Summer is a great time to help your kids strengthen their learning skills. The more they use them the less they will “lose” them. Summer learning doesn’t have to be pages and pages in a workbook but with a little creativity you can have fun and learn at the same time.
Most schools now expect students to read one or more books over the summer. Whether your child is just learning to read or reading to learn, finding books that interest them is key. Don’t just send them to their rooms to read but show you are interested in what they are reading. Be curious and engage them. Have them summarize, compare or simply talk about what they liked about the book (don’t just accept it was a good book). Reading increases vocabulary, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, comprehension and increases their knowledge base. I think it is the number one skill for learning. If your child is a strong reader, then they can learn anything.
Reading and math skills can be used; while “playing” school, planning a vacation or a day trip (give them a budget and have them make a plan), grocery shopping or making something in the kitchen (with supervision of course).
One of my favorite activities was a competition with my Dad and my sister to list the 50 states in five minutes or less. We still talk about those nights at the dinner table racing to see who could list them the fastest. We also tried the capitals, countries and the presidents (which I did not do well at). The ideas are unlimited.
For outdoor fun, try geocaching. Geocaching is finding hidden “treasures” that other people have hidden in local parks and recreation areas. Google it and you can get coordinates to use with a gps (or smartphone) or written directions to use for a treasure hunt walk. Take along the digital camera and have the kids photograph plants, bugs and wildlife that they can identify once they get home or to the library. Play tourist in your own town, or head into Boston or south to Plymouth and make history come alive. Have your kids send postcards to their friends.
Using math and reading skills throughout the summer will help to strengthen your child’s skills but it will also show them how often we use those skills in the “real world” and not just in school.
I’d love to hear what you do to make learning fun over the summer. Please use the comment box below to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
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