Think of summer as ‘Some More’ Learning
Last month we talked about looking ahead to exams—so we’re going to stick to a variation on a theme. Let’s look beyond the exams to what comes next: summer.
Summer is a fantastic time in the life of a student. It’s a break from the normal routine: sleeping in, extended bedtimes, and no homework—it’s a time when the normal rules don’t apply. Do you remember that old saying: no more school, no more books, no more teachers…well, you know how the rest goes. It’s time to rethink that saying, especially the no more books part.
Did you know that students who take a total and complete break from learning during the summer months? Research has proven it time and again. That’s why it’s so important to include education in your summer plans.
Take stock of this past school year. Did your child encounter any academic obstacles? Summer is the perfect time to not only catch up in those problem areas but to get ahead. Don’t exclude summer school from your summer planning because of any stereotypes you may have. Summer school is an opportunity, not an obstacle. There is typically less pressure and your child can get the individual attention that he or she may not get throughout the school year.
But if school doesn’t fit into your summer plans, there are plenty of activities to do at home that keep the learning momentum going—because little minds that stay sharp over the summer are ready to jump right back into the swing of things when fall arrives.
Check out our tips for recreational and educational fun that fit into any summer schedule.
- Keep reading. Active reading—that means thinking about what you are reading, not just moving your eyes over the page—not only keeps the mind sharp, it helps develop vocabulary too.
- Write a little bit every day. Keep a journal, create a scrapbook, or write a short story. Develop the story every day.
- Play games. Games like Sudoku, Crossword puzzles, or word games like Boggle, Scrabble, and Upwords are great to challenge the mind. Discuss any tricks you use to reach a solution.
- Play a memory game. Stare at a group of items for a short time—anything collected from around the house or yard will do—then cover them up and see who can remember the most items. Develop a strategy to help with recall like grouping items by color, or category.
- Don’t underestimate the power of car games. Try the old standby I Packed a Suitcase—not familiar? Start the game with the Statement: “I packed a suitcase and in it I put.” Then state the item you packed, such as a smelly pair of tubesocks—the more original, the better. The next person repeats the statement and adds an item—such as a green warty frog, and what the first person packed. It’s a great concentration and listening game, and it’s fun too.
- Make a directorial debut. Write, act, and direct a back yard play. Put thought and time into each of the elements such as writing, costumes, and locations. Record your production and watch it together.
- Try the rainy-day alphabet game. Select a category e.g. fruits and vegetables and begin listing items according to the alphabet. The first person gets A (apple), the second B (beets) and so on. Try not to be the first one who can’t think of anything.