5 Habits to Support Summer Learning
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It’s summer. No excuses now. It’s time to kick back and relax. True as that may be, it is also time to keep up the learning at home! I’m not suggesting textbook or formal classes, just ways to sneak in some educational skills in between swimming lessons and afternoon movies! Here are 5 ways, in no particular order, you can provide your child some learning opportunities, making him/her even more ready for school in the Fall!
- READ! You’ve heard it a million times! Reading to your child is one of the most important activities you can do. Head over to the library or bookstore on rainy days and find lots of book together. Dedicate time each day, (doesn’t have to be before bedtime) to read. The story may even inspire some activities!
- JOURNAL! Purchase a basic composition book. Each day, or as frequently as you can, your child can use their journal to practice skills likewriting his/her name or writing out basic math facts. Have him/her write the date at the top of each page so that at the end of the summer you can see the progress. Last year I did this with my then 3 year old. She was learning how to write her name so each day she would write her name maybe 2 or 3 times. It was so impressive to see how much she improved from June 15 to August 15. We would also use the journal for her to draw a picture of what we had done that day. I would write a sentence below it based on how she would describe the picture. This year since she’s writing more on her own, I’ll encourage her to do the writing!
- WATCH QUALITY PROGRAMS! Yes, the hot days, the rainy days and the days where you just can’t deal anymore are going to happen. That’s ok. TV time can also be some of the more educational opportunities you’ll have! Shows like SuperWhy! are ideal with direct links to reading comprehension and more. Team Umizoomi is another great one when math skills are what you want to review. But don’t feel limited to “educational shows.” Essentially any show can become educational when the right conversation come along with it. While or after watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, talk to your child about the characters in the show, the problem they had to solve, and how they solved it. Viola, you’ve just made it educational. Kick it up a notch by asking him/her to use the journal to write and draw about the show.
- SCIENCE IS EVERYWHERE! With the outdoors ready for you, bring science to life! Kits like the “as always seen on TV” Butterfly Kit andperfect. We did it and it was easy, fun and educational! Science activities can be nearly free too. Try posing scientific questions like, “How much faster will the ice cube melt in the sun than in the shade?” Take out ice cubes and a timer and try it out. Or any type of gardening can easily translate into science. Watching the garden grow, making predictions on how tall the plant will be and determining the best time to water are all scientific. And, yes, use the journal after to write and draw about your scientific discoveries.
- USE YOUR COMMUNITY! The museums, parks, zoo, library….you get the picture! These places are field trips waiting to happen. Group buying sites like Groupon and Living Social have deals for these types of locations. You can easily put together your own “Camp Smart Mama Field Trip” and visit one or all! They are typically geared to kids and air conditioned (with the exception of the zoo, of course!) Yes, you know I’m going to suggest it…end the activity by writing and drawing about it in the journal!
What else can I add to the list? What do you do that’s education during the summer? Below I’ve put together a carousel of great tools to have on hand. I recommend each of these products.