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June 10 editorial: School's out, school's out ...

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By Michelle McGuffin

THE ISSUE:  Summer for fun and leisure

OUR VIEW:   But not a vacation from learning

ON THE WEB

More information can be found online at www.hcpl.info/

programs.asp. Museum hours, special displays and directions can be found on line at:

n Hardin County History Museum, www.hardinkyhistory.org.

n Patton Museum www.generalpatton.org.

n Lincoln Museum http://www.lincolnmuseum-ky.org

Summer break has freed students from the school schedule that governs their lives 10 months of the year. No more homework assignments to occupy their minds and time, no more tests to cram for or projects to complete.

While summer certainly is a time for less structure, learning should continue. Parents can foster an atmosphere of development to ensure educational growth is not stunted by inactivity during summer months. Without maintaining summer learning, students begin a new academic year as much as 20 percent below where they ended the previous one. Then more review is required before learning the new year’s material can begin.

Summer should be an opportunity to expand a child’s learning, not take a vacation from it. Anything can be used as an educational component, from informative television programming to computer games, students still can be much more than a passive couch spud. Using what interests a child to promote learning makes it fun and productive.

Opportunities for learning and development also are beyond the reach of the remote control and keyboard and at little or no cost. Families can learn together by participating in summer reading programs through the library or visiting one of the museums in the area. The Hardin County Public libraries in Elizabethtown and Radcliff offer summer reading programs by grade and maintain long hours during the week to accommodate many schedules.

In addition to reviewing local and national history through displays at the museums, other activities abound, from summer day camps focusing on scouting or conservation to Vacation Bible schools hosted by local churches.

At home, children can practice practical math applications such as calculating how much water a pool holds, gas mileage of the family car or the amount of money spent on feeding a pet. Encouraging children to read about a favorite subject such as sports or the animal world will hold their interest while keeping up their reading skills over the summer.

Purchase a notebook or a journal and ask your child to write about fun summer activities such as visits to grandparents and vacations.

Summer learning is limited only by the time invested in seeing what is out there and making a conscious effort to keep the minds of children engaged. With a little planning and focus on continued learning, students can have a fun and educational summer and look forward to a new school year in the fall as a continuation of daily learning.

 

 

- This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.