Eight Tips to Keep Kids Learning All Summer

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(NC) - Children across Canada are getting ready for a summer of fun. But that doesn't mean they should stop learning. Keeping their brains active and agile could make the transition back to school easier.

Education expert Dr. Nick Whitehead of Oxford Learning reveals, "Kids often lose 40 percent of their learning momentum during the summer. Devoting a few hours a week to fun, exciting learning activities, can keep your child's mind sharp and focused, so they're ready to learn when school's back in."

Here are eight tips parents can use to keep their kids learning throughout the summer:

. Encourage reading: Ensure your child reads at least 30 minutes a day: magazines, newspapers, books and novels alternating with materials that pertain to the next grade's school work. Have fun discussions with your child about what they're reading so their minds actively think about and understand what they read.

. Explore interests: Focus on subjects your child loves. If it's computers, sign-up for computer camp or design a web page. If it's horses, get books on horses and daytrip to a horse farm.

. Limit TV watching: Learning drops sharply for children who watch more than two hours of TV daily. Use TV as a reward or for rainy days. Or rent videos. Or pull the plug and declare sunny days to be TV-free.

. Create a summer adventure book: In a large notebook or scrapbook, have family members contribute diary entries on Summer 2005. Kids can add drawings, photos, postcards or souvenirs. You'll make a wonderful keepsake for you and your children.

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. Learn a word a day: Boost spelling skills and vocabulary - learn a new word daily. At first, you'll find the words. Soon, your kids will stump you by searching for harder words.

. Crunch numbers: For younger children, cut fruits and vegetables into pieces to explain fractions. For older children, do timed mental math challenges once a week. Track scores and times and chart progress. Courageous parents could also test their math skills.

. Keep a family planner: Hang a large calendar and add activities, appointments and events daily. Develop a routine of everyone checking the planner daily to form a habit of organization in your kids.

. Make learning part of a summer schedule: Along with swimming lessons, soccer, etc., enroll your child in summer learning. In two hours per week, supplemental educators such as Oxford Learning can provide lessons that are stimulating, challenging and fun - not boring or difficult.

Oxford Learning offer tips on helping your child achieve their peak learning potential at www.oxfordlearning.com or at 1-888-559-2212.

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- News Canada

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