Mount Pleasant, SC. (WiredPRNews.com) Monday, June 21 is National Summer Learning Day! No—it’s not a new holiday invented by the greeting card industry. It’s an effort launched by the National Summer Learning Association to highlight the need for continuing academic support for kids during their summer “time-off.”
Educational children’s book author Kate Boehm Jerome agrees that the so-called “summer slump” or “slide” is a real phenomenon. “It’s well documented that if kids don’t engage in at least some kind of educational activity over the summer, they can lose some serious academic ground” says Jerome.
So how can you avoid the backsliding while still giving your kids some well-deserved down time? Jerome’s advice to parents: Keep it simple! “You don’t need an elaborate plan and you don’t have to spend a lot of money” says Jerome. “As little as ten or fifteen minutes a day of meaningful engagement can make a difference.”
Jerome recommends taking advantage of “teachable moments” throughout the day—but with a twist. “When my kids were growing up, I’d ask them to read things to me all the time. It didn’t matter what…the back of a cereal box, an article in the newspaper, a short passage from a new book. The kids really enjoyed the notion of teaching me new things rather than vice versa” smiles Jerome.
And what about the struggling reader? “Try not to overwhelm your child” advises Jerome. “Small successes can lead to big gains. Early on, my son struggled with reading so he gravitated toward non-fiction books loaded with short passages of interesting facts. After he found success with those kinds of books, he soon moved on to more challenging reads. You may have to search a little harder —but certain books will grab even the most reticent reader. And if a book inspires even one question…then there is opportunity for the learning cycle to continue!”
Jerome should know. She’s spent her entire career developing successful educational programs that have been read by literally tens of thousands of kids—of all ability levels—over the last 25 years. Her most recent non-fiction series “Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know” was created for Arcadia Publishing and features eight U.S. cities (Houston, TX; Orlando, FL; Dallas, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Tampa, FL; Buffalo, NY; Atlanta, GA; and Charleston, SC)—with more to come.
Jerome designed The Cool Stuff series to showcase a city and state from a kid’s point of view. “By the Numbers,” “Sights and Sounds,” and “Strange But True” are just a few of the fun features that engage kids and get them talking.
However, Jerome knows the magic ingredient is really found outside the pages of her books. “I love it when kids and parents dig into one of my Cool Stuff books together!” says Jerome “And, I’m even more thrilled when my book gets tossed aside because it inspired an interesting conversation or a real-life adventure!”