Fire Up for a Red Hot Summer of Learning
This summer, make sure your barbecue grill isn’t the only thing that gets fired up—plan now how you will ignite your children’s minds and keep them learning during the break!
The teaching staff of Connections Academy suggests four simple steps for planning educational activities, represented by the acronym FIRE. We hope these easy-to-remember tips kindle your imagination and spark your summer learning fun!
F is for Focus
Decide now on the focus of your summertime learning plans. Set some goals with your children—and on your own. Is there something your student needs to do to prepare for the challenges of the next school year? Are there particular skills you’d like your child to practice? If you start thinking now, you have time to plan activities that will focus on your objectives—and combine both learning and fun! Be sure to consider a reward system for recognizing your student’s efforts.
I is for Interested
Use your child’s personal interests as a motivation for learning. After all, for adults and children alike, it’s more fun to study something that sparks your interest! Think about the things your son or daughter enjoys: hobbies, collections, athletic or cultural activities, favorite books, computer technology … the options are unlimited! Anything that will get your child’s mind in motion—preferably without whining!—could serve as a central theme for a fun summer of active learning.
R is for Resourceful
Think outside the box—or the house! Find ways to incorporate learning that get you and your family out and about! Visit your local library to see if there are any book clubs, workshops, or entertaining events scheduled for kids. Learn something new by helping your children find a subject-matter expert to talk with: a farmer or gardener, a park ranger, a museum guide, or a zookeeper, for example. And, of course, there are many outstanding resources online!
E is for Engaged
Imagine ways to engage your children in fun and interactive learning. Include movement, social interactions, and hands-on activities. Integrate education into your vacation travels by exploring historical sites, museums, and cultural events. Look for clubs and volunteering experiences that will provide opportunities for socialization and developing teamwork and leadership skills. Activities that combine both mental and physical exercise are great for preventing “couch potato syndrome.”
As you consider ideas for your family’s summer of active learning, hold each one to the FIRE and see if it meets these criteria. If the answer is “yes,” then you’ve come up with a winning plan for educational fun!
How have you kept your kids “on FIRE” for learning during previous summers? Share your most successful and creative ideas in the comments below!