Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Summer Fun & Learning Ideas

I received a note containing more summer fun/educational ideas to use with your kids this summer – while you’re taking a break from school!  These ideas are appropriate for both homeschoolers, and for kids who attend a traditional school.  If you are a homeschooler and you are taking a summer break (rather than homeschooling year-round), I think you’ll enjoy some of these ideas.  If you have more fun ideas to share, please leave a comment!

Summer Learning Gives Kids an A+ Advantage

Have you ever hidden vegetables under macaroni and cheese to get your child to consume something healthy? A similar tactic can be used when it comes to summer learning. Incorporate educational activities into summertime fun and your child will get their daily dose of learning without ever knowing.

Making sure your child is engaged in learning over the summer is important. Research shows that when students are not involved in some form of learning over the summer they can actually slip behind and lose some of the skills they gained the previous school year.

The good news is, when it comes to summer learning, a little goes a long way. Investing even 30 minutes each day in educational activities will give your child a big advantage come September.

The teachers at Commonwealth Connections Academy, a virtual public school, have come up with these fun and easy ideas to get you started:

  • Play Ball!

Let America’s favorite pastime give your kids a mental workout this summer. The Science of Baseball is a free web site that offers fun and interactive games (test your reaction time, the science behind a home run) as well as some great historical information (the girls of summer). An entertaining alternative when the game is rained out!

· Visit a Museum… Online Even

Many of the world’s great museums offer exciting online experiences. From art and science to natural history, the Web makes it possible when a trip to the big city is not. The Smithsonian, for example, offers a Library and Archival Exhibitions to help find all sorts of interesting online experiences.

· Show Me the Money

Money is a tangible and fun way for students to explore math. If your child doesn’t have a piggy bank, encourage them to make and decorate one and keep track of their finances over the summer. A trip to the grocery store holds numerous possibilities – challenge your student to find $20 worth of items, let them tally and compute in this fun scenario.

· Take a Virtual Vacation

You don’t need a plane ticket to plan a fun vacation. With your child, decide a fabulous destination then research the location at the library and online. Read up on the history and culture, cook a regional dish, and present your findings to friends and family.

· Hit the Park
Take a family field trip to a local park or history site. Kids love animals and nature, and can learn a lot about science while having a ball. Ask park officials for free student guides or activities.

· Family Game Night
Set aside one night a week for family game night. Chess supports problem solving skills, and scrabble helps boost spelling and vocabulary.

Whatever you do to enhance summer learning keep things interesting and think variety.

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