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By:  Tracy Livingston




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Learning is lifelong…Why push it???

While planning my son’s summer with sports activities and camps, I have also planned educational activities to keep his mind busy and sharp for the next school year.  I do this because this is what I would preach to parents every year.  I have however realized that as a society we may be going overboard with activities and prepping our children for what we deem as a brighter future.  As a child I remember summer as a fun time with little pressure on schoolwork.  I turned out quite fine, as did many of those in my generation.  I will argue that times are different and structure is born out of necessity in today’s world.  But should we not focus on our child and their goals without imposing our needs to make Johnny the smartest boy in town.  Is life itself not a learning experience?  Many growth opportunities do not take place in a book, a ditto or a classroom.  Take your children exploring this summer.  Go to the movies, and have them pay and receive change and check if they were not shorted or given too much.  Go to the zoo, the museum, ride a bus or just go hiking and explore the environment.  On your family trips learn about the culture if you are abroad or about the state if your travels keep you closer to home.  Spend time with your kids…this is far better and will teach values that cannot be taught in the classroom.  You will find that many of these simple thoughts translate into research and reading.  The learning you are imposing is meaningful and will make a lasting impression because of this.

In writing this article I also am aware of those children who will need tutoring this summer…by all means make sure your child is helped in the weak areas as you also educate them in the area of life.  I also am aware that many of the families today are two income families and day camps are a necessity.  When looking for one look for a well -rounded curriculum or one that excites your child and still encourages exploration in the structure of the environment.  Lastly, I do believe reading is the key to student’s intellectual growth.  But, do not let it become the only way they experience life.  Make reading a natural part of their lives; if you can do this, they will be a reader for life. This is a feat that every educator hopes to impose but with your excitement and exploration perhaps you can help that teacher solidify the goal of creating life-long readers and learners.  As we never stop learning once we leave the classroom.  On this note it is time for me to spend time exploring with my greatest achievement.  Happy Exploring and I hope it brings your family closer and develops your child into the well-rounded citizens we all should be trying to create!


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