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Topic: Summer Learning

Summer Learning: Five MUST-DOs

May 23, 2017

Who isn’t excited for the lazy days of summer?! Especially after what could have been a challenging school year. Time to put any social dramas, challenging subjects, or “not a good fit” teacher-student relationships behind us. September will be a fresh start. Keep in mind, though, it’s often the same kids who have trouble during school that have difficulty finding that right balance of fun and productivity during the unstructured days of summer. Here are a few suggestions that will keep the sanity and the fun. 1. Maintain Some Routine No kid needs the rigid school year structure, but a complete lack of summer schedule isn’t healthy either. Create a visible daily schedule and hang it up. Good things to include: wake-up time, bedtime, allowed… Read More

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How to Prepare for a Successful School Year

April 29, 2016

Parents often ask Mindprint about summer activities and how to prepare for a successful school year. We know they receive conflicting advice ranging from “do everything you can to prevent the summer slide to “let your kids relax and be kids.” The recommended amount of structured learning depends on the age and specific learning needs of a child. For children who fell behind during the school year or struggled to keep the pace, structured summer learning can be an effective way to make the coming school year a lot easier. For teens, summer prep can alleviate some of the heavy burden during the school year associated with challenging classes, standardized tests and extra-curriculars. But it’s true that kids of all ages need time to relax, replenish, explore new… Read More

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Empowering Parents: Sibling Surprises

November 13, 2015

Edited by Nancy Weinstein Editor’s Note: As the mother of two daughters who are so different and yet sometimes seem so similar, I am always drawn to sibling stories. In this second post in our Empowering Parents series, Laura, mother of two girls, Julia, 8, and Leah, 9, describes why she chose Mindprint. She explains how her family continues to use Toolbox. To protect the family’s privacy, these are not their real names. When we decided to give our children the test, we didn’t have any specific concerns about their learning abilities. We just thought why not find out if there is anything there, any specific learning strengths or weaknesses that we could work on, foster, and/ or support. Why not do everything you can… Read More

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Let the Make Cake: and other PBLs

July 17, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It’s summer, and the kids are restless, so how about adding a little PBL to your PB&J? Forgive me; educators love to toss abbreviations and acronyms into conversation. In this case, we all know what PB&J is so I’m here to explain your new BFF, Project-Based Learning (PBL). Project-based learning is a rather fancy term for describing a type of learning that parallels the tasks of real life. Edutopia cites experts, who say it involves: students learning knowledge to tackle realistic problems as they would be solved in the real world increased student control over his or her learning teachers serving as coaches and facilitators of inquiry and reflection students (usually, but not always) working in pairs or groups It makes sense,… Read More


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End of School Year Blues

June 7, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff (note this post was modified with additional resources May 2019) I have never liked the end of school year. It makes me feel, as I do before a thunderstorm…that things are out of my control. The Dread There are too many changes at once: big tests, end of school year ceremonies, performances, and good-byes. As a student I dreaded the relinquishing of the books that defined so much of the school day. As a parent, it’s the end of routine that is so hard. Of course I complain about how much time I spend in the car. That my daughter’s math homework was too challenging for me, the grown up. Since spring break, I counted down the days to summer… Read More


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The Summer that Changed Your Life

May 31, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff I hope you’ll add your own memories or comment to this post I did last year about the summers that shaped us….   As a kid, there was always something wonderful about summer and having nothing to do except finding a friend and some ice cream, or a new bike route to a crowded pool. And was I the only one who considered “The Price is Right” a good break from the heat outside? But when it comes to memories of formative experiences, television, as you might expect, does not make the cut. Instead, for many of us, it was the times that we headed to places far away, where we sometimes felt alone, that we look… Read More


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Time to Plan for Summer Math

May 9, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff A few months ago, I decided that instead of buying workbooks for my kids to look at over the summer, I’d start collecting the homework they brought home and use it as a basis for a personalized binder.  I’d add new material, too, of course, and try to find things that appealed to their interests as well as their grade level and the one they’d be approaching. But you know, it was only last month that I took down the Halloween lights that had been iced into a bush in our front yard for most of the winter. I may, perhaps, have been too ambitious in my dream for the ideal summer “let’s not forget everything… Read More


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What I did Last Summer…

February 21, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Well, maybe not last summer, but summers long ago. As many of us begin to think about what our own kids will be doing this summer, I decided to ask my colleagues about summers they still remember. Was there an experience that shaped them? As a kid, of course, there was always something wonderful about having nothing to do except finding a friend and some ice cream, or a new bike route to a crowded pool. And was I the only one who considered “The Price is Right” a good break from the heat outside? But when it comes to memories of formative experiences, television, as you might expect, does not make the cut. Instead, for… Read More

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