School is out for summer!!! The anticipated excitement for upcoming plans and fun opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities is on or will be on the daily agenda!! I know teachers and parents are just as excited as kids for summer vacation ~ NO homework, running around, “routine”. . . just some good ‘ol down time with rest, relaxation, recreation, and rejuvenation. But . . .
You may be thinking . . . what can I do to keep my child engaged instead of sitting in front of the TV all day. Maybe you want this to “the best summer yet”, but are unsure of how to make it memorable. Perhaps you’re thinking, “What am I going to do with my kiddos all summer?” Not to worry my friend, I have some great ideas to share.
Oftentimes, children return to school and there has been a learning loss – aka the “summer slump”. This is evident in the first few weeks of school as teachers plan lessons to review material from the previous school year to “jog the memory”.
Every year, parents ask me this question . . .
“What can my child do over the summer
to continue learning, and is not overly expensive?”
I’ve got you!! I have loads of ideas to provide days that are enriched with fun and learning. Read on for more!!
I am sharing some ideas with parents, grandparents, camp counselors, and nannies out there, so you can provide fun learning opportunities for your child that do not break the budget. Then . . . you will not hear “I’m bored” from your summer vacation learner and your savings will not be depleted! You’re welcome!!
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Summer: Learn, Fun, & Save ~ OH MY!
One thing we know is that summer can be an opportunity for learning!! Summer is the perfect time for children to engage in learning about other topics of personal interest and opportunities to spend more time together, yes . . . learning. Whether families enjoy a vacation somewhere else or a staycation, learning opportunities are all around.
Not sure where to get started with finding those learning opportunities that don’t cost a dime? Look no further! Get the deets right here!! Full details for the main learning areas with ideas to help your learner and family have fun this summer!
Summer Learning: Literacy
Literacy lessons are everywhere!!! Whether your child takes time to read a book or magazine, visit a library, read road signs and travel brochures, read a recipe, write a journal, write a letter to someone, keep a family journal, write to do lists and packing lists, create a scrapbook each week with pictures and notes . . . learning is taking place!!
Help your child find some interesting books that focus on a specific topic, destination, or new passion. Heading to a new place in your community? Traveling to another community? These are great ways to incorporate your child’s interests into learning!! It’s like hiding those veggies in the dinner dish!!
There are many opportunities for children to participate in summer camps through local community organizations, scouts, 4-H, church, and school sponsored events.
Summer Learning: Math
Where do you not see opportunities to learn math? It’s absolutely everywhere! Take time to read a recipe and measure the ingredients, go shopping for supplies, figure out the best way to save money, count out payment for materials at the store, plan a get together and calculate the amount of food needed, work on telling time and elapsed time, and turn those math calculations into word problems so your child can engage in problem solving for some extra learning.
Whether you are seeing numbers, operations, measurements, fractions, time, logic, patterns, or geometry, there are opportunities all around us with a mathematical focus!!
Check out these fun, summer outdoor games!
Summer Learning: Social Studies
Anytime you go anywhere is an opportunity to learn about the environment, history, and geography. Visit your local community Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce for some great learning, family focused opportunities. While your family is having fun, help your child plan the event or trip, read a map, calculate mileage (math) and fuel costs, take pictures of sights and create a summer family journal (writing), learn about the destination (reading), and plan an agenda for the trip.
There are so many different ways social studies topics can be tied into reading, writing, and math. This really is the perfect way for your child to learn!
BONUS: Take advantage of the National Park Service near you! This is a great learning opportunity for every family AND if you have a 4th grader, your child and the family can obtain FREE access to the National Parks in the United States!! Check out the links above and below to learn more!!
Summer Learning: Science
Like social studies, science is the perfect way to incorporate reading, writing, and math. What question does your child want to investigate? Once there is a question, turn this into a science experiment. Growing plants? Temperature differences? Weather – rain, clouds, drought? Space – stars, sun, moon? The list is endless. Simply change the variable, run the experiment a few times, and share the results. Perhaps other families and friends want to participate in this fun “Summer Science Fair”!
Again, focus on your child’s interest and run with it!! Not only is your child learning something new, but he/she will be using this opportunity to become a topic expert and solidify developing literacy and math skills. Who knows . . . these experiences could turn in to a bigger passion leading to a future career pathway ~ AND just like that ~ you’ve earned the “Parent of the Year Award”!!!
Take a moment to enjoy listening to this book about bubbles with your child!!!
Then download this K-2 thematic unit is perfect to use when the weather warms up to allow students time to engage with bubbles outside. This resource includes 9 lessons for K-2 students to build literacy skills with a focus on STEAM lessons.
I’ve also used this unit as a Family Engagement opportunity to extend learning during spring break and as a summer vacation learning opportunity. When the students are having fun AND learning . . . this is definitely a win-win!
Sheryl’s Testimonial about the Bubble Family Engagement resource!
Summer Learning: Health
Getting exercise and eating healthy are areas that we all engage in daily. The exciting news to these activities is the opportunity to incorporate literacy and math.
Allow your child to help plan meals, go shopping together, read labels, figure cost analysis, try new summer sports, go hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, boating, swimming . . . again the list is endless! Do you see the opportunities to keep journals, learn about safety, read about summer sports, track progress? Yes, this is another way to strengthen those literacy and math skills in a fun, summery way!
What is important to remember?
Enjoy an active lifestyle with friends and family . . .
and do not forget the sunscreen!!
Summer Learning: Related Reading
Take time to engage in some research with your child in your local area for new topics to learn and places to visit. Check out the posts below for additional ideas to support your family’s summer fun with learning!
NOTE: Remember to come back and share your fun, summer learning experiences!! By sharing your experiences, others have more ideas to engage their child in learning and develop family memories!! Thank you for sharing!!
Summer Learning: Final Thoughts
Remember, there are thousands of opportunities to learn throughout the day. These learning experiences allow your child to connect learning with real life experiences.
So go ahead, unplug from technology for the day and plan an agenda full of learning. Develop those summer memories with family and friends that are carried with us forever.
Isn’t this is a great way to spend summer vacation and have fun??
You’ll be glad you did!!!