From the perspective of youth, summer is a time of eliminating clocks and schedules, of slow pace days mingled with socialization; yet, despite the anticipated need to bask in the hammock of summer, there is also a desire to enjoy the thrill of outside-the-box learning. Therefore, avoid hearing those two dreaded words, and combine learning with fun!
Weekly Library Trips
Your local library can supply every age of the family with great books and offer wonderful activities that span from movie nights to a science-themed afternoon. Even today, it is not too late to become active. Take time to introduce yourself to the librarian. They will be glad to see your faces enter through the doors and may glean your family’s interests to recommend a list of beloved and kid-approved titles.
Reading goes beyond a fictitious story. Children who do not know what to read can explore their interests such as astronomy, the Civil War or the Ancient Egyptians. Once learning additional facts, children may discover a love of historical or realistic fiction.
Delve into a grand adventure by listening to a narrator read a novel! Whether you buy or rent CDs, download a book or listen through a free app, most audiobooks can play on a computer or USB port. Therefore, consider listening while running errands, folding laundry or preparing meals! Children can take advantage of listening to stories up to two years above their reading level, bearing in mind that the book’s themes are age-appropriate. Listening, concentration and imagination are needed to accompany the array of characters through various problems and outcomes. If there is a particular book your child wants to read, listening to the audiobook may be a rewarding option!
A New Language
Let your fingers do the talking by learning sign language! Fingerspelling license plate letters can help instill a rapid feel for the alphabet while one is also practicing spelling. Young children to adults will thoroughly enjoy learning animal signs before moving on to other areas, such as adjectives and verbs. YouTube offers exciting learning opportunities, or consider using a book or flashcards!
Online videos and books offer interesting and safe science experiments. Whether taking notes or following step-by-step instructions, children of all ages can improve their ability to follow instructions and expand their understanding of safe chemicals, chemical reactions, liquids, motion, air, magnets and homemade flying gadgets. In addition, children can write down or verbalize why particular experiments worked or how a tweak could improve the outcome.
Creations Require an Inventor’s Box
Ask your child, “What could you make with the following supplies: String, craft sticks, paperclips, a marble, a plastic bottle, a cardboard box and clothes pins?” If your child enjoys tinkering, take the “game” one step further by providing him or her with an old tackle box to create an “inventor’s box.”
One of the surest ways to boost strategy and computation skills is by gathering the family and playing board games. Increase the excitement by suggesting Family Game Night! Children will boost their confidence levels with unique games such as “Head Full of Numbers” (7+), “Sumoku” (8+) and “Prime Club” (10+).
Starting in third grade, today’s students complete roughly 90% of their assignments on a computer. While learning the art of penmanship and cursive is essential, keyboarding is another life skill. Online programs can offer touch-typing instruction to build upon speed and accuracy.
The task of writing may require thinking outside the box to boost confidence levels and practice the art of penmanship or typing skills.
- Write or type interesting recipes.
- Begin a daily journal.
- Learn about the poetic style of E.E. Cummings or Edgar Allan Poe, for instance, and create semi-original poems.
- Start writing an original story.
- Take notes from a Podcast or television program to increase concentration and listening skills.
After engaging in a summer of educational opportunities, your child will notice a feeling of progress, perhaps coming to the conclusion that he or she feels more relaxed in a classroom or confident to work independently. A little effort combined with family encouragement can make a substantial difference!