(WYTV) — School is out but we’ll be shopping for back-to-school items before we know it. How can we help our children retain and prepare for the next level? Laura Parise, Principal of Holy Family School in Poland has some tips.

“Middle-school students can read maybe four of five books in the summer. That would really accelerate their reading in the fall,” said Parise.

Using real-world situations is a sneaky way to keep kids learning.

“My mom would put a multiplication fact on a cupboard and before my brother would go in he would have to say what the answer was…Have kids count back change when you go to McDonald’s drive-thru,” said Parise.

A popular Sept. assignment: What did you do this summer? That homework can be done on day one.

“They can do it in the car. They could do it at the beach. Have them keep a summer journal,” said Parise.

To keep them off those video games, get them involved.

“Keep them engaged with volunteering. It’s really good for their mental health as well as social and emotional learning,” said Parise.

Now is the time to reach out to that new teacher.

“You can always email your children’s teachers at the next grade level and ask if there’s a book they’re going to be reading. They won’t be hearing it for the first time,” said Parise.