Summer break is almost here! A time for fun, relaxation and leisure for kids. But why not take summer as an opportunity to do things that can really benefit your children and avoid the summer slide. Look at these five ways to make summer valuable for them!
By no means have I figured it all out yet. But I’ll share a few things that we do, that I feel helps my children explore, develop interests and be ready for the new school year ! Most summer breaks are 2-3 months long, leaving enough time for travel and much more that can be done along side these enrichment activities.
These five things don’t need to eliminate the fun of summer, in fact they can offer the stimulation and curiosity to keep things interesting for your child!
Read. Then read some more.
I cannot stress enough how much reading has helped my children. It can actually prepare you well for college. I have a full blog post on that here. Summer is a great time to really expand your reading repertoire.
Take your kids to the library or book stores, and pick up books that interest your children. Let them read the blurb and decide for themselves which books they may like. Take the time, don’t let it be rushed. With so many hours in the day, kids can get in a good couple hours of reading here and there. I think the ‘trick’ is to find an author and genre that your child will find engaging . Summer is a perfect time to explore different genres and find one that peaks your childs’ interest.
Explore an Activity or Cause
Has your child ever been interested in taking guitar or perhaps piano lessons? Summer is a perfect time to do some trial classes and see if that is something they would really like to pursue. Investing in an activity long term takes a lot of money and effort, and is best to try it out over the summer and see what works best.
I think going forward in middle school, students should have something they are passionate about that they can carry over to high school. This is of course not limited to music lessons, it could be a particular sport, language, art or even pursuing a worthy cause.
Play Catch Up
Summer is the best time to play catch up on Math, Science or any subject that needs brushing up. If there are any concepts that need reinforcing, this would be the time to do it.
Going forward into the next academic year with no solid groundwork on fractions and word problems could mean a lot of struggle for your middle school child. Summer is more relaxed, with no school pressure, and is the best time to learn, relearn and practice core concepts.
I find summer programs extremely engaging and beneficial for my kids. Whether it is a full day camp or a residential one, both can offer invaluable benefits. The summer programs that I have found worthwhile are usually run by universities in the summer. They spend part of the day focusing on academics and the latter half on skills such as team building, leadership skills etc. It is a wonderful opportunity to fine tune their favorite skill and interact with peers who are passionate about learning.
Museums encourage critical thinking for children. Taking them to an art museum for example, will encourage conversations around artistic styles and techniques. In addition, museums can also offer history lessons that are not taught in schools and would be wonderful if you have a future historian on your hands! Science museums may spark curiosity in those little minds as they take in all the exhibits. If your museum offers hands on experiments for the kids, its even better!
And in the End
These activities do not have to be mundane boring or take up the whole day. With some encouragement from parents and a positive attitude, these can take on a whole new perspective.
Do you have anything planned for your kids for the summer? What do you find most helpful? Drop me a line and let me know.