by Brandy Abalos

Whether your child will be entering Kindergarten or moving into high school, you can take steps to help prepare them for the next grade level. Start before school lets out for the summer, if possible. It’s essential for children to meet appropriate milestones at each grade level. Once they meet those goals, you should encourage them to reach higher. Over the summer, they should have fun and relax, but keep key concepts for the next school year in mind. Here are some helpful tips to guide your child to the next grade level.

Challenge Your Child by Expanding Objectives

When your child consistently meets expectations at their current grade level, ask their teacher to begin challenging them with higher-level information that will help them prepare for the next grade level. Support that by engaging them at home with fun activities that incorporate educational objectives for the next school year. Your child should feel comfortably challenged at school and home to remain interested in learning new topics.

Ask Your Current Teacher About Expectations for Next Year

Before school lets out for summer, ask your child’s current teacher for information about educational goals for the next grade level. Ask them how you can help your child prepare for the next grade. Your school may also give you a summer reading list to complete before the upcoming school year. Teachers are experts in keeping children engaged in learning at every age. Don’t be reluctant to ask for their knowledge about the next level of education, as well.

Make a Plan on How to Be Ready for Next Year

Review your child’s grades and determine how challenging grade-level activities are for them. If they are having trouble meeting current objectives, you should support them by bringing them up to speed over the summer. If they are ready for more challenging topics, you should develop a schedule to support additional learning. You might encourage daily reading and other tasks weekly that will teach them essential skills and knowledge for the next school year.

Encourage Your Child to Learn Real-World Skills

Children of all ages need to learn real-world skills, like how to interact with others appropriately or think for themselves. Young children need to understand how to communicate their needs effectively, while older youths may benefit from problem-solving exercises. Everyone needs to practice learning from their mistakes. These tough situations may seem like they come naturally, but they do not for all children. They need to practice engaging in these social situations to know how to handle them if they arise.

Utilize Fun and Free Opportunities in Your Community

Many communities have places to learn all around you. Libraries and local parks offer free or low-cost resources for learning throughout the year with targeted camps and programs over the summer months. If you have one nearby, zoos and museums can hold a child’s interest for hours. You might also plan a weekend trip to historical locations near you and ask your child to research the area. Allow your child to help plan the trip, integrating even more learning objectives into your excursions.

Prepare Your Child for the Next Grade by Utilizing All of Your Resources

Your child’s school and the community you live in have a plethora of resources that can help you prepare your child for the next school year. It’s essential to begin getting your child ready for next year while they are still in their current grade. Avoid letting learning become stagnant or boring. If children are not challenged, they are likely to lose interest.

Summer break is an excellent opportunity to find more in-depth opportunities for your children to learn and grow. Your child’s current teacher and school district can help you understand the learning objectives they need to know for the next year, and you can use community resources to address those needs.

Above all else, be creative! Find fun activities for your child and allow them to learn through play. Even older children and teens will be more engaged when learning something in a way that they enjoy