Berger’s Burg: Summer vacation no excuse for ending a child’s education

By Alex Berger

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. — George Santayana

Summer is here and many parents consider this time of year a sheer nuisance. Why? Because school is out and parents have to frantically juggle their daily schedules to accommodate their children. “Oh, if only school were all-year long,” they moan. But summer should also be a time for fitting in academics besides your child’s athletic and recreational activities.

One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters. — George Herbert

Do not allow your school-age child’s brain to languish around for 10 non-educational weeks waiting for school to reopen before refilling it. During these hazy, lazy and crazy slack days of summer, you, the parent, should fill the scholastic void by assuming the role of teacher.

Your child’s education need not be restricted solely to the school year. Welcome the challenge of continuing your child’s education during his present vacation time. Just as you accepted the role of being your child’s first educator, you should also accept the role of being your child’s educator in the summer. It is just as critical as the teacher’s role during the school year.

One parent-gambler’s child was very smart. By the time he was 3, he could count from one to king.

This partnership between teachers and parents is essential. Together, the teacher and you project the strongest influence on a child’s learning. The summer provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to be teachers. “But we are not teachers,” you exclaim. “What do we do?” You need not worry, pupil-teacher. Schoolmaster Berger will walk you through the process.

At the start of a new school year, little Lulu told her kindergarten teacher that her mother taught her how to make babies. The teacher gasped, “Tell me, how do you make babies?” Lulu replied, “You simply drop the ‘y’ and add ‘i-e-s’!”

Most importantly, help him refrain from his excessive use of high-tech distractions such as texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Did you know that by the time the average child graduates from high school, he will have lost 12 billion hours employing these excessive time-wasters? Compare that figure with only 11,000 hours he spends in the classroom.

Reduce those mindless hours of emptiness. Instead, introduce him to books and newspapers and, in particular, my column. Also, when going to the pool or beach, remind your child to bring along educational reading material and read it.

A child doesn’t understand anything until he learns it more than one way.

Parents should also expand their child’s horizons by planning some educational time away from home. Queens is a wonderland of didactic wonders and I recommend taking him to as many of the following wonders as you can:

It is a greater work to educate a child … than to rule a state. — William Ellery Channing

The Queens Botanical Gardens, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Zoo, the Museum for African Art, the Alley Pond Environmental Center and your local library are starters. And as a reward, take him to a Mets game.

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity …. — Aldous Huxley

You are an integral part of maximizing your child’s learning potential. If you value education, your child will. Remember, education is a journey, not a destination throughout the year — including summer! Travel it together with your child and teachers. Your child will thank you in his adult years.

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. — Friedrich Nietzsche

A teacher was asked for two reasons for entering the teaching profession. She wrote, “July and August!” So, parents, carry on for her during her two-month absence. Your additional input will be realized by your child when he returns to school in the fall.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. — Rachel Carson

Contact Alex Berger at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com.

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