Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

July 10, 2013

Encourage learning all summer long

The crowd gathered at Sam’s was a dead giveaway. Parents searched for curriculum to keep their children busy during summer and the learning going.

“I’m worried about him losing math,” said one mom, as another poured over reading books. Several just grabbed the giant I-can-do-it-all workbook and dumped it in their cart. While the parents’ commitment to their children’s education is encouraging, they are missing some of the best actual learning opportunities available.

The best learning happens with hands-on activities, not workbooks. To be sure, many educators and parents love workbooks — for one reason. Workbooks are easy to measure. In five minutes a parent can check to see if their child is “getting it” or whether they need another worksheet.

However, worksheets seldom lead to real learning. While a child can complete the sheet, they often cannot transfer those skills to the real world. More often, the sheets kill a child’s desire to learn at all. If those same parents took advantage of summer’s break in books and provided more hands-on opportunities, they would see their children’s academic abilities grow — and they might just see a love of learning grow as well.

For math — do a project. Plant a garden, build a tree house or bird house, or create a budget for the family vacation. Then, let the kids do the math.

A worksheet asking for square feet elicits groans. Figuring the square footage for the dream tree house creates its own incentive for getting the answer right. When parents include children in planning the trip budget, they not only educate their children about how to make smart financial decisions, they increase their children’s appreciation for all that goes into making this special time possible. Older children can get online to research deals on hotels and tickets. Their internet savvy may actually pay off for parents. Even younger children can add meal prices to make sure everyone stays in budget.

Text Only
Commentary
  • Teach children to contribute as well as receive I receive a lot of emails and phone calls from parents facing difficulty in their parenting. Often parents ask, “What do I need to give my child? What do I need to do for my child?” While there are many moments we as parents need to give or do something, sometimes the answer lies in expecting from our children.

    July 23, 2014

  • Momma wasn't a sissy My mom was on a medical downslide for the last 20 years of her life, and I always wondered how she managed to keep going. She always said she was probably already dead but just too stubborn to lie down.

    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Exercise helps body resist injury I hurt myself last week. It’s a good one too. Low back, below the belt, all the way across. Hurt. When I get hurt, I am instantly grateful for the strength training and body care I do every week and the knowledge I’ve gain from moving my body regularly.

    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

Order Times Sentinel photos


Photos from July 2014

Facebook
Twitter Updates
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide