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July 28, 2015 / KingsIsle Community

Attention, Parents: What Summer Learning Loss Means For Your Children

Asian student in park of Bangkok Thailand

It’s the end of June, the weather is warm and kids all over the country have waited all year for summer break. Sitting through classes, taking exams and facing evenings filled with homework is over for the next three months. Woohoo! But what can this time away from school really mean for our children?

In the late 1800s, when public schools began to become prevalent, summer vacation was a necessity for families. Much of America still relied on local farmers for the lion’s share of produce and commerce. So, during peak farming season, children were released from school to help out. Though times have changed since then, summer vacation still exists. This period away from school leaves children to their own devices for almost three months out of the year, which often results in summer learning loss.

What is summer learning loss?

Summer learning loss occurs over summer vacation when parents and children don’t encounter educational opportunities. Summer vacation has been shown to cause an average loss of two months of learning across the population, and this figure can be as high as three months in some areas.

While two to three months of learning loss over a summer does not sound too bad in theory, research spanning more than 100 years shows that students typically score much lower on standardized tests by the end of the summer than they do at the beginning.

Photo by Child Book

Photo by Child Book

How to prevent the summer brain drain

Play educational trivia: Nothing will get your kids motivated to learn this summer quite like a bit of friendly, competitive trivia. FreeKIGames.com has a wide variety of educational trivia challenges across a range of topics like spelling, book quotes, chemical elements, vocabulary and more. Have your kids challenge their siblings (and maybe even you!) to see who knows more.

Visit the library: Making a trip to your local library once a week to allow your child to pick out one of their favorite books is a great educational treat. A bonus is that most libraries offer summertime events and book clubs, helping further your kid’s love for reading.

Daily math challenges: While math may not be their favorite subject, offering a “daily math challenge” that your kids must complete before, say, they are able to go over to a friend’s house, is a surefire way to prevent those math skills from getting rusty.

Journal as a family: Encourage creative writing while building grammar and spelling skills by journaling with your child daily. By letting his or her imagination run wild on paper, you’re improving your child’s written language skills one topic at a time.

Though these are just a few fun ways to keep your kids sharp this summer, it’s important to make time for learning every day. Summer learning loss is a real thing and it’s up to us as parents to prevent it!

July 17, 2015 / KingsIsle Entertainment

Wizard101 July Fan Photo Spotlight

Did you know there are a lot of talented “photographers” in the Spiral? Just take a look at these amazing Wizard101 fan photos! This summer batch has tons of player creativity, epic battles and super cool items. Each month on the blog we try to focus a selection of our favorite Wizard101 game screenshots!

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Want to see even more fan photos? Check out our Wizard101 Facebook page where we keep albums updated all the time!

If you would like to submit a picture, send the picture and your character name in an email to community@wizard101.com 

Please attach no more than three images per email. If you are under 13 years of age, ask your parent or guardian for permission to send us your screenshot. Digitally altered images will not be published.

July 14, 2015 / KingsIsle Community

Man Overboard! 11 Cute Animals Who Belong at Sea

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Some animals enjoy chasing tennis balls and chasing mice, while others like belly rubs and scavenging for treats. And for a rare few, the thing that makes them happiest is joining their fellow buccaneers on the poop deck as they sail the mighty seas.

These 11 animals are singing “yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me!” as they pillage the seas and hoisten the mizzen!

1. If raccoons could jump aboard a Pirate ship, this hornswaller would be great at looting chests thanks to his stealthily moves.

2. Sir Stuffington is an old salt who was born on the streets and suffered a pillage from a racoon, resulting in him becoming the world’s cutest Pirate kitten, ready to sail the seas.

3. Jackson, this stoic Australian Sheppard, stares blankly at his landlocked lubbers as he remembers his days eating his dog food out of the bung hole.

4. The only thing Max loves more than cuddling with his landlubber human is scraping the barnacles off of his rudder and firing cannons through the porthole of his ship, SS Purina.

5. Don’t let his cute looks fool you! Fluffy to Pomeranian is one of the meanest sea monsters on the ship! His swashbucklin’ attitude fights of the enemies every time.

6. Tyler the Pug plans to go off leash tonight to catch the evenin’ tide. When the sun rises, he will comely wench his treasure: a bag o’ bacon treats.

7. Ralphie be an extra good boy today as he blew the man down and battened down the hatches on his walk ‘round the block. Shiver me timbers! No one messes with this lad.

8. These three wild Corgis were ready to heave ho and hang their enemies from the yardarm. Dead men tell no tales against these Pirates! Blow the man down!

9. This little lassie may look like a landlubber, but she’s definitely a woman-o-war. She’s ready to hop on the ship, weigh the anchor, and hoist the mizzen! Meow!

10. Darla the seadog kitty was made for the sea. From her crow’s nest she likes to meow, “Blow the man down!” as she counts her doubloons and booty.

11. Milo the squirrel misses the ‘ole Pirate days. Even though he is now a landlubber, he still finds the most unexpected places to bury his hidden bounty.