Summer is in full swing and with it comes a much needed opportunity for lazy days, rest, and rejuvenation. Some parents may worry about summer learning loss during this downtime from school. However, there are many ways to engage your child in summer learning while having fun. In fact, summer can provide a wonderful opportunity for more real-world, authentic learning opportunities that your child might not get to explore during the school year. Below, we've put together ten of our favorite ways to keep your child learning this summer.
Read For Fun
Spending time reading is one of the most important factors in developing your child's literacy skills. Whether that is you reading to your child, them reading to you, you reading together, or them reading alone, making sure it's happening consistently across the summer is key. Unless your child needs targeted help with fluency and comprehension, one of the best things you can do is let them engage in the simple pleasure of reading for fun, which is oftentimes overshadowed during the school year.
Start A Business
Lemonade anyone? Don't sleep on this tried and true summer classic! Having your child start a fun business such as a lemonade or treat stand, crafting jewelry for friends and family, babysitting, working in yards, etc., is a fun way to incorporate a variety of entrepreneurial skills such as budgeting, responsibility, various math skills, savings, wants vs. needs, persuasive writing, etc.
Summer Shark Tank
Want to take the summer business idea to the next level? Host a Summer Shark Tank event with your family, friends, and neighbors. For this summer business spin, have your child come up with their own unique business idea. Your child will have to get creative, invent something with household materials, and develop a way to successfully "pitch" their idea to the "Shark Tank."
Take Short and Long Trips
Whether it's an evening nature walk, a trip to a local library or museum, or a more elaborate week-long family excursion, these summer "field trips" offer experiences which foster curiosity, hands-on learning, discovery, and memory making.
Write For Purpose
Summer presents a wonderful opportunity to have your child engage in authentic, real-world writing tasks. Having your child write postcards to friends and family, keep a journal of summer activities, create a summer bucket list, or create goals for the upcoming school year are all ways that keep those writing skills fresh.
Get Involved In The Community
With a (hopefully) less hectic schedule, finding time for community involvement such as volunteering, can be a learning opportunity that strengthens communication and socialization skills, as well as building empathy and character. Check out your local organizations for opportunities this summer!
Tap Into Creativity
Oftentimes through the school year, students do not get enough time to foster their creativity. Not only can you use this time to take in more art (museums, shows, outdoor events, etc.), your child has more free time to create art of their own. With more time for sleepovers and playdates, summer can be a wonderful time to put on a play, talent show, or create a dance with friends.
Become Science Wizards
Baking soda, toothpaste, soda bottles and more are ready and waiting to be used for household science experiments. With Youtube and Pinterest ripe with ideas, recipes, and how-to's, the sky's the limit for summer science. Want to take it to the next level? Have your child jot down their predictions, data, and compare results to initial predictions.
Family Fun Nights
Game nights, movie nights, Putt-Putt, and bowling all provide opportunities for learning and collaboration. Game nights can be great for a variety of skills such as math, logic, reading game cards, etc. During your next movie night, weave in discussions that involve characters, summaries, plot, etc. On a family outing? Keeping track of scores, predicting outcomes, and assessing probability are great ways to amp up those special evenings.
Tutors and Summer Programs
For some, additional and targeted learning support might be necessary. If you have noticed your child struggling, anticipate a more challenging school year, or have been encouraged by your child's school to seek summer support, 1:1 tutoring and academically driven summer programs can be a helpful tool in fostering your child's learning and success.
At Parallel, we offer a range of 1:1 support services, as well as our new Summer Accelerator Program for middle and high school students. If you would like to learn more, reach out today!