A good friend of mine and fellow educator, Ms. Karlee helped me out by writing this week’s blog post. Check it out! – Ms. Heather
How can I keep my children learning over the summer without making them do “schoolwork” all the time? I feel like this question repeats over and over in my mind every June. I want them to have fun and enjoy the summer without losing any of what they’ve gained over the school year (which I can tell you, as an elementary school teacher, is definitely possible).
-Read to your kids! Even if you do no other intentional learning activities this summer, at least do this one. You can go to the library, get a magazine subscription, find kindle books for children (which can be done through the library), or go to a bookstore and let your children choose some new books. Don’t forget to go to story time and other programs at the library. Pinterest and Google are your friends. You can search by topic, holiday, or even by the materials you have on hand. Just today, I searched “popsicle stick crafts.” You can search for
crafts ideas, games, outdoor or indoor activities, learning activities, etc.
-Visit local parks. Go for walks and talk about what you see. Visit nature centers. Look online, on your park’s website or Facebook, for programs, events, and activities. I recently registered my children for a program called “Tales for Tots” where they will read a book about a bluebird, do a craft, and walk to a place where bluebirds are often seen.
– Encourage your child to express themselves by telling you what they enjoy or don’t enjoy about an activity or experience, describe what they see or do, or recall an experience afterward (i.e. describe what they did to a parent or grandparent that wasn’t there).
-Do ten to fifteen minutes of “school work” each day. Don’t try to do too much, but this small amount of structured time will go far in keeping them on track for the next school year. Use some flashcards, get them some writing paper to practice, and get some practice workbooks and do a page or two each day.
-Let them play. Children develop communication skills, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and more during play. Let them play independently, schedule play time with other children, give them items for role-playing (i.e. doctor kit, dress-up, etc.), or just let them be free to come up with their own ideas. Try building a fort with your children (inside or outside). You might enjoy it as much as they do!