Yeah, I know, the last thing most of us want to do is take our children to school. We just want to enjoy time with the kids at the park or sleep in a little longer. All of this is what summer is really about: family time.
While relaxing and enjoying life, I would like us to be mindful that children, especially pre-k-3rd graders, must be constantly learning. Their minds retain so much, but when intentional learning doesn’t happen they lose out.
In fact, the average child loses several months of knowledge over the summer. This will affect them when they return to school in the fall. Don’t worry: these simple steps can help prevent the “summer slide.”
Here are a few fun ideas that will keep your children’s summer educational.
Reading: Challenge your child to read about things they love and have a rich conversation with them. It doesn’t matter whether the reading material is fun comic strips or magazines about fashion and sports.
Math: while at the beach or park, ask your child to find specific shapes or colors and count them out. Sort the items and even take away so many and have them figure out the percentage you subtracted.
Science: take a nature walk, talk about the bugs in the backyard, let them make an ant farm in a clear jar and explore new places. Visit your local science center as a family.
History: this year marks the 50th year of the 1967 resistance in Detroit. Have your children read up on and write about those events; finish up before the film on August 4th comes out so that they can better relate to it.
Art is everywhere: buy some chalk and let your children design a mural in the driveway. Take them to the art museum.
Writing: have them write a paragraph about their summer vacation and all they would like to do.
For teenagers, purchase a notebook and have them write whatever they want. Suggest that they look up colleges and write one thing they need to do to get accepted into that college.
Have your older kids create a budget for next year’s school supplies and clothing. Tell them to be realistic on their spending.
What are some things you do to keep your children engaged?
All of these seem fun to me but, then again, I am a bit old school. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your children retain what they have learned and have fun doing it. The only thing I hope to see melting this summer are the ice cubes in my glass of lemonade!