Summer Retention

Help your children keep their school skills sharp all summer long.

Cherylyn Feierabend
4-minute read
Episode #117

Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some quick and dirty tips for practical parenting.

This week’s guest author is Beth Engelman. Ms. Engelman currently writes a column for Sun- Times News Group’s Pioneer Press. Her column, Mommy on a Shoestring is chock-full of tips, games, and activities moms can do on the cheap. Prior to becoming a columnist, Ms. Engelman was an elementary school teacher, educational therapist, and curriculum writer. Today she is going to discuss easy things moms can do with their kids over the summer to strengthen reading, writing, and math skills. To learn more about Ms. Engelman or to read her Mommy on a Shoestring column, check out her website at www.mommyonashoestring.com or find her column at www.pioneerlocal.com.

Summer Time and the Learning is Easy

Even though school is over, you can help your children continue to strengthen their math, reading, writing, and social skills all summer long with the following easy, fun, and inexpensive ideas.


Encourage your children to read wherever they go-- from libraries and amusement parks to grocery stores and beaches! Reading opportunities are everywhere. Examples include: 

Helping mom and dad: Have your kids help mom or dad with directions in the car by identifying the correct street or address. (You can even do this with your little ones. For example, Ms Engelman often cues her 3½ year old by saying, I am looking for a street that begins with the letter “w.”)

Read with mom and dad: Take your kids with you to a café or coffeehouse where you both read your own book / magazine / newspaper. It’s always good to model how much you love reading. Or sit with your child and read a chapter book aloud. Choosing books you loved as a child will make the reading more fun for everyone.

Read pool rules: Before jumping in your local pool, have your children read the pool’s rules out loud to show them how reading helps remind everyone of important rules for staying safe. If your children are pre-readers, you can read the rules to them while pointing out individual words.

Go to the library: Visit your local library, which often has special summer reading programs and incentives for completing these programs.

Tip 2: Create a Reading Photo Album

Most kids love taking pictures, so leverage this interest by helping them make a summer photo album filled with pictures of them reading in different places! Some ideas include: reading at the park, the beach, the hammock in the backyard, or even on top of a Ferris wheel (Yikes!). You can make it a family challenge to come up with as many different and unique places as possible.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.