learning challenges - FamilyEducation
learning challenges
07/05/2007 at 19:35 PM

Hi everybody;


My handsome son is going into the fourth grade reading below grade level but soaring in science.  He is becoming more and more verbal and I am amazed.  Does anyone have any ideas to keep him tuned into school skills during the summer vacation?

Hey wonderkid,


Welcome to the boards.  I would suggest that you encourage him to read lots this summer.  You can read with him--kids like that.  My daughter and her father read one of the Harry Potter books together one summer.  Also, a lot of public libraries have summer reading programs for kids that are a lot of fun. 


Anyone else have any ideas.






Some good summer activities that help a child retain  skills are:

1. take your child shopping and have him/her do any of the following:   a. read the item's name, an ingrediant, or anything on his/her level of ability  b. tell you the cost of the item   c. discuss where a vegetable/fruit comes from -a t ree, vine, bush, underground, part of the country...  d. have your child add 2 items .... make a game of it!  It takes only a few minutes and can be implemented anywhere - resturants, movies, etc. 

2. READ with your child! Read, read, read!  As a teacher of students with special needs, I know this is the most important skill a child, any child,  needs in life!  Choose science related books, articles, whatever. ALWAYS discuss what you read...main idea, supporting information, explicit/implicit elements, his thoughts of the reading.... Get things from the internet that interest him.  There are a lot of good educational sites from which you can get reading, math, science, social studies, etc  - the goal is to keep him interested,using his skills, and learning! 

3. Collect rocks, leaves, bugs, whatever he is interested in!  You can talk about these things, focusing on his observation skills, the importance/value of whatever is collected, and even researching something related!  Library books can be gotten on something he finds  interesting.  For example, he might research and draw a diagram of a salmon's life.  You might even do an experiment like how much water is displaced when different sized rocks are dropped into a glass of juice! 


Let him apply what he learns through reading. He can read a recipe, about foods that go together and then cook (with help from you so he does not get hurt) a dish for everyone to share.

Ask him what kind of books he likes and have a time where he can read aloud, unless this makes it worse for him. Usually using more than one sense at a time when learning helps the child learn faster and deeper.


Also, do a "book walk". Look at the front cover and get him to tell you about it. Ask plenty of questions, and try to get him to guess what it is about. Make connections to what he will read, through personal experiences. If the book is about camping, ask him about a time you went camping or a trip he might think is fun.


Then, ask him look through the book and point out any thing that is different. Are the page numbers in different size font, are there pictures? What can he infer from the pictures? Let him read a little and then ask him to explain what he read, and why he thinks the writer included it.


By getting to know the story well, he will gain a deeper understanding of it and it will keep you better informed about his progress! All of thsi is from a three-part workshop the school put on to help parents get their child to read better.