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Looking For Ways To Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer?
By Jennifer Spears
Summer vacation is amazing! As parents, we always try to pack as much fun and family time into the few weeks that our kids have off from school, but it’s important to keep your kids learning too.
Do you want to know why I know how important it is to keep your kids learning all Summer?
Because I’m a homeschool Mom…but this post applies to all Moms…and all kids!
Years ago, when I first started homeschooling, we took the Summer off. We were all burnt out, and needed a break from homeschooling.
But when we started again in September…I was SHOCKED at how much my kids had lost over those few weeks.
I still have nightmares about reteaching long division…
Ever since then, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for teachers…it must be so hard for them to start the school year. The first few weeks of public school are spent reviewing what was learned the previous year, and that must be so frustrating for kids and teachers.
Luckily, it’s easy to keep your kids learning all Summer…without them complaining or being miserable!
Learning is fun…and even if your kids get some of their education at public school, they are learning at home too.
Adopting an attitude of learning at home all year will make it even easier to keep your kids learning during the Summer.
Here are some fun ways to give your kids a leg up come next school year, whether they are homeschooled, or attend public school.
Reading is probably the most important thing to do to keep your kids learning in the Summer. Take them to the library if you don’t have a lot of books at home. Let them read whatever they want. Let them tell you about it. Encourage them to really think about the stories and gain even more knowledge and insight about the books that they read.
- Visit at least one museum
Museums are amazing places to learn. What’s even better, many museums offer discounts or even free days during the summer. Taking a day to explore a local museum or going on a day trip to a museum further away will be a great experience for you and your kids.
- Flash Cards
If your kids are young, good ole’ flash cards are a summer essential. Sometimes I think they get a bad rap these days…but here’s the thing…they work! We live in the age of digital learning…but that doesn’t mean that some of the tried and true learning methods that have worked for years have stopped working. The great things about flash cards is that they can be packed in a purse or backpack, and they can usually be purchased at the dollar store.
- 100 Charts
While we are talking about math, using 100 charts to help your kids stay up on their skip counting skills is an easy and fun summer activity. If you don’t have one, you can download a copy with instructions from our FREEBIE Fortress.
- Language Cards
Language cards are something that I started doing early on in our homeschooling journey. Reviewing basic language terms and definitions regularly really helped my kids with their language and writing skills.
Cooking is not only a great way to keep your kids learning over the summer, it’s a valuable life skill that will someday help them have a really high quality of life. Reading recipes and following instructions, measuring out ingredients…it’s an all round valuable learning experience. You could even double, or half, a recipe to help them sharpen their fraction skills.
- Visit a nature center
Getting outside during the warm summer months is something that you probably do anyway. Take that a step further by visiting a nature center. Take your time, explore and learn about nature and our beautiful planet.
Real play. Not video games. For younger children, the act of playing is always a very important part of their development, but play is also important for older kids.
Getting creative by doing art projects over the summer is a fun way to keep your kids learning. Look for ideas online, or just let your kids come up with their own ideas. The best thing about art is that there are no right, or wrong, ways to artistically express yourself.
Like math and reading skills, spelling skills are another area where your kids can lose a lot of ground during the summer. Spelling doesn’t have to be hard and boring. Don’t do “spelling tests!” Be creative and come up with fun spelling games that your kids will like playing. A quick Google search for commonly or most used words will give you a great place to start.
- Deep dive into their favorite subject
Okay, typically we don’t introduce anything new during the Summer. Sometimes though, it’s fun to take a deep dive into just one subject. Pick something that your kids really love, and learn as much as you can about it. Check out books from the library. Search for documentaries on Netflix. Encourage your kids to write their own stories about it, or let their favorite subject inspire them in their art projects. If you wish to get a little more in depth, Scholastic offers an Everything You Need To Know About…series that is amazing. We use them in our homeschool, and our kids love them.
- Parent/Child Notebook
This is a little trick that I learned years ago. My kids and I pass notebooks back and forth. The notebooks are full of love notes, jokes, pictures…anything that we wish to put in them. It’s not homework. Spelling doesn’t count. Grammar doesn’t count. Handwriting is sort of important, but if I can read what they write, it’s okay. Our notebooks have helped me create a very close bond with my kids, and that’s what I value the most. From a homeschool parent point of view though, it also lets me know what we need to work on.
As I’m sure you have guessed, these are only a few ways that you can keep your kids learning this summer! We all want our kids to thrive academically, and keeping those brains stimulated over their school break will help them next school year…plus we get to play an active part in their summer, and their education.
Do you have other ideas? Leave me a comment before you go!
And don’t forget to leave your email address so I can send you the password to our FREEBIE Fortress, which is what we call our resource library. There, you can download many helpful resources. We are adding to it often, but there are already recipes, learn at home resources, small business resources, and our most talked about FREEBIE, our Budgeting Made Simple workbook!