Grab a pad of paper and pencil.  Sit with your kids to develop the SEP.  Open the conversation with suggesting you work together to have a fun summer that includes giving attention to areas that could use new attention or improvement.  Use the following questions to guide your discussion:

1)     What school subjects were the most challenging to you?

2)     Do you believe you could do better?  What could you do better?

3)     How did you feel about the quality of your homework assignments? Projects?

4)     Would you like to be one of the starting five on the basketball team?  What skills should you work on to become a better player?

Make list of their answers.  This list will help you develop the SEP.    For example:

I will know how to solve and explain
algebra problems by July 15th

            a. Solve 10 algebra problems, each day, using the symbols and conventions.

            b. Learn to solve equations by simplifying expressions and combining like terms. 

            c. Solve 5 algebra word problems, each day.  Find websites to help, if necessary. 

I will be one of the starting five on the basketball team by fall tryouts.

          a. Practice free throws for one hour everyday.

            b. Practice dribble drills to maintain control of the ball.

            b. Invite friends to the basketball court to help improve skills.

            c. Exercise for one hour everyday to get physically fit. 

I took my girls to breakfast last Saturday morning to develop the Summer Education Plan.  It took a couple of conversations because I had to guide their efforts with writing goals that were more specific than “Do better in math”, and “win tennis tournaments” . 

Try to stick with 4 or 5 goals as not to overwhelm your kid or yourself.  Maybe there is a goal to become more organized.  Or perhaps your kid has a goal to try out for the school play.   Keep the goals simple but reward their efforts with reaching goals with trips to the beach, movies, ice cream treat, or shopping for a new back-to-school outfit! 

Uh-oh! I just heard you whine, “There is not enough time!”   More than likely, your place of employment did not provide you a summer vacation; therefore, your kids are probably in a summer day camp, hanging out with the grandparents, or the babysitter.    Believe me, I know the pressures and stress involved with finding time to get everything into a tight schedule. Sign up to get updates from Dean of Parents and let’s share our efforts with keeping our children on the SEP!. 

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. – Mike Murdock


06/20/2011 01:34

I will DEFINITELY sit down to create an SEP with the kids this week. Even the 3 yr old. We were just discussing how important it is to have a routine. without it summer CAN get boring. We just finished slicing tomatoes and reviewing fractions on the way. I decided to discuss reducing fractions, prime numbers and calculating the fractional part of tomatoes eaten! Like my Calc teacher said EVERY MORNING: MATH IS FUN...YOU WILL ENJOY! (math can be replaced with any activity). Kudos on your blog!


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