Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
Just because school is out doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop.
By providing opportunities for your child to continue learning, you can help retain and broaden the concepts and skills your child has worked on all year. Parents can keep learning fun and encourage summer learning with a few easy and educational ideas.
10. Education Vacation
One way to make summer learning fun is to find educational opportunities to integrate into your family vacation. Do a little research beforehand to determine what historical locations can be found near your vacation destination. Seek out local landmarks such as Civil War battlefields, the homes of famous writers, educations, inventors, and politicians. Steep yourself in the local culture, including food, music, art, and architecture.
9. Summer Reading Programs
Many libraries implement summer reading programs that offer incentives to children who continue their reader outside of the school term. Some common rewards include coupons for treats at local restaurants, bookmarks, and free books. Siblings often indulge in a little friendly competition—for some, the bragging rights are worth more than gold.
8. Online Learning
There are a multitude of online educational sites that offer free or low-cost programs that allow students to continue their math, science, and reading skills during the summer break. For families that restrict computer time and make it a treat rather than the norm, these educational games are a welcome way to offer your child safe, online fun while sneaking in some learning time.
Science lovers will love the chance to seek out and perform experiments at home (with adult supervision, of course). Let your little Einstein learn in his (or her) own home laboratory. Stock your “lab” with test tubes, beakers, and other science fair fare to encourage scientific examinations and experimentation.
6. Math You Will Use
Use the summertime to enlighten your child to the real work uses of math. Let your little one help in the kitchen as you bake cookies or a cake, and let him measure out the ingredients. Once he gets the hang of it, try doubling a recipe or halving it. Talk to your child about budgets, let him help you cut coupons, and then talk about the savings the next time you are at the store.
5. Use Your Words
In the age of acronyms, text-speak, and emoticons, it can be easy to forget that real words, and proper punctuation, and complete sentences do exist. Consider having your child start a journal to encourage him to use these language skills outside of the classroom.
4. Learn a Language
Summertime is the perfect time to emerge your family in a foreign language. By approaching this linguistic adventure as a family using interactive home language lessons, videos and other tools, you provide encouragement and support while stumbling over word choice and pronunciation. Provide incentives for the family member who masters certain language skills quickest, has the best enunciation, or can converse most fluently.
3. Here Comes the Drama Queen
Putting on a production of a family play is another way to encourage learning while providing familial fun. Pick a play that appeals to the family or, better yet, write your own! Assign roles to each family member, and hold rehearsals. Not only will the production encourage reading, enunciation, and responsibility, but it will also give your family a fun way to interact without the television, computer, or other electronics!
2. Broaden Their Musical Horizons
Keep the sounds of summer all through the year by encouraging your child to learn a musical instrument. Not only will they learn diligence and dedication, but some studies have shown that musical studies can improve students’ test scores.
1. Go Wild
Let your kids run a little wild over the summer. Visits to your local zoo can teach your child about animal behavior, habitats, and various ecosystems. It also gives you a break from that well-known call of the wild…”But, mom, there is nothing to do!”