Summer is officially underway …and while we are sure that having your children at home is lovely, it can also be challenging to think of ways to keep them busy. Let’s remember that their brains need to stay active too! Encouraging your child to engage in summer learning activities will help prepare them for the following school year and form great studying habits for the future.
Below are a few tips that can help make sure that children are staying engaged with their studies over the summer:
Read Every Day:
Did you know that reading daily for 30 minutes can significantly increase your child’s reading skills? Reading is an excellent way to exercise children’s brains, improve concentration, vocabulary, language skills, and much more. Make a fun trip out of it and let your child choose a book from the library, then go for ice cream afterward!
As a way to inspire a lifelong love of reading, here is a list of websites that include book suggestions and recommendations for fun summer reading activities!
Write Every Week:
Start a summer journal! Children can write about what they read, their summer activities, or write a letter to their best friend.
Practice Social Emotional Learning (SEL):
Be an active citizen by volunteering at a shelter, making a donation to a cause that your child feels passionate about or practice gratitude every day. Show them that politeness and manners can go a long way. Students who practice skills such as mindfulness and social awareness become exceedingly empathetic, understanding, and more open to other cultures.
Watch videos, read books written in Hebrew or listen to Hebrew songs! It’s important for children to brush up on everything they’ve learned throughout the year. We encourage you to take advantage of summer resources that were sent home; try practicing a few sentences a week.
For younger children, here are a few songs your child can sing along to:
Try Interactive and Fun Learning Games:
Try playing an outdoor memory game, visit a museum, get artsy and paint or create a scrapbook. Summer learning activities don’t have to be a bore. There are plenty of ways to spice things up in a way that kids forget that they are even learning something new! You can check out a few ideas from Oxford learning here.
While pulling your child away from their electronic device or limiting screen time may not always be a simple task, the effects of not trying can be detrimental. Try using screen time as a reward for completing chores, practicing math and reading, or spending a certain amount of time doing physical activity.
We hope that you find these summer learning tips to be helpful. We can’t wait to see you all in September!
Have a wonderful summer!
By Elisabeth Castera
We are thrilled to announce that one of our amazing teachers is also an author! Tara Drouin from Hebrew Language Academy Charter School shared her wonderful book named “One Heart” with us. Tara has been teaching for ten years and has been a musician for twenty. Growing up in a family that played musical instruments and sang, music was embedded in her life at a young age. Tara was inspired to write the song “One Heart” that incorporates her experiences with diversity from being a teacher, a mom and musician.
Tara strongly believes that there needs to be more unity and kindness in the world – that is how “One Heart” originated. The song speaks about how we all may have our differences, whether it is a different eye color, skin color or hair color but inside, we all have one heart. Tara believes that this message needs to be shared with children at a young age.
Aside from writing such an inspiring song, Drouin has written a book that incorporates the lyrics to the song with lovely illustrations by Nancy Noskewicz – an art teacher that Tara used to work with. A free download of the song comes with the book. Tara’s students love singing the song in her classroom and plans on giving a copy of the book to her class. She expresses to them that our differences are what makes us all unique but inside we’re all the same, we are all human beings with one heart and we all need to be unified. Tara says, “If you have friends, family and you’re healthy, you really have it all.”
At her spare time, Tara enjoys yoga, going to the beach, making jewelry and going to the movies with her husband and daughter.
Congratulations Tara and Nancy on creating your first book and thank you so much for being a great example to our students! Tara’s book is now available on Amazon, and can be purchased here.
If you’d like to see Tara perform live, she will be performing children’s songs with her friend Katie at Jones Beach Band Shell and the event is free!
See details below!
July 24th, July 31st & August 11th: Jones Beach Band Shell @8pm. (Field 4)
By Elisabeth Castera
At Hebrew Public, it gives us great pride to honor our staff. Their hard work and dedication is part of what makes us who we are – a network of schools with high expectations for our students, their future and a commitment to nurture them to become empathetic global citizens. As a diverse public charter school, we welcome children from all backgrounds and give them the opportunity to learn Modern Hebrew.
Every once in a while stories like this one surface and we can’t help but share our enthusiasm with others. Harlem Hebrews teachers, Abev Samain Regev and Marissa Kaplan decided to add some excitement in their third grade classroom, while simultaneously teaching them about Israeli culture.
They had a surprise visit from their favorite Israeli band – Café Shahor Hazak, which translates to “Strong Black Coffee.” Café Shahor Hazak is an Israeli hip-hop duo of Ethiopian origins. The band is known for writing songs with messages that are inspirational and uplifting. Their songs express how grateful they are to have become successful despite the difficulties that sometimes arise when coming as an immigrant to a new country. Abev and Marissa discovered that the band would be in New York as part of their U.S tour and decided to reach out via social media!
The BIG Surprise!
It wasn’t difficult to get the band to visit Hebrew Public. Abev and Marissa decided to put a video together showcasing the children’s admiration for their music and send it to them. How could they possibly say no to a classroom of smart and energetic third graders who love their music? Prior to the surprise visit, Abev and Marissa played various songs from the band, watched music videos and had the children learn more about their background. The children loved every minute of it and were elated when Café Shahor Hazak made an appearance in the school.
Initially, the students thought they would be going over information about state testing but to their surprise, Café Shahor Hazak walked into the room – the children screamed in excitement, some even cried! It really was a heart warming moment for everyone involved.
What Did The Students Learn?
Introducing the band to the students opened up conversations in the classroom about Israel, music and diversity – “We want to teach them about everything, says Marissa, we want our students to identify with others – recognize their differences or similarities and be ok with that.” “Our students like a ton of different music.” Through the band’s music, the children learned that you can have a tough beginning in life but there are always ways to overcome adversity.
The band did a 30-minute session with the children in Hebrew, answered their questions and sang with them. The students were able to tell us their favorite songs, translate them in English and tell us the meanings of the songs. We believe that music is a great outlet for students to learn about different cultures in a creative way. Café Shahor Hazak’s appearance at Harlem Hebrew really brought a part of Israel to life in the classroom. It was an experience that celebrated Israeli culture and inspired our students in a way that they will never forget.
Thank you Abev and Marissa for an educational and fun experience!
“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Anderson.
By Elisabeth Castera