Keep­ing up with the Rs

How not to for­get all those wread­ing and rit­ing skills

Thornhill Post - - Kids -

Al­though “No more teach­ers, no more books” may have been cours­ing through your mind as your kids fin­ished school, the fact is that pick­ing up dif­fer­ent kinds of books in the sum­mer can be the best thing you can do for your kids.

“I like the sum­mer work­books be­cause they go week by week,” says Tay­lor Kaye, Toronto so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer and mom to three girls, aged five, seven and 10. “The girls at first were not lov­ing it, but now they love wak­ing up and do­ing their sum­mer home­work.”

Keep­ing up with read­ing, writ­ing and math skills dur­ing the sum­mer doesn’t have to be all work­books, though. Many fam­i­lies will be head­ing out on road trips — ei­ther across the coun­try or just up to the fam­ily cot­tage — and there are many ways to put th­ese skills to use on the open road.

Start a trip jour­nal. Ei­ther give the kids their own jour­nal or start a fam­ily one, to chron­i­cle your trip or even your whole sum­mer. Kids can take turns mak­ing en­tries (im­prov­ing their writ­ing skills) and read­ing the other en­tries out loud.

Math is ev­ery­where. Al­though this might frighten some chil­dren (and adults), we do use math ev­ery day. Have the kids cal­cu­late the cost of a tank of gas, cost per litre and per kilo­me­tre. Have a con­test to fig­ure out how much gas you’ll use to get to your des­ti­na­tion and the time it will be when you get there. With younger kids, have them count out nap­kins at the road­side diner and use sim­ple ad­di­tion to add up the bill be­fore the server drops it off at the table.

Don’t get up­set in the sum­mer if all the kids want to read is comic books or graphic nov­els. They’re still read­ing. Try to get them to look at a news­pa­per with you. Pick up a lo­cal paper and read some sto­ries about what’s go­ing on right in front of you.

“We also sign up for the li­brary sum­mer read­ing pro­gram,” says Kaye. “We go once a week to the li­brary and col­lect books to read. In the sum­mer, I don’t care what it is — they just have to read some­thing.”

Play the al­pha­bet game. An oldie but a goodie, look for con­sec­u­tive let­ters of the al­pha­bet on road signs and li­cence plates.

Cross­ing the bor­der? Have the kids fig­ure out what their Cana­dian al­lowance is worth in the United States or wher­ever else you travel.

Cre­ate a con­tin­u­ous story as a fam­ily. One fam­ily mem­ber can write a word, a sen­tence or even a chap­ter that the oth­ers have to add on to. Think about the sto­ry­line to­gether and put down some rules about the num­ber of bath­room words that can be used. Or not (look what Cap­tain Un­der­pants did on the book­selling charts).

Word search books, cross­word puz­zles and math games can be found at al­most any book­store. For younger kids, re­wards as they com­plete each puz­zle can be a great in­cen­tive to keep go­ing.

Scav­enger hunts are fun for any age. Al­though younger kids need pic­tures as well as words, older kids only need words, and a few of the clues could con­tain math equa­tions, such as con­test win­ners of­ten face.

“You can do school work in the sum­mer with your kids, but you have to make it fun and you have to be in­ter­ested in what they are do­ing,” says Kaye. “I tell them it’s just like sports: if you don’t prac­tise, you can’t be bet­ter at it. For now, they are be­liev­ing me. Talk to me when they are teens.”

Tay­lor Kaye (left) with her three daugh­ters and her hus­band

KATHY BUCKWORTH Kathy Buckworth is the au­thor of I Am So the Boss of You: An 8-Step Guide to Giv­ing Your Fam­ily the ‘Busi­ness.’

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