Hurrah- Summer is almost here! While many of us are excited about upcoming summer vacation plans, it is important to remember that children experience learning loss when they don’t have educational activities during the summer.
The good news is there are numerous ways to promote summer learning with your child (and it does not have to be expensive!). You do not need expensive trips or camps or tutors to develop a plan to engage your child with fun and educational activities. Many of these activities are free and can be done in your own backyard (literally). As you plan your summer activities, keep these ten tips handy from the The National Summer Learning Association:
- Locate a summer program that fits your budget. Programs offered by schools, recreation centers, universities, and community-based organizations often have an educational or enrichment focus.
- Head to the library. It’s a great, free resource. Check out books that interest your child. Participate in free library summer programs and make time to read every day.
- Focus on communication. Encourage your child to discuss or write about the books she is reading or to keep a journal of favorite events and activities during the summer.
- Take advantage of local amenities. Take free or low-cost educational trips to parks, museums, zoos and nature centers.
- Explore and learn. If you are taking a day trip by car, choose a place with an educational theme. Camping is a low-cost way to get outside and learn about nature.
- Give math meaning. Measure items around the house or yard. Track daily temperatures. Add and subtract at the grocery store. Learn fractions while cooking.
- Play outside. Power down the TV and electronic games and, instead, seek out or organize physical activities that contribute to healthy development.
- Do a community service project. Teach your child how to volunteer in your community. Cleaning up a local park or collecting supplies for an animal shelter builds compassion for others and community pride.
- Keep a schedule. Continue daily routines during the summer with structure and limits. The key is providing a balance and keeping kids engaged.
- Prepare for fall. Find out what your child will be learning during the next school year by talking with teachers at that grade level. Many schools prepare summer packets of activities highlighting math and reading skills for the next grade level. Preview concepts and materials over the summer.
Filed under: Summer Learning on May 18th, 2011