In fact, I cannot say enough to parents: You are your child's first teacher. Taking time to do a quick math problem just for fun, finding something interesting to read, and talking about school shows your child that his or her education—inside and outside the classroom—is important to you.
- Sneak in some reading
Are you planning to see some movies during the break? Before heading to the theater, have your child read a review of the movie and afterward ask your child to write a review. If you’re more outdoorsy and like to take advantage of our relatively warm winter days here in Northern California, take time to read a map or online guide books before heading to the park together.
- Bake up some science
Do you have a favorite family cookie recipe? Have your child gather ingredients, read the recipe together and let your child do all the measuring. Talk to your child about how cooking is a science, involves math and how you need to double-check your calculations to make sure everything turns out delicious! (Ooops, measured wrong and it didn't turn out perfectly? Try again! Mistakes and perseverance are a vital part of learning.)
- Leave things around
At home, have child-appropriate magazines and books on the table to spark your child’s interest. Children are naturally curious, and they will choose good reading material if it’s hanging around.
- Do math on Muni
If you’re taking Muni somewhere, ask your child to count the number of people on the bus and then the number of people looking at their cell phones, then try to calculate the fraction of phone holders and non-phone holders.
- Be a storyteller
Summer is a natural time to tell family stories. Perhaps relatives will be visiting, and childhood memories are part of the conversation. Share fun stories from your own childhood. Perhaps talking about a favorite teacher of yours when you were young will spark a conversation about your child’s teacher or a special staff member at school.