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Sharpen Basic Skills in the Summer

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: I want to help my ten-year-old grandson keep up with basic skills in reading and math over the summer. Where do I get the materials to do this?

A: One of the best and most enjoyable ways to keep your grandson's math skills sharp this summer is by playing games with him that require computation. Monopoly, Twenty-one, and Dominoes are good choices. And for more math practice, let him be the scorekeeper.

You can use flash cards to help your grandson review his addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. These cards can be purchased at learning stores; however, your grandson might enjoy using colorful markers and 3x5 cards to make himself.

On the practical side, let him determine what the change should be at stores and restaurants. Plus, have him figure out the amount of tips that should be paid in restaurants.

One of the secrets of creating an environment that encourages reading is to have your grandson surrounded this summer by material that interests him. Children like magazines because they want to do things in a hurry and the short features can be read quickly. Buy or swap magazines that deal with a wide variety of subjects that appeal to your grandson. Let him subscribe to his favorite magazines so that he looks forward to getting each issue.

Consider enrolling your grandson in a reading program at a library, and you can also go online together to browse summer reading activities. Finally, remember to read to your grandson every day to further stimulate his interest in reading. Try some books from these lists of kid-favorites:

More on: Expert Advice

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.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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