5 Summer Learning Tips for Kids of All Ages
If you’re a Learning Coach for an online student or a homeschooler, you may already be a wiz at mixing learning into your child’s daily activities—but even the savviest parent may run out of ideas over the long summer break!
In our post yesterday, we showcased some ways to avoid what educators call the infamous “summer slide.”
Listed below, you’ll find even more exciting tips for summer learning activities that will engage young minds. Remember to keep your projects lighthearted and varied! Try to choose activities that relate to your children’s interests, talents, and hobbies, and you’ll be well on your way to helping them maintain the academic progress you worked all year to gain. We hope these fun ideas will keep your kids’ synapses firing like Fourth of July fireworks:
- Is learning about your state on next year’s schedule? Show your pride and enthusiasm for your state and learn together. Get your child’s attention and interest by exploring some of the key features of your home state in person. Or get started by asking some questions that require a bit of research, such as “What is our state motto? I wonder if any U.S. presidents were born here? Which lake [river, mountain, etc.] is the biggest in our state? Have any famous athletes grown up here?” Depending on your child’s age, you could include your state’s history, government, natural resources, and culture in your explorations.
- Do your children like to help out in the kitchen? Let them take responsibility for meals a few days each week. Have them plan the menus, make a grocery list, select items at the grocery store, and prepare the meals. As you teach them about meal preparation, you can work in lessons about nutrition, units of measure, fractions, and more. You may also want to volunteer together, helping prepare and serve meals at a local shelter.
- Does your student enjoy building things? Why not work with your child to plan and build shelves to make his or her bedroom more organized? Research shelf designs, construction methods, and materials online or at the library. Keeping a project journal is a great way to practice writing. (Be sure to take photos of each step!) You can also reinforce your student’s math skills with real-life “word problems,” such as “If we need five feet of wood to build one shelf, how much wood do we need to get to build three shelves?” Involving kids in your DIY projects will also develop their scheduling skills, which will teach them to better prioritize schoolwork as they become more independent online learners.
- Do your students seem entrepreneurial? Would they enjoy developing a new board game, creating a series of crossword puzzles for kids, or writing and illustrating a book? Maybe your kids would learn from operating a car wash, dog wash, or the classic lemonade stand. Help them make a plan that includes listing the supplies they’ll need, advertising their product or service in your neighborhood, running the event, and keeping track of any money they raise. You may want to encourage your children to donate a portion of the money they earn to a charitable cause that’s important to them.
- Still looking for that special, inspiring idea? Try scanning the news for current events! There are plenty of opportunities to learn while picking your own fruit at a local farm or attending a county fair. During summer months, history buffs may stage battle or “daily life” reenactments that are free and open to the public. Many libraries, art museums, historical sites, and state parks offer free or low-cost summer learning programs for kids. Create your own learning experience by getting permission to tour a manufacturing plant, military base, or other unique facility in your neck of the woods. Or perhaps you need a break yourself. If so, consider sending your scholar to summer camp! Many camps focus on exposing children to specific skills (acting, horses, sports), while others (including National Connections Academy’s online summer camps) are designed to promote brainpower.
Are you psyched for summer learning? Once you and your children find your focus with projects in which they are interested, keep them engaged and excited about their learning by providing encouragement, enthusiasm, and the resources to support them.
Whether you’re indoors or outside, at the beach or relaxing at home, you can promote learning throughout the summer. And if you come up with any cool summer learning ideas for your family, please share them in the comments below.