At Your Service: Don’t let your child forget all he or she has learned

In one ear, out the other.

That’s what educators hope won’t happen to what students have learned the past school year when the lengthy summer break comes around. What can parents and guardians do to help children retain what

they’ve learned? Here are a few tips from some of the experts.

– Writing is a vital skill that takes practice. Encourage your child  to write in a diary or journal daily. Have them write letters to you or relatives.

– To help with various math skills, do simple things like taking your child shopping and having him or her add up the prices of what you’re buying and determine how much change would be due if you were to pay with different sums of money. More challenging exercises could involve determining how much you would have to pay if, for example, you bought a few pounds of produce – depending on the price per pound. If your child is in sports, have him or her figure out statistics, such as batting averages or earned run averages for baseball players.

– Set aside a time to read to your child daily. Better yet, have them read to you. And visit the local library. Often.

– A child can build vocabulary by reading the dictionary. That is in large part how 1960s civil rights leader Malcolm X became such an eloquent speaker. “I saw that the best thing I could do was get hold of the dictionary – to study. To learn some words,” he says in The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

– If you can, drive to or take a bus to Balboa Park and spend time in a museum. Every Tuesday, admission to several of them are free. The Timken Museum of Art is always free.

– Brenda Taylor, a teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School, says a key way to prepare your child for the coming semester is to find out what you can now about the standards expected when school resumes. “If you have a child going into fourth grade, for example, find out what you can about what they do in the fourth grade and work on some of those skills.”