February 19, 2018

Tips for Summer Break

By: Hannah Lizio-Katzen & Mark McIntire

Summer break is almost here! The summer vacation can be both a great opportunity for students to relax and recuperate from the school year as well as a time to keep their skills sharp. Below are some tips for helping your student stay sharp over the summer and return to school ready for academic rigor.

1. READ – The best way to improve your reading comprehension (understanding), fluency (speed), and ability to analyze text is to read. Summer is a great time to find books you enjoy! The local library has a summer reading program that families can access at this URL: https://multcolib.org/summer-reading .Whether finding a new dystopian series like Divergent or Hunger Games or reading a classic like Tom Sawyer, A Wrinkle In Time, or The Lord of The Rings, summer is a perfect opportunity to start a good book.

2. GOOGLE – Students should take a tiny amount of time each month to connect to their Google accounts. They should sign into their Gmail account and e-mail a friend, print out the lyrics to a favorite song, create a google doc, and/or add a cool event to their Google calendar, such as a friend’s birthday, trip to the beach, etc. Since they will utilize their Google accounts frequently during the school year, practice over summer will help them be ready.

3. ORGANIZE – Your student’s backpack and binder are essential parts of school. Please encourage your student to recycle old papers and restore their binder and backpack to be ready for next year. High school students should have a binder with seven sections (tabs and folders are excellent ways to distinguish each section). If your student has struggled to stay organized in the past, try color-coding each section to its corresponding journal, purchasing a simple planner, or Googling “homework planner sheet” for personalized, free ideas.

4. MATH – Your student’s math skills may slow down without practice this summer, so one fantastic way to help them stay fresh is to encourage them to play math games online or participate in food shopping and recipe prep. Some students may already have an account with IXL.com, a math website, and all students can sign in as a guest for limited, free access at https://www.ixl.com/math/ . Your students can also utilize free apps on any device (ipod, iPhone, android) such as Flash to Pass and Sushi Monster to work on math facts and number sense.

5. WRITING – Students will benefit from writing over the summer. They may choose to email or pen pal with friends; write fiction or non-fiction stories and poems; journal; keep up a blog, etc. Consider asking your student to write you a persuasive paragraph when they ask permission for a big ticket item or experience. Some students enjoy writing for a “time capsule,” a fun activity in which they write a letter to their future self and ask you to give it to them on a certain date.


Desiree Chiu About Desiree Chiu

Director of Student Services, overseeing Special Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and Health Services.