Mommy Monday: Summer Learning and Sharp Minds

Lynchburg, VA - Schools out for the summer and now it's time for you to pick up where your child's teacher left off.

It doesn't take a lot of work either. There lessons all around us - you just have to know where to look.

Putting together a solar system model is more than just time for Catherine Mosley to bond with her son Luke. It's a way to keep Luke's brain active over the summer vacation.

"You know just find teachable moments like finding this solar system kit at a rummage sale," Mosley said.

Stephanie Prokity, former educator and co-founder of Successful Innovations, said projects like this are extremely critical to your child's success in the fall.

"You know, research shows most students over the summer period lose anywhere from 2-3 months of learning that they had when school ended," Prokity said.

Keeping your kids sharp is really easy too.

"Number one read, read, read!" Prokity said. "Read to your children and allow your children as many opportunities as they can to read."

She suggested at least 30 minutes a day every day.

Also, whether is with good old fashioned paper and pencil or on the computer, have your kids keep a journal of their summer vacation.

"Not only are the formulating thoughts in their mind and putting them down on paper, but learning great skills in terms of spelling, sentence composing and just writing itself," Prokity said.

"What I really want to stress to parents is schedule and consistency," Prokity said. "It's ok if their child plays video games or watches their favorite program. But make is manageable. You are going to be on the video game for 45 minutes or 30 minutes, whatever. But then you are also going to read for 30 minutes. You are going to write for this amount of time. If parents can keep that consistent schedule all those activities are great for kids. Kids do need a little down time over the summer."

That's advice Mosley will take to heart.

"We are going to have a very relaxed summer but I think there are ways we can fit in learning," Mosley said.

Even taking your child to the grocery store can turn into a teachable moment. Prokity suggested you have them help make the grocery list, shop labels at the store and then cook together at home.

Also, instead of pulling out the video games -- get the board games out! Games like Clue, Monopoly and LIFE teach critical thinking and life skills.

For more ideas on lessons you can teach your child at home click here.

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