It Takes A Village

When it comes to raising a child, nothing is truer than the old adage that it takes a village to do so. Everyone from extended family to school teachers can play an important role in a child’s upbringing. If you are a grandparent this is especially true. Outside of parents, grandparents are the next of kin and the example that they set can either derail or support what a child’s parents want for their child or in some cases, even make up for the lack of parental support.

Besides the common role of secondary caretaker for a child, grandparents can also provide educational support. While paying for a child’s educational expenses can be an invaluable way to support your grandchildren, there is another way that doesn’t necessarily have to cost you anything; and that’s promoting summer reading to make sure that your grandchild’s learning continues year round.

Reading as a summer activity has extraordinary benefits for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. It helps grandchildren avoid the “summer slide” – the term describes when a child loses the progress gained in the former school year. Encouraging reading can not only prevent a “summer slide” but can also mean that they’ll have a head start for the coming school year.

Beyond that benefit, reading with your grandchildren can become a bonding experience which you and your grandchild can cherish. Studies have also shown that grandparents actively involved with their grandchildren have a significantly lower rate of Dementia and Alzheimers, so summer reading can be just as beneficial for the grandparent as it is the grandchild. I’ve included some links that include summer reading lists and other ideas for fun summer learning activities. And be sure to check your local public libraries, they usually offer a great selection of free and fun summer educational activities that you can do with your grandchild.

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