Summer School: Fun Lessons For Kids

Kate Lawler
CBS/The Early Show
Kids forget, plain and simple. And during the summer, their academic memory becomes even worse: Kids lose one to two months of reading and math skills during their summer vacation.

On Monday's The Early Show, Kate Lawler, executive editor of Parents Magazine, discussed ways to keep your children's minds sharp during the summer months.

While kids may be averse to learning during their time away from school, there are many fun and unconventional ways to keep them educated.

Lawler suggests using teachable moments to help your kids practice some of their skills. Laundry is a simple chore that can be educational. Lawler said, "You can have a little kid sort whites from colors, and that helps them learn about categories. You can have an older kid measure the detergent for you."

Grocery shopping is another opportunity to help your child practice her writing skills. "You can dictate your (shopping) list to your child," Lawler said, "and have her write everything down. It helps her practice spelling." After the list has been written, bring your kid to the store with you.

"Give your small child a list of maybe five things she needs to pick up by herself and help her learn to read and identify things in the store," Lawler said.

Sneak in lessons and fun games that a child might not realize are educational. Play the license plate game on a car trip. Smaller children can look for letters in their name; older kids can see who can get from A to Z first.

Lawler also recommends making reading fun. The library is a great place to accomplish this. "Little kids love having a library card," she said. "They love the whole process of giving their card and checking out books. Go once a week and get a fresh stock of books for your child."

Try and keep your child away from the TV and computer. Lawler recommends two hours or less a day of total screen time, which includes television, the computer and video games.