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Summer Learning That Isn't Math and Reading
Q: I have a daughter who is going into the second grade this next year. The math and reading are too easy for her and I want to keep her challenged over the summer vacation. I want to teach her more difficult math and reading. I am not the best teacher in the world but I want my child challenged and not held back. What can I do? All her standardized test scores were above grade level and the work in first grade this past year was too easy. Please help.
A: Since your daughter is already light years ahead of her classmates, it does not make much sense to focus on teaching her more reading and math this summer. Rather than concentrating on academics where your daughter is already a superstar, it would be better to spend your time helping her develop other interests and talents. You want to have a well-rounded child.
The best thing that you can do for your daughter this summer is to have fun with her as you help the child discover her personal interests. You can begin by exposing her to your own interests. When you find a particular area that attracts her, give her opportunities to explore that area in depth. For example, if she expresses an interest in music, take her to casual concerts in parks where she can also run about. Or you might want to have her begin taking lessons on the piano or some other instrument that she would like to play. If your daughter has an interest in animals, plan visits to farms and zoos and read stories about animals together. Encourage your child to learn about a wide variety of subjects such as art, nature, music, museums, and sports.
There are so many exciting things that parents of gifted children can do with them in the summer to develop their aptitudes, talents, and potentials for advanced learning and creative productivity. Check out The National Association for Gifted Children website for more ideas. Plus, you can learn about the different publications and materials that the organization has to educate the parents of gifted children.
When your daughter returns to school in the fall, you should talk with her teacher about your child's need for more challenging work. One solution could be to place her in a third or fourth grade class for one or more subjects.
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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.