476. Keeping Kids’ Academic Skills Fresh Over Vacations

Cara Will, fourth and fifth grade teacher, Burgundy Farm Country Day School

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Keep in mind that your CHILD is your most important resource – WHAT is interesting to HIM?
Find projects and activities he wants to explore.
Google: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

The following tips were compiled by faculty at Burgundy Farm Country Day School.

  • Be a detective!
    • Use a notebook to record observations and interpretations, or even write a mystery story
    • Museum visits can serve as inspiration, but so can everyday household events
  • Use newspapers or magazines for a scavenger hunt
    • Find specific words, pictures, happenings, maps
    • Read an article a day
    • Read the comics
  • State license plate game when driving
    • Use a map to learn geography
    • Earn “extra points” for knowing capitals or abbreviations
  • Bake together to practice fractions: double or halve the recipes
  • Allow children to plan, shop and cook for one meal a month
    • Compare prices in the grocery store and estimate the total
  • Take nature walks and keep track of what you see each time
    • Compare temperatures, wind, precipitation, etc.
    • Sort and identify rocks, leaves, shells, sticks, etc.
    • Group items and learn to skip count, multiply, estimate, etc.
    • Search for patterns and shapes
    • Ask children to explain their choices for collecting certain items
    • Write about experiences, observations, hypotheses
    • Take pictures to create a photo catalog, including descriptions
  • Plan a fundraiser
    • Choose a cause that’s important to your child, let them write about why they are so interested in that cause
    • Write and send invitations / information
  • Take the subway / metro, letting your children plan the route and calculate the cost