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Add a Little Learning into Summer Fun

With a little creativity, parents can make year-round learning fun for their children. For children, learning is an ongoing process, one that continues even after the last bell of the school year. Just because families are gearing up for fun, sun and relaxation doesn’t mean educational activities can’t be incorporated into vacation plans.

Educators remind parents that time off from school shouldn’t mean a vacation from learning. Research shows that the pre-frontal cortex of the brain is growing during the first 20 years of a child’s life and so the child should always be nurturing, fueling and exercising their brain.

A lack of learning activities during the summer months could result in lost stimulation during a critical development period. “It is just as important for children to participate in learning activities that exercise their growing minds as it is to be involved in physical activities that keep their bodies healthy and strong,” says Vernon Gonsalves, Brand Communications Manager.

Gonsalves recommends the following activities that incorporate learning and engage a child’s brain:

Reading and Writing

• Encourage your child to read aloud to a family  member each day.

• Write letters together and send to grandparents or friends.

• Visit the library weekly; inquire about special events.

Math

• Build a kite with your child; cut and measure shapes. Take the kite out for a test flight.

• Teach your child to keep score. Review batting averages or other statistics from the sports pages.

Science

• Help your child plant some flower or vegetable seeds and chart the growth.

• Take walks in the neighborhood or a park; learn about native plants and animals.

History

• Share stories about the history of your family, and work together to draw a family tree.

• Research the founders of your town or city and visit historical sites.

Art

• Tour an art museum or art exhibit at a county fair.

• Encourage your child to draw a picture and give it to a neighbor or friend.

Music

• Provide children with household items and let them make their own instruments.

• Help them write a song and perform it together.

No matter what you do, always find something genuinely positive to say to your child every day.

Kumon Math and Reading Centres is an after-school supplemental education program that helps students strengthen math and reading skills, increase confidence and develop study skills that last a lifetime. To learn more, call 1-800-ABC-MATH or visit www.kumon.ca

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