Without the structure of school hours, it is often difficult to keep our children’s minds challenged during the summer. Here are some easy tips for guiding your child to engage and think during your daily routine. 1. Have your child calculate the miles per gallon of gas. Then determine the “cost” to go to the grocery store, friends house, park, etc. 2. Figure out the multiples you need to make a ‘big’ batch of lemonade or cookies for the weekend. 3. Do a word a day from the dictionary. Let your child pick it out and make sure you find ways to use it five times throughout the day. 4. As you grocery shop, have your child read labels to you or spell out the words on your grocery list, or say which foods go in which food groups. 5. When buying burger or hot dog buns, have your child figure out how many packages to buy for the amount of burgers or hot dogs of which you are making. 6. Have your child go on Google Maps and figure out the mileage to a particular place. Then convert it to kilometers. 7. Research your upcoming trip. Start the trip with your child knowing several facts and interests about your destination. Have him or her keep a journal. 8. On a hike, grab a bag full of leaves and petals. Have your child research what type of tree, flower or plant of which they belong. 9. Figure a currency exchange. What is the U.S. dollar worth in Mexico, Japan, etc. 10. Have your child figure out the money when purchasing something. Have him figure out the change, tax or sale amount. 11. Use new tools in the garden and while using them, determine the forces involved – ex: What does a shovel do (lever), how does a stick work to plant seeds (pressure), why does water go ‘down’ (gravity). 12. Have your child check the temperature. Then convert it to Celsius, then back to Fahrenheit. 13. Read! Under a tree, at the beach, on the grass, before bedtime, in the morning, in airports, in cars, while waiting for anything. 14. Cover a wall with rolled paper. Start a story and add a new sentence every time a family member walks by the wall. If you do one of these things, you have helped your child become a better student. If you do five of these things regularly, the impact for your child’s ease back into school this fall will be in a very positive way.