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The ABCs of Summer Learning: N-Z

Or, 13 more ways to make learning part of your summer.

N: Nature. Take a nature hike, stopping along the path to look at plants and animals. This is a great place to practice description skills. Engage children to think actively about what they encounter by asking questions, “why do you think that tree is dead?” “What kind of animal might have left that footprint?”

O: Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning Camps and programs are an easy way to maintain learning momentum over the summer. Our programs help students catch up in trouble areas, keep up with their classmates, and get a head start on next year’s subjects.

P: Puzzles. Like board games puzzles are great downtime activities that keep the brain challenged. Whether playing Sudoku, Crosswords, search-a-words, or traditional puzzles, this is a fun way to challenge your mind and learn skills such as persistence and problem solving.

Q: Quiet time. Make a time every day to have some peace and quiet. Engage in some active thinking, a little daydreaming, or just spend some down time simply being together. It’s a great way to let the brain make important connections.

R: Read. If there is one summer activity that is equal parts fun and education, it is reading. It doesn’t take science and research to know that reading keeps the mind active all summer long. It also helps develop vocabulary, and increases reading comprehension, which both pay off in the classroom.

S: Scrapbook. Turn summer memories into a hobby that encourages children to engage their brain by writing and drawing about the day’s activities. Cut pictures from magazines and newspapers and gather items such as feathers, or seashells to paste onto the pages for a colourful way to document summer fun. (This is different from “scrapbooking,” but that can be fun too!)

T: Travel. You don’t have to leave your city to experience the spirit of wanderlust. Visit your local tourist bureau and become a tourist in your own backyard. Head to the other side of town to visit a park that you’ve never been do. This is also a great opportunity for children to learn about the city they live in—major street names, directions, and local history.

U: University. For teens heading off to university in the fall, summer is the best time to prepare for what comes next. It’s also a time for summer jobs and, as the last summer of high school, it’s a major life milestone—it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity.

V: Vocabulary. Vocabulary is linked to school success—the greater a child’s vocabulary, the greater the reading comprehension skills are. The best way to develop vocabulary? Reading. Write down new words and definitions in the summer scrapbook.

W: Write. Despite the prevalence of keyboards, penmanship and handwriting are still very important! Personal handwriting style is always developing, so it’s critical to maintain skills. Journaling and writing in a scrapbook are a great ways to improve penmanship over the summer.

X: X Marks the Spot. Organize a fun scavenger hunt or a pirate-theme day and have a little bit of silly fun. Make crafts and invite neighbourhood friends. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or a birthday to celebrate the summer! It’s a great way to break up summer boredom.

Y: Yard Sale. Summer is the perfect time to hold a yard sale. It’s also a great opportunity to teach kids lessons about organization. Kids can help gather up clothing, books, and toys that they no longer use, and sort what they’ve gathered into categories. They can also help with money and counting.

Z: Go to the Zoo. Zoos are a great opportunity to learn something new about the animals we share the planet with. Spend some time before hand researching a favourite animal either online or at the library.

Read Part 1: A-M

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