Educational Activities For Summer

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When I worked as a teacher, I remember that I disliked September for many reasons.  One of the reasons was because of the fact that most of the month was spent reviewing concepts from the past school year.   Parents and teachers know that unless a plan is created during the summer to practice and review concepts, there is definitely a regression during the summer.

You can help your student by planning educational activities for the summer in order to prevent this regression.

Practice

Nowadays, there are a number of teacher and parenting stores where parents can buy educational materials.  Thanks to the recent popularity of the homeschooling movement, there are many catalogs that sell educational products.  My favorite catalog for educational supplies is the Rainbow Resource Catalog.  My recent catalog is over 1000 pages!

Bookstores also have some educational workbooks which can help your child as well.  There are a number of educational programs out there too which can help your child to practice and retain concepts learned from the past year.  Many of these products also introduce children to new concepts which will be taught in the upcoming school year.

During the summer, you should have your child practice different math and english skills each day.  If your child is younger, you may want to have him practice his addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  If she is older, you may wish to have her practice solving algebra equations. 

Younger children can practice handwriting skills too during the summer.  Having them write postcards to family members is a sneaky way to get them to practice without having them realize that they are indeed practicing! Older children should practice spelling and vocabulary words.

The amount of time needed per day to review concepts should be kept to a minimum.  Even a 1/2 hour in the morning and a 1/2 hour in the afternoon can do wonders towards helping children retain educational concepts.

If your child plays a musical instrument, make sure that you encourage them to practice during the summer!  You may want to consider hiring a music teacher, but it’s not necessary.  Purchase a music book for your child at a music store so she can continue to refine her musical abilities and see if the store offers music lessons.  During the summer, I ask my children to practice 15 minutes a day, instead of the usual 1/2 hour daily practice routine.

Read

Reading is so important!  Reading during the summer is an absolute must.  If your child is a reluctant reader, you might want to enroll him or her in a summer reading program at your local library.  If your child is too old to enroll in such a program, you may want to check with the school to see if they offer a summer reading program.

Our school offers an accelerated reading program throughout the year.  Children get so many points for reading books and answering questions about the books they’ve read.  After they earn so many points, they get prizes.  The program continues even during the summer months.  My one child is very .competitive and loves to use the summer months to do a lot of reading and get a head start on her points for the year. This year, she had the most reading points of anyone in her grade and actually got a plaque to put on her wall!

Watch TV

Yes, really!  During the summer, many kids watch an incredible amount of television.  Instead of watching cartoons and sitcoms, encourage your children to watch programs on history, science, and other educational topics.  If you have cable or satellite tv, you’ll notice that there are entire channels devoted to educational TV!

I’m amazed at the things that my children learn by watching educational TV programs.  Many of these things I would never even think to teach them.  For example, my children learned a number of Spanish words when they were little simply by watching “Dora the Explorer”.  I would have never thought of teaching my pre-schoolers Spanish words!

The key is to keep formal instruction time to a minimum during the summer months or your children may become discouraged or burnt out on school before school even begins!  Be flexible and low key about your educational goals during the summer months.

It’s possible to have a happy and educational summer!

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