~"No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying" ~Unknown June 14, 2019 Dear Parents,
As our time together winds down, I can’t help but wish that we had just a few more hours in each day, and a few more days in each year to build a foundation so sturdy, even a bulldozer could not shake it. Unfortunately, time doesn’t adjust to meet our needs, and our “to do” lists never seem to get shorter, so making the most of the time we have is always of high priority. While summer is a time to relax and rejuvenate, we also want to make sure we are keeping our brains active and retaining the skills we have gained over the years. Just 45 minutes to one hour a day can keep us charged and ready to face a new school year with renewed energy.
A great way to keep our scholars mentally active is to set aside at least an hour a day for academic tasks. Reading daily for 30 or more minutes is absolutely necessary. Reading exposes scholars to new words, improves writing, expands the imagination, helps with attention and focus, and strengthens memory. These are just a few of the many benefits afforded by reading, and there just isn’t a down-side to calming your brain and diving into a new adventure. While reading is a necessary activity that should be carried out daily, it is not the only stimulation a scholar should be seeking over the summer. Scholars should also be practicing learned math skills and firming up on ALL fluency facts. By the 5th grade, all students should be able to quickly (3 seconds or less) recall addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Quick recall of these facts facilitates success in more difficult math problems and concepts. Ten to fifteen minutes daily will go a long way towards committing those facts to long-term memory. Last but not least, writing! Daily journaling can go a long way towards helping us meet our goals. It also helps to regulate emotions, sparks creativity and increases self-knowledge and self-discipline. Not only that, who hasn’t found something written long ago and been jump-started into doing something you intended to do, or pleasantly surprised about how your thinking has changed, or about something you’ve accomplished. Again, there is no downside to daily writing and when living in a big city, you can be sure that there is something to write about every day. Yes, I agree that summer is for fun, but it also a great time to make ourselves ready for a successful upcoming school year. When you return in the fall, I will be writing again to tell you about my summer experiences, as well as the path that has led me to be your partner in education. I am really looking forward to the 2019 – 2020 school year. Our work together is key to ensuring our scholars’ success. To stay updated on what is going on in our class, please visit my website at http://shoesmithgoldsborough.weebly.com. You should also check the sites of their general education teachers summer assignments.If you still have questions or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.