Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun.--Brian Wilson

    For anyone who knows me, it will come as no surprise that one of the things I look forward to during the summer is Disneyland!  Whatever your personal favorite summer pastime, camping, swimming, sleeping in later, staying up later, traveling, playing outside late into the evening, the best part of summer is having time to do those things we love.  Being with our families and loved ones is the best part of all!  One difficulty of summertime is how to help our students keep the skills they’ve learned during the school year so they’re fully prepared for the new grade.  Families are important partners in making this happen.  Here are some easy ways to incorporate academic skills into the summer fun:

    READING—Take advantage of summer reading programs at our local Library.  Children can earn prizes by reading books.  They also have special performances and events for children, and of course, it’s wonderful to enjoy the air conditioning on hot summer days!  For more details and to register online, click on this link to be directed to the Library Summer Reading Game website.  Having your child read at least 20 minutes a day 4-5 times a week will help their reading skills improve.  Set time each day to designate as reading time.  Have younger children read to you or with you.  Older readers can tell you about the books they’ve read.  Reading together is a favorite for children of all ages, especially if it happens under a shady tree or inside a tent!

    WRITING—Summer is the perfect time to practice writing.  Letters to friends they don’t see every day, or postcards from a vacation spot are fun for the writer and the receiver!  Keeping a journal, diary, or log of adventures big and small can preserve summer memories.   It may also be a great time to have a Science notebook to record insects, plants, trees, or animals seen during summer outings—even if the outing is in the backyard.  Students can write a list of what to pack before a trip, or a list of things they’ve seen for each letter in the alphabet over the summer.  Making it fun and different is the secret to children wanting to write.

    MATH—Trips to the grocery store are great ways to practice weighing, adding objects or prices, comparing which prices are the best.  If you take a road trip, have students note the mileage markers alongside the road to countdown the distance to your destination.  Older students can help determine how many miles the car drove on one tank of gas, and even average how many miles per gallon the car gets.  Building small items are a great way to practice measuring, as is cooking.   

    These activities are great year-round, but the extra hours summer affords are a great way to apply the skills learned during the school year.

    As the year winds down, I want to thank you for the privilege of working with your student every day.  They have made me smile with their comments, made me proud with the learning they’ve accomplished, and warmed my heart with their smiles, hugs, and kind words.  It has been a blessing getting to know them and you a little better.   Have a wonderful, safe, restful and happy summer until we meet again!

    With children in mind,

    Kendra L. Helsley, Principal