COLUMN JOHN EGGERS: 30 summer reminders to keep kids in learning mode


What can parents do to keep their children in a learning mode so that when school starts in the fall, their children have a good start? Here are 30 reminders to give parents during the summer months. Even if the parents only made a few, it would help.

1. Enroll your children in summer recreation programs, a summer school and / or a boys ‘and girls’ club.

2. Make sure you always know where your children are. Falling with the wrong crowd could cause them to back down.

3. Get to know your children’s friends.

4. Keep books handy for your kids to read. Most garage sales have a lot of books at very reasonable prices. Visit the new Four Pines bookstore in Bemidji.

5. Do things regularly with your children.

6. Make sure they get eight hours of sleep or more.

7. Ask them to do something for someone else.

8. Remind them of how important it is to get a high school diploma.

9. Get your kids used to setting goals. Goals can just be a list of things to do every day or every week.

10. Ask your children what they would like to do for a living. Talk about it a bit and then see if you can relate what they see themselves doing in the future to what they do in school. Help them find the connection.

11. To change the pace, find a large piece of paper and cut it out so that it looks like a puzzle. Make about 10 to 15 pieces. Write something on each piece the family enjoys doing. Now assemble the puzzle. Families are like a puzzle. We all have different likes and dislikes, but we come together as a whole.

12. Help your children see learning as an adventure. What will they find out today that they did not know before?

13. One evening after dark, sit outside and see how many different sounds you can identify. Do this for several nights and compare the sounds.

14. Spend a day at the county fair. Try to go on a day when certain animal judgments occur. Be sure to visit the 4-H exhibits, the fire tower, the old school and the pioneer hut.

15. Start thinking about doing something special on the last day of summer vacation.

16. Give your children a history lesson. Take out old photos of your family, talk about who they are, and make sure you have the names of the people in the photo on the back.

17. On a rainy day, put together a puzzle. Try to develop a strategy. Make sure you finish. Collecting puzzles is a good test of resilience and toughness.

18. Have your children write a special note to their teacher (s) or a special friend or relative. They can create their own map.

19. If your child was having difficulty in school, now is the time to work on their confidence level. The main reason children drop out of school is lack of self-confidence. A pat on the back is one of the best rewards you can give to kids.

20. Take a walk in Lake Bemidji State Park. Stop at the reception center. Take part in one of the many programs offered at the park.

21. Visit the city’s art galleries and museum. We have some of the best in northern Minnesota. Go to Art in the Park. Bagley has one too.

22. Usually children don’t like to write, but it is a great exercise to keep the brain active. Try to get your children to write something down at least once a week.

23. If your children are going shopping with you, ask them to guess how much something will cost; compare the prices. Let them guess what your total bill will be.

24. If you are going on vacation with your children, pack a few activities in a bag and have them draw something every hour or so.

25. The best thing to do is probably to limit the time spent on the computer and on television. Just tell the children to go outside and play.

26. Give your children a chore to do every day.

27. Prepare something together. Have the children read the recipe or help measure things.

28. About a week before school starts, ask the children to get up on time and to go to bed on time.

29. Limit the amount of sugar in their diet. Let them know about foods high in fructose and corn syrup.

30. It has been a difficult year for everyone, especially the students. Have fun this summer and if you can combine fun and learning, your kids will do better in school next year.

31. A bonus activity: be sure to watch the Summer Olympics. Remind them that this is how our world should act all the time: in harmony, working together in peace. We can do it. We can start by respecting each other.

Screen: What do you call a dog resting on a summer beach? (Answer: A hot dog. Don’t forget to eat a hot dog this summer. A summer without a hot dog is not a summer. They taste better in front of a baseball game.)


Watch for 100% entry into the Red Lake and Bemidji Parades.

John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and regional director. He is also a writer and lecturer.


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