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Bridging Grades – Keeping Skills Sharp all Summer.

Summer is just around the corner. Kids are gearing up for long lazy days at the beach, Icee brain freezes and the thrill of running around after dark with their friends at the movie nights in the park.

Parents are hunting down the free supplement magazines at supermarkets and raking through them frantically, looking for ways to keep their offspring out of trouble for the next 2 months, signing them up for summer classes, arranging car pools, begging family to step up and help out, and generally strategizing ways to balance the holidays with work and play.

In our family, the children are really getting into their stride this year at school, and while we aren`t making any honor roll lists just yet, they are improving beyond all measure. Oh, the relief! Now my biggest concern is keeping this sudden and very welcome momentum going until Labor Day – or actually the week before, as the school district have lovingly bestowed on us one less week of Summer this year. It feels like Christmas!

They just know it`s coming – the moment we walk past Barnes and Noble and I say “I just want to pop in here for a moment……” and we troop up to the second floor where all the supplemental education books are located. My 9 year old starts to make gagging strangling noises behind my back that bring security running. My 11 year old tries to distract me with Harry Potter paraphernalia, and my 5 year old picks up a math book with a pretty cover and demands I buy it for him while the other parents shoot me “The Look”, and I want to say to them don’t be too impressed – he`s still struggling with his reading and doesn`t understand the “6th Grade Math” cover.

The truth is, we`ve been here before. Last year in fact. And if I could get all the money back that I have spent over the years in supplemental education books that are still pristine and gathering dust in the cupboard while I promise myself I will “save them for the next child” I would be able to take us all on a family trip to Harvard.

My goals for the Summer are not overly ambitious:

  • Keep the children`s little academic engines ticking over
  • Pick up the slack in the areas they are still struggling with
  • Reinforce the parts they are doing well
  • Prepare them for the next grade so their confidence is boosted and they can hit the ground running.

My like-minded friend with high schoolers is thinking along the same lines with the added goal of getting a jump on some of the AP courses that will lead her kids to higher GPAs and – hopefully- higher level college applications.

This year the strategy is also pretty simple I still plan to trick them by visiting the wonderful California Science Museum under the guise of “looking at cool stuff” and draw out their inner Marine Biologists courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific. But when it comes to hitting the hard stuff, I am calling in the professionals – we are hiring a Summer tutor.

REACH is able to match us with a professional experienced Summer tutor that will give us just the right balance of education and fun. A Summer tutor is skilled in planning a curriculum to meet our goals, and from previous experience I know that the children are far more receptive to learning from a tutor other than their own parent. For that reason the investment is worthwhile – they achieve far more than they ever would with me struggling to tutor them, with far less stress all round, and more fun while they are learning. With luck, the books won`t be gathering dust in the cupboard this year. Especially as there are now no more little ones to pass them on to!

Contact REACH to find out how we can help you achieve your goals for this Summer.

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