Summertime spells fun in the sun, family vacations, and of course, bar-b-que, because what's summer without at least one bar-b-que?! Although there are a lot of things to look forward to during the summer, like the 4th of July, highly anticipated movie releases and pool days. Most children, mine included, look forward to no school and having the opportunity to stay up a tad bit later than their normal bedtime.
I'm all for fun and making lasting memories but I also have the philosophy that learning never stops, especially for my school-aged children. Some of the best memories can be made while learning especially if the atmosphere is engaging and interactive. When school ends for the summer I ensure I have a good blend of summer activities mixed with a level of learning and focus on preparedness for the next school year. You are allowing a huge disservice to your children if you don't require that they have any form of educational stimulation just because school is in recess and it's summer break. Learning truly does begin at home and as your child's first teacher, summer doesn't mean education should stop.
Learning and fun definitely go together. Some ways to successfully prepare your child for the next school year by blending the two are:
Workbooks that are geared towards the next grade level. This will be a great prelude of what your child can expect to learn during the upcoming school year. Your child will have an advantage by being familiar with the content. Costco sells a Scholastic brand workbook that has enough pages to last all summer which also includes stickers.
As a bonus, I created a reward chart when my munchkins get a certain amount of stickers in a row for completing workbook pages (with a good attitude) they get to pick a treat of their choice.
If you're looking for different options, these sort of workbooks can be purchased from Target, Walmart, I've even purchased some from discount stores like Big Lots and Ollies, including flashcards which aid in memorization.
Local library: For us has been a gem, a schedule is released for the month of free activities and I'm able to plan our day around what is being offered. Family coloring, movie days, storytime, lunch picnics, and reading parades are just a few of the activities we have been to this summer. I make sure we arrive a little early so that we can reserve a spot, most of the activities are ticketed on a first come first serve basis and also to leave enough time to check out new books or return our others.
Learning websites: Ready Rosie.com, abcya.com, coolmath4kids.com, and funbrain.com are all websites that mix learning and entertainment. My kiddos are able to practice their computer skills while learning. Whenever they are able to have some computer time on one of the mentioned sites, they think they are playing a game, or being entertained by the show, the fact that they are actually learning is an afterthought to them.
Gifted and Lit: Is a set that includes a workbook with cd and DVD. It is a series that includes a blend of hip-hop and education and covers lessons in math, science, grammar, and more. The graphics are good and the songs are catchy and it's different from the standard. It is beneficial for children to be introduced to a wide range of learning styles and this series is sure to peak your children's interest with the melodies and repetition used.
When I was in high school there was a term called senioritis that was coined for seniors on the verge of graduation with a few weeks left of school, it meant that they were mentally checked out of high school awaiting their next adventure. So just imagine younger children, having a summer with little to no learning can be intimidating returning to school for a new school year.
Learning can be fun and advantageous for children during the summer break and you are totally doing your children a great service with encouraging summer learning and blending a little fun along the way.
One of my greatest joys in life is being with my family. They show me so much love, it's an honor and privilege to be a mother and a wife. I'm grateful to be a sister, daughter, and friend. This is a space inspired by the journey and the things I've learned over the years....it hasn't been that long so bear with me. Proverbs 17:6 " Children's children are the crown of old men: and the glory of children are their fathers."