come for a few hours, a few days or the whole week. Parks will be staffed by trained Youth Workers who will facilitate sports, literacy and arts programs. The Recreation Worcester Program is sponsored by UMass Memorial Health Care, Holy Cross, the Hanover Insurance Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Office of District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. and the Worcester Public Schools.  Programs are being offered at the following sites:  Beaver Brook Park, Burncoat Playground, East Park, Grant Square at Greenhill Park, Greenwood Park, Kendrick Field, Lake Park, Logan Park, University Park, and Vernon Hill Park.
•    Read aloud each day … it could be reading comic books, reading with a friend or just reading with a family member.
•    Keep a journal  - encourage children to write each and every day for they can write about how the day went and activities that they participated during the day.  They can also write about what they are reading and what they think of the book. 
•    Encourage bed time reading – ( it beats watching T.V.) allow your child to read in bed, and even allow them to stay up later as long as they are reading.  The minimum time for reading should be a least 20 minutes a day!
•    Start a blog –  Parents can create a blog for your child over the summer and share it with family and friends.  You can also have them email friends and family members to enhance their writing skills.
•    Visit many of the sites in Worcester – ecotarium, art museum, historical museum and have them get active at the YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, Friendly House, Rainbow Child Development and a host of other social agencies.
•    Website activities – use these websites to have fun learning … Kids off the couch – get a weekly newsletter with great ideas … Storyline Online … Visit Storyline Online to watch video’s of actors reading children’s books aloud… Smithsonian Kids Collecting … Children can start a collection over the summer with this program… and  Thinkfinity … Check out the fun games and learning activities in this site… Free Fun Fridays sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation… there are 8 sites open for free each Friday. The week of July 29th – you can visit for free – John F. Kennedy Library, Battleship Cove, Marine Museum, Sandwich Glass Museum, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Each week other sites will be made available so check it out!
•    Learning while you’re on vacation – If you are planning a vacation turn it into a social studies activity.  Ask your child to research the destination’s history, their attractions, location, etc.  Once there schedule tours to add to their social studies experience. 

This list, including others in past writings, should be enough to get started.  Also, consider sending this story to other family and friends with children for they may be looking for some summer time activities as well.

Happy summer!


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