Column: Keeping minds and bodies fit during summerWORTHINGTON — Summer is almost upon us. If you are like most families, your summer calendar is already filling up. In your child’s plans for summer fun, have you thought about how to keep their minds and bodies active?
By: Tammy Timko, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Summer is almost upon us. If you are like most families, your summer calendar is already filling up. In your child’s plans for summer fun, have you thought about how to keep their minds and bodies active? Below you will find some research to support such efforts and ideas on how to make them happen.
Mental Activity: Research shows that most students lose the equivalent of about two months of reading and mathematical computation skills over summer vacation, leading to lower achievement scores in the fall when they start back to school. Here are just a few ideas to keep your child’s brain active:
Sign the family up for free library cards. Have the librarian help your child find a book that matches your child’s interests. While you are there, checkout an audio book to listen to while you are on a car trip.
Expose your child to other texts — magazines, newspapers, labels, signs. Make it fun!
Make a game out of using numbers. For example, use a basketball game to practice multiplication facts. Each basket you make is worth seven points. Three baskets would equal 21 points. Shopping at the grocery store is a great time to review math. Cooking is a time to talk about fractions. You can measure things around the house.
Utilize school-based summer academic support programs. Depending on your child’s achievement during the school year, the school district may offer support through a summer school program. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Keep an eye out for camps with an academic theme. These are often hands-on camps that are a lot of fun. Science camps are a great example.
Think about visiting sites that enrich your child’s mind like museums, zoos, and national monuments.
Take a look at the Community Education link on District 518’s Web site. You will find great youth activities and classes at www.isd518.net.
Visit the Pearson Web site for other great learning resources. You can even input your child’s Learning Locator number for resources tailored to your child’s needs. You can find your child’s Learning Locator number on their last MCA-II testing report or by calling my office at 372-1231. You can find the Pearson Web site at http://perspective.perasonaccess.com/perspective/appmanager/mn/family.
Physical Activity: Studies show that most children, especially those at risk for becoming obese, gain weight during summer vacation. Childhood obesity has been shown to be linked to many other disorders and diseases. Summer is a great time for children to be active. Here are a few ideas to get them up and moving:
Limit the amount of time your child is allowed to spend in front of the TV and playing video games.
Look for camps that match your child’s interests.
Take a look at the Community Education link on District 518’s Web site. You will find great youth recreational activities.
Have your child help with the garden or other outdoor chores.
Go for a walk or bike ride together.
Get your child a pass for the city pool or swim at the lake.
Try skateboarding or rollerblading.
Whatever it is, just get them outside and get them moving!
Tammy Timko is coordinator of teaching and learning for District 518.