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9 Ways To Help Your Kids Get Ahead In School Over Summer Vacation

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Summertime is here and the kids are spreading all types of cheer. Though the season usually means no more teachers and no more books (and no more rotten, dirty looks), finding ways to help you kids get in ahead in school over summer vacation is extremely important.

When I was younger, my parents didn't send my siblings and I to summer camps, so we were trying to stay out of trouble most days. Though we didn't go anywhere that had educational times set out during the day, my mom was a real stickler about making sure we turned the television off and took some time to keep our brains sharp. For my brother, who was the youngest, we were required to put his "Jump Start" CD in the computer and monitor him with it for at least two hours out of the day. I was required to read for at least two hours a day as was my sister, even once she got a job.

My parents made sure we were always prepared for the next year by giving us work to do over the summer. As I look back, I appreciate that more than I did when I was younger because if it weren't for those moments, I wouldn't be where I am now. If summer learning activities are new for you, try giving these nine ideas a go this year.

1. Carve Out Daily Reading Time

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Pulling them away from the television or computer for at least an hour and a half a day for reading time will help keep them on track for their reading level next year.

2. Create Math Activities That Use Real Money

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Scholastic stated that letting your little mathematician learn money through shopping, is a great way to enhance their math skills over the summer. If you're ordering food or going to the corner store, give them their own amount of money and have them calculate the cost and the change that's due.

3. Create Flashcards

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When I was a kid, my parents were very into the whole flashcard thing. Though I hated them then, flashcards helped me to learn majority of my math and when I got to college, helped me to remember a lot of my material for my exams.

4. Have Them Do An Event Recap

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Engaging in summer activities that incorporate learning through play is an important factor to keeping a child's brain moving during summer, according to Huffington Post. Similar to a book report, take your kid out to an event this summer and have them submit a paper that surrounds their time at it.

5. Download Learning Games

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With everything being mostly digital nowadays, having games that are educational on your child's tablet or computer is extremely important.

6. Assign A Book To Read That Has A Movie To Watch

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Scholastic recommended giving your child books like Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter that have each been adapted from books into feature films. Assign them a book to read and after they're done, watch the movie together.

7. Create A Schedule

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Huffington Post noted that without being in school, a child can tend to lack structure throughout the summer. Creating a schedule or routine that includes education can help them transition back into their school schedule easier.

8. Take A Trip To The Library

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When I was younger, my sister would take me to the local library and let me pick out three books every week over the summer. It was literally my favorite part of the summer and it didn't even feel like I was doing something educational.

9. Start At The Beginning Of Summer

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Instead of letting the kids get into the routine of doing nothing for summer, keep them in learning mode by developing fun weekly activities at the beginning of the break that focus on different educational experiences, Huffington Post encouraged.