As summer is approaching, the adults are coordinating their schedules and continuing their work while the children lay in wait, counting down the days until there is no school, no teachers, no homework, and a summer of boundless fun. But should we still be implementing schoolwork? Will ensuring that children maintain learning during the summer, put their well-being at risk by squandering the jubilation of summer? Here at Operation Xcel, we believe that well-rounded children are fostered by focusing on the bridge between fun and learning.
We have all heard about children losing knowledge during the summer years and while the research for how and why summer slide occurs is inconclusive and lacking in girth, there are nonetheless, lots of opportunities for children to continue learning during the summer.
Learning Does Not Have to Be Boring
Most parents are no stranger to the protests of children that despise homework, let alone homework during the summer. Our solution is DON’T MAKE THE LEARNING HOMEWORK. Try to limit the use of workbooks and worksheet and help your child feel like they are still experiencing summer while exercising their brains.
The last thing a student wants to do during summer is math but there are plenty of ways to sneak a little math into the summer without your student knowing. A great way to increase math skills during the summer is by playing games. Games like Monopoly, Dominos, and Rummikub are perfect for strengthen those math muscles while keeping the summer lighthearted and exciting. If you live in the Greensboro or Winston-Salem area check, out McKay’s Bookstore for dozens of secondhand games and books.
Another great way to help your student get some hands-on learning with math is by cooking. Learning to reduce and enlarge meal sizes can help your student improve their math and problem-solving skills while giving them real world knowledge. Having an extra set of hands in the kitchen is also a win for you!
While you are in the kitchen mixing, you might as well pull out the baking soda and vinegar for some science experiments. Your student will have so much fun making a mess in the kitchen that they will not even notice that they are being academically stimulated. And if you do not want science spilling over into your kitchen, there is a classroom right outside your door! Nature is the best science museum there is and if that is not enough to convince you, maybe the price tag will. Unraveling the gifts of science can be one hundred percent free. Send your little one outside to investigate the world of science in their own back yard!
English and Language Arts
Leave the book reports in the school building and encourage your student to write letters. You can set up pen pals with your student’s school friends. Engage your student in some creative writing. They can write a book or a play. You can even take it a step further and create a cookbook for some math, reading, and writing practice.
Keep the Learning Going
Make sure that you aren’t limiting your student’s learning to just math and science. There are tons of opportunities to learn. A visit to the art museum is a culturally engaging experience, with opportunities for your student to practice their reading and critical thinking. Help your student find a hobby that captures their attention and brings out their excitement. Introducing your student to activities like coding, gardening, and screenwriting can help them find a passion and will allow them to blossom as a person and a student.
After a long day of learning and play, teach your student how to winddown and self-regulate with a book before bed. Take a trip to your local library and let your student choose a few books. Whether it be a memoir or a manga, choosing a book that intrigues them will make your student a little less resistant to reading and more excited to cozy into bed each night for a well-deserved break.
Ensure that your student is taking care of their body in addition to their mind. Make sure that they are getting exercise, water, and rest. Summer does not have to be hard, and learning does not have to be boring. Helping your student see the fun in learning and using the summer to allow them to get some real hands-on experience will mold your student into a well-rounded individual. You might even be able to help them find a passion and cultivate a talent. Before you know it, school will be back in session and your student will have a lot to show for how they spent their summer!