We all enjoy the lazy days of summer. No homework. No buses. Lighter traffic. Yesss! But, we have to remember that for every day that our kids do absolutely nothing educational, a part of every lesson they were taught and concept they learned can be lost. Let’s be proactive and NOT depend on the beginning of the next school year for reviews and playing “catch up”. Let’s stay afloat during our Summer break and keep it as stress-free as possible.
Here are 6 simple tips for avoiding the summertime slump…while having fun!
1. Summer Reading – Most schools have a Summer Reading list that requires them to read a few books and report what they’ve read. Add your own incentive and make it competitive if you have more than one child. “The first one to finish all of the books gets….” or “Whomever finishes their book first gets…” I’m even joining the challenge with my kids to stay accountable.
2. Make it Fun – Do a strength and weakness assessment from their report card and create your own fun. Weaker in math? Grab them some math workbooks and print out a certificate for their completion! Depending on their age, you might want to go the dollar store and grab some stickers for morale and excitement. Science an issue? Summer PLUS outdoor fun is the PERFECT combination for science experiments. The internet is filed with tons of outdoor ideas and activities that make learning fun!
3. Be creative – If your kids have a handheld device, then use it! Download a ton of grade-appropriate educational apps to keep their concepts fresh. Younger kids? Give them one printable fun page (coloring, connect the dots, etc.) and one learning page…and a timer. Kids always love to beat the clock! Add a stopwatch and see what happens! Older kids? They love to show us that they’re smarter than we are. Join them in a game of online Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit or knowledge-testing game. Great time for bonding, too!
4. Have a Spelling Bee – Call me a nerd, but this is still fun for me. Start easy, then slowly make it more challenging! Turn of the TV, put away the devices and go!
5. Reality Check – Now, this one is for older kids. This will incorporate math and social studies. We did this last Summer and this year, we’ll put a spin on it for this Summer. Have your child begin researching their future and report their findings to you. This may take them a couple of days. Have them:
- Research what GPA and SAT score is needed to attend their favorite college, along with the cost of tuition.
- Research the salary for the career in which they would like to study/major.
- Calculate the costs involved in owning a car, home, food and entertainment. (My son was amazed at how broke he would be, based on how lavishly he wanted to live!)
After their discovery, have a talk with them about how they plan to make these plans a reality.
6. Take them shopping – Give your kid a calculator when you go grocery shopping and let them calculate the prices of your items and taxes (quick lesson on the significance of taxes).
Do whatever it takes to keep your kids thinking and excited about learning, even if it means you have get in there with them. Let’s commit to creating lifetime lovers of learning. Enjoy the rest of your Summer!
BMWK, How are you keeping your kids on track for next year?