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Kids & Family

(StatePoint) In summer, keeping kids busy means camp, pool time and outdoor games. But all that sun, fun and physical activity should also be well-balanced with mental exercise.

With that in mind, here are several ways kids and parents can use the Internet to focus on education when class is not in session:

 

Internet

Online Tutoring

Nothing beats one-on-one learning time to improve grades and build confidence and yet most kids learn in large groups all school year. Students can get that one-to-one time this summer with online tutoring. Available 24/7 with expert tutors in more than 40 subjects, Tutor.com is a great way to help students brush up on concepts and keep their skills sharp all in a secure online learning environment that is accessible from any computer or mobile device.

Personalized College Prep

It's never too early to work on college applications. Investigate online services, tools and resources that can assist, such as Parchment. The company's newest tool, College Match, uses a proprietary algorithm to generate personalized college recommendations, enabling students to discover schools for which they may be well-positioned to be accepted.

Parchment also makes ordering, tracking and sending transcripts to schools an easy, online process. Visit www.Parchment.com to get started.

Summer Reading

Free summer reading resources can help avoid "summer slump." Check out Scholastic's suite of free tools available at www.Scholastic.com/summer.

Consider registering children in grades K-8 for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, a free, global online reading program. Kids can log reading minutes, win prizes and help beat last year's summer reading world record of 176,438,473 minutes read.

You can use the summer calendar app on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, which features expert tips, articles and activities. Every Friday, parents can enter for the chance to win a Freebie Friday prize, including great books for kids.

Monitor children's progress and log reading minutes on-the-go using the free Scholastic Reading Timer app.

Additionally, summer-friendly literature recommendations are available from Scholastic experts. Their book list features more than 700 books for children in Pre-K-8, including this year's "Reading Under the Stars" themed list, which showcases books about space, stars and astronomy, as well as spooky stories to read by a campfire.

Learning on-the-Go

Even in summer, parents and kids are busy. Luckily, GreatSchools.org, a nonprofit website for parents that has reviews of more than 200,000 prek-12 schools, is launching smartphone-friendly tools like GreatKids, which provides advice and activities that can be used in just a few minutes. Its free, personalized stream of reading activities for parents and kids is a nice antidote to summer brain drain, and its mobile-based activities build reading comprehension, knowledge and perseverance.

A bit of learning and preparation during the dog days of summer will serve kids well when they return from break.

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