COMMENTARY: Solutions to problems summer can bring for students and parents

COMMENTARY: Solutions to problems summer  can bring for students and parents
June 11
00:00 2015

By James J. Hankins

Here are some of the problems that can be solved with summer educational plans for students and parents:

*Many students never open a book during the summer.

*They sleep until around 1 p.m. and only get up to raid the refrigerator when their stomachs start to growl from hunger pains.

*They hang out in the mall, a friend’s house and on a few corners or other places that the parents are not aware of.

*The majority of their time is spent talking/texting on the phone, listening to music, using social media/playing computer games and watching television.

*The parents failed to assign them chores or plan their summer educational activities.

Here are some of the solutions to the problems that summer brings for students and parents:

*To help your child succeed, all parents, guardians and concerned relatives must write out a plan for the students under their care for the summer. It will be easier to carry out if the student is willing, help write it, but if they are not you must do it anyway. You must step up and be loving, but firm. If you do not put your foot down, who will?

NOTE: My wife and I developed this plan for our newborn son. It helped make him the successful and enthusiastic social studies teacher he is today. This is his sixth year and he loves his job. It will work for your children and grandchildren!!!

*You must keep a good supply of quality reading material in your home. The only cost to your family will be around $40 a year for a subscription to your local Black newspaper. All of the other necessary reading materials can be checked out free from your local library.

*Newborn up to Kindergarten: Read to your children sometime during each day and at bedtime. Teach them by using pictures, letters, numbers, words, sounds, shapes, colors and everything they see during the course of a day. Never forget, you are their first and most important teacher. This is the formative time in their life and they think you are the smartest person in the world. Use this time to teach them that learning is fun. Use the 75 /25 rule. Spend 75 percent of their time reading, writing, coloring, drawing and singing. The other 25 percent can be used on games, free playing and a little television viewing.
*Elementary to Middle School: Most public libraries offer a summer reading program for children. Have them pick five or more books from the recommended reading list to prepare them for their next grade level. Encourage first, then demand if necessary they read something every day.

*High School: Do not allow your children to have any grade below a C+ unless they have a learning problem. Do not allow the school system psychologist to place your
child in special education class until you receive direct proof of a problem. It is a fact that Black students are far too often placed based on attitude rather than aptitude. Hire a reputable educational specialist not connected with your school system to test your child.

*First ask your church, outreach organizations and family members for help. If they refuse, then borrow the money from a loan company if that is your last result. It is that important because this placement will help determine your children and grandchildren future.

*Guide the precious gifts GOD gave you, your beautiful children, through two hours each day of reading something educational, writing summaries and meditating. Teach them how to analyze their problems and research the solutions. Strengthen your family unit by having frequent family discussions.

Parents as their leaders must also abide by the two-hour shut down rule. Read something that will help you reach the next step in your occupation, prepare you for another career and help you become a better-educated voter. The election year of 2016 is just around the corner.
Proverbs 22:6—Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.

James J. Hankins is a graduate of Williston Senior High School, military veteran, N.C. A&T State University alumni, retired vocational teacher; past president of the New Hanover County Branch of the NAACP, member of Friends of Abraham Galloway and author of the book “What We Blacks Need To Do:” To comment or order a copy of his book, please e-mail him at

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