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Celebrate: Recognize Accomplishments By Latasha Schraeder

As the school year comes to a close, take the time to celebrate successes. I trust it has been an academic year filled with some lows but also many high points! Perhaps, your child aced a test. Is there a favorite memory from this year? Did he or she successfully complete a project? How many books were checked out from the school library and read? Did his or her name appear on the honor roll? Maybe attendance was remarkable. No achievement is too small. Anything that was extraordinary should be recognized. Maya Angelou has been quoted as saying “If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” At the very least, recall the “aha” moments!

Take advantage of the relationships you’ve fostered with teachers during the school year. Seek advice about reading and math strategies to practice with your children during the summer months. Inquire about opportunities for growth. Teachers are a tremendous source for personalized, accurate academic data. These data may come in the form of end of year reports, report cards, and graded long-term projects. Don’t be afraid to ask how to accurately read and interpret these data. Your purpose is to learn how you can help your children become better students. Moreover, teachers are an excellent source for supplemental materials parents can use to keep their children intellectually active during break. Seize this opportunity!

Use the data you collect to create a personalized learning program for your children. Breathe. Summer learning does not have to be complicated or copious. The intent of summer work is to provide brief, but challenging exposure to fundamental math and reading skills. Ongoing practice of these skills is necessary to avoid regression that tends to occur during breaks from school.

Be your child’s fiercest advocate.