Parent Perusals

June 19, 2019

Big picture
40 Simple Summer Activities for Kids

If you’ve got kids, you’re probably all too familiar with the summertime blues—that is, the constant struggle to think of fun kids’ activities, preferably that don’t involve screen time, to help you and your family enjoy a simple summer together.

Suns Out, Funs Out! Summer Safety Tips for 2019

Keep It Covered

In short doses, it’s great for kids to play outside and be exposed to sunshine in the summer. However, if your student plans on spending any great length of time outdoors, make sure that they are correctly protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Remember these two tips:

  1. Wear sunscreen always. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionhighly recommend wearing sunscreen with a broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays) of SPF 15 or higher and is water resistant.
  2. Wear protective light-weight clothing and seek shade when exposed to the sun. Did you know the sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 2pm? Here’s a good tip: If your shadow is shorter than you, seek shade.

Swim Safely

Swimming can be a great way to get exercise and cool down on a hot summer’s day. If you or your child intends to swim, pool safety is a must. Before you take your student to swim, it’s important to know your child’s limits. Follow these three simple steps before hopping in the pool:

  1. First, if your child is not a strong swimmer, be vigilant of the depth of the pool or body of water that you will be swimming in. Be cautious of pools that have a shallow end and a deep end as a child can easily make his or her way to the deep end without realizing it. A simple standing test can be done to set the standard for preliminary safety. If you cannot stand straight up in the water, or if the water is above your shoulders when you stand, it may be too deep for the child.
  2. Second, when you first get to your swimming location, check for a lifeguard on duty. If there is no lifeguard, a “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign should be posted. This is an indication that you need to be extra cautious while your child swims and plays.
  3. Third, make sure your child takes regular breaks to avoid getting exhausted from all the fun they’ll be having.

Leave Fireworks to the Pros

Summer wouldn’t be complete without firework displays. But, to avoid a potential life-threatening injury, it’s best to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

According to insurance reports in 2017, at least eight people lost their lives in fireworks mishaps while 12,900 ended up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries. Sadly, many of the mishaps occurred from simply being too close to the fireworks. Professional pyrotechnic engineers study and practice year-long to put on safe enjoyable shows. It’s best just to let them work their magic while you enjoy from afar.

As we kick off summer 2019, let’s remember that summer safety is a major part of what makes summer fun!

Taken from:

Big picture

Research shows that when children are "plugged in" all the time, they're not as happy as kids who spend less time using media and technology. The parenting challenge is not to prevent children from using media and technology, but to achieve a healthy balance between the time spent connected to technology and having it unplugged at home. Developing a family media policy is an excellent way to achieve balance in the amount of time your children spend on cell phones, watching TV and using computers. ~Taken from BoysTown

When creating a family media policy, we recommend starting with the T.I.M.E. acronym:

T = Talk. The first and most important step parents can take in deciding how their families should interact with technology is to talk with each other about what role it should play in their home. Explain that the family media policy will outline who can use a cell phone, computer and TV in the home; where that technology can be used; when kids can and can't use that technology; and what content can and can't be texted, tweeted, chatted, searched and viewed.

I =Instruct. Parents are their children's first and best teachers. Discuss your family media use policy with your children, and lay out clearly defined consequences for violating the policy. Remind your kids that technology is a privilege, not a right.

M =Monitor. Don't be afraid to monitor what your children are texting, tweeting, watching and doing while they are on their cell phones, iPads and computers. Use a good software program to block content and track what your children say and do online. Tell your children that you're monitoring them, and make sure they understand that it's to ensure they're staying safe online.

E =Encourage. Praise your children when you notice them doing something positive online, such as when they complete a research project and earn a good grade, or when you come across a chat or text conversation in which your child has clearly encouraged or helped a friend in a positive way. Always be on the lookout to catch your kids being good online.

Build your Personal Family Media Plan HERE!

Summer Math Loss: Why kids lost math knowledge and how families can work together to counteract it

"But it’s actually easier for kids — from all socioeconomic backgrounds — to forget what they learned in math over the summer than it is for them to lose reading skills.

The reason? Many parents — and their children — don’t think about math as existing outside of the classroom. “Parents often think that their kids learn math in school, and that it’s sort of the school’s domain,” says Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) doctoral student Kathleen Lynch. Many parents “may just be less inclined to do math at home,” she says".

Four Ways to Beat the Summer Math Slump

To understand what specific interventions and home supports would alleviate summer math loss, more research is needed. But here are four fun ways for parents to help their children practice math skills over the summer, based on work by Christodoulou, Lynch, and HGSE’s master teacher in mathematics, Noah Heller.

  • Highlight the math in every day activities. When shopping, help kids calculate change or discounts. When watching a baseball game, talk about what players’ statistics mean. When cooking, try halving or doubling a recipe, and assist kids in figuring out the new proportions.
  • Read short math stories together. Studies have shown that reading math-focused stories to children, such as Bedtime Math books or the Family Math series, can help boost math scores in school.
  • Play math games. Games like Yahtzee, Racko, Blokus, Monopoly, and Set all rely on skills necessary for math, such as counting, categorizing, and building. Even playing with blocks and assembling jigsaw puzzles can help kids learn spatial skills and recognize patterns.
  • Find small ways to practice math at home. While worksheets alone won’t solve summer math slump, small amounts of practice with basic formulas can help. Problem-of-the-day math calendars are a great way to practice basic math problems on a small scale. Parents can also find resources on Investigations about what types of mathematical procedures they should be practicing with their children.

Read the full article and access more resources HERE.

Free Parent Webinars

The Military Child Education Coalition provides free webinars to parents. Recent titles include “Resources for National Guard and Reserve Families,” “Internet Safety — Elementary School Children,” and “The Power of Moments.” Visit For the Sake of the Child for more information. Registration is required either to participate in an upcoming webinar or to receive a link to view the webinar after it has been held. Other resources are also available, such as “Parent Booklet: After a Loved One Dies,” in English and Spanish.

Click HERE to view the webinars!

UTSA's June P-20 Newsletter

June’s newsletter has information about camps, activities, community resources and events happening in San Antonio. For instance, the San Antonio library has weekly events for kids at EVERY location! There are also food stations around the city to provide breakfast and/or lunch for children.

Click the image above or click HERE to read all the great information!

Big picture
Questions? Comments? Feedback?

Click HERE if you can't access the form above and you'd like to leave Kimberly a comment, question or other feedback. Thanks!

Big picture

Consultant, Family Engagement, Education Service Center, Region 20

Kimberly has worked in the field of special education for 19 years. She has been on staff at ESC-20 for 10 years. She spent 7 years as a special education curriculum specialist and is currently the Family Engagement Consultant.

Kimberly has become quite passionate about empowering families to be more involved in their child's education and future as well as challenging and supporting schools to increase their efforts to involve families in their child's educational journey and focus on Family Engagement as an instructional tool that improves student's academic outcomes.

Kimberly enjoys living out in the country with her husband, Tyson and two daughters, Lynette & Lucy Sue.