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Ways to Keep Your Children Learning Through the Summer


Summer break is an exciting and much needed time for kids to unwind from their academic demands and just be kids! While a summer break is essential and only a fraction of the time they spend in school, children seem to “forget” some of what they learned in the previous school year. Studies show that children not engaged in learning over the summer lose approximately one month of academic knowledge; particularly in areas of math and reading. At just about every school, the first month back at school is usually spent in review of the previous grade, because if you don’t use it, you really lose it! While we want our children to enjoy a leisurely break, it is important for their learning success that they continue learning through the summer months, even on a lighter scale.

When you think about it, children spend nearly 10 months of every year devoting enormous amounts of intellect and energy to their academic learning and achievement, and then walk away from that investment every summer, overnight. It is no wonder we usually forget some of what we learned. So, how could we as parents keep the momentum throughout the summer? Most kids wouldn’t want anything to do with academics over the summer, and you don’t need to hand your child a math book. Here are some simple, creative tips to not only help your child stay on track, but sharpen their minds and keep them one step ahead when they return to school in the fall.

Join a Library reading club

 Most libraries have kid’s reading clubs over the summer time and host activities such as arts and crafts for kids. This can be a fun, weekly activity to help kids meet new friends and cultivate a love for reading.

 Make your daily tasks a teachable moment

 The simplest of tasks can offer a wealth of practical knowledge. From writing your grocery list to watering your garden or doing the laundry, encourage your kids to participate. Have your child write the grocery list to improve spelling and penmanship skills. Let your kids help you cook as much as they are able, they will appreciate it as a young adult as well as improve their math and measuring skills. Do you have a garden? Even if you grow only a few plants on your porch, allow your kids to help you water and care for them. Enlist older children to study the plants you have and how they grow. Laundry can help improve coordination and sorting skills, even for young children.

 Try simple science experiments.

 The classic baking soda and vinegar volcanoes have been known to make quite a mess! But experiments like these make the perfect spark for creativity. There are many fun experiments to try at home for kids to participate in, and even you! Check out this link for some fun experiments to try!

Write your own campfire story

 Encourage your child to write about something they would like to do this summer, and make a fun story out of it! Even create a “Madlibs” scenario that you can share around the campfire, the BBQ pit, or even the dinner table or living room. If your children are young, make up your own for them and ask them to fill in the blanks with silly or random words.

Another creative way to write is to write a play and let your kids make props in the yard. They can write their own or you can write a fun play and let them act. Put on a family show one night and enjoy some popcorn.

Record your very own audiobook

 This is a great option for young kids, but it is quite versatile for any age. You can record an audio reading your child’s favorite book and upload it to the computer for or a disk for them to listen to at bedtime. Babies especially will like the sound of mom’s voice. Older children can record their own book. This may put a fun twist on reading for children who aren’t fond of reading. If you have multiple kids, assign a character to each one or take turns reading.

Make your own decor

If your child likes to paint, this could be a great option for them. There are many creative crafts to make using paint, and one of them is their own removable or temporary wallpaper and wall art. This is a good opportunity change up and customize their room without making any permanent changes to your home. Lay some large pieces of paper outside and let your kids finger paint or brush paint their own design. Utilizing pinterest is a helpful option for ideas, for those older children who may want a more polished look.

 Personal restaurant

Create a simple menu with your children, consisting of some simple meals they like such as different sandwiches. Use Monopoly cash and let them make an order, then take up cash. One of the parents can then make each plate or make it a family chef ordeal.

Learn another language

 This can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be! Choose a language that you and your kid’s would like to learn and pick a word or short phrase to learn each day or week. Use the word or phrase throughout the day and work it into everyday conversations.

Find a Pen Pal

If your child has a classmate that is moving away or has family in another state, ask them about a pen pal friendship and send pictures, drawings, and cards to each other. There are trusted pen pal programs such as Amazing Kids, International Pen Friends or Circle of Friends where you can find a pen pal for your child.

Children wake early and study hard most of the year, but just because they are on a summer break from school, doesn’t mean they should take a break from learning as well. Fortunately, most summer activities and daily tasks can be optimized for learning, it is often just a matter of recognizing the opportunity and approaching it from an educational angle. Get creative with your kids this summer and teach them to learn in everything they do, not just in the classroom.The best way to retain what you learn is to use it, otherwise, you might lose it!



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Spokane WA 99218

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