Summer is a wonderful tradition that kids look forward to all year long. But with weeks of unfettered time on their hands, summer can also mean gaps in learning and memory loss on recently mastered skills. As a parent and a school administrator, I’ve developed many tricks over the years to keep the learning going–often in non-traditional way. For me, instilling a love of learning to my children–and all children–is as important as the material itself.
What are a few ways you can continue to educate your kids over the summer months?
- Reading, Reading, Reading
Make it a habit for visit your local library weekly. Stock up on books and mandate a reading time each day. This might include you reading to your kids or scheduling independent time. Reading is one of the best ways to prevent summer slide and to further empower your kids to explore new worlds inside books. While forcing kids to read is never a good idea, try and help them find subjects or series that can act as a gateway.
- Adopt Verbal Games
Playing games when traveling or cooking dinner can be a great way to continue cognitive learning over the summer. A few of my favorites?
- Check Local Camps and Programs
Keeping your kids on a schedule can help ward off summer slide. Check your local school and park community to see what offerings are available for your kids. Week-long camps can be a fun way to keep the learning going while giving you kids an extra opportunity to see or meet new friends. Many of these camps run from week-to-week, which means you won’t feel guilty sending your kids to camp all summer long.
- Explore Nature Weekly
If you’re lucky enough to live near a natural park or hiking area, this can be a great place to take your kids on a regular basis. Spending time outside can be a great stress relief for both you and your kids. Take an afternoon off from screens and all things digital and let your curiosity run wild. You’ll get in a great workout and be able to play scientist–can you identify that tree, bird, flower?
- Enlist Technology
Today, there are hundreds of apps and games designed to keep your children up to speed on language, critical thinking, math, and science skills. While utilizing these can be a fun and interactive way to keep learning a priority, you can also dig deeper in the tech world. Consider teaching your kids to code or help them design and write for a personal website or blog. You’ll learn new skills in the process!