Today, my daughter will attend her last day of Grade 1. After a fun outdoor picnic and carnival, we will clean out her backpack for one last time and put away all the papers and school supplies that come home.
For many families, when the kids are done school, learning and school-type-activities are left for the teachers when school starts again in September. Not so for us!
Here are 3 Fun Ideas for Summer Learning:
#1) Every week during the summer holidays, the kids and I venture to our local library. I went to the dollar store and picked up 2 bags that we lovingly refer to as the kids’ “Book Bags”. These bags are the holding place for their library books. They know that when they pull a book out, it needs to go back into this bag so that we don’t lose or damage these books. Every week on the same day, last summer it was Wednesdays, we would walk to the library and spend a couple of hours picking books and reading in the kids reading area. The kids know that they can choose up to 10 books to bring home with them and can pick a couple to read while we are at the library. Once we are home, during the rest of the week, they are required to have 1/2 an hour every day reading these books (which is not a challenge for my children since they LOVE books!)
**Our Public Library also hosts a Summer Reading Club that is open to children who have competed Kindergarten up to the completion of Grade 8. They offer prizes based on participation — maybe check out your local library to see if they have a summer reading program.**
#2) Taking walks around your neighborhood is also a way to keep learning! My kids and I love to walk for breakfast during the summer months. Along the way to the little restaurant where we often join Grandma, there are little plaques or pocket parks that mark special events or places in our city’s history. Next to the flag pole in the center of our city, we learn about the General Store that used to sit there and the family that lived above it. At the post office, we see the monument that celebrates those who fought in wars to keep our country safe.
Learning can be added to any daily tasks you do with your kids this summer. If you are at the grocery store, tell them you need 7 apples for the week. Get them to count them as they are added to the bag, or get them to figure out what the cost will be by knowing how much per pound the apples cost.
#3) Another way that we keep on-top of learning during summer is we have what I lovingly refer to as “Workbook Mornings”. 1 day a week (a different day than when we head to the library) we spend 20 minutes coloring, doing dot-to-dots and, for my daughter, even math problems! Again, the dollar store is a great place to pick up some fun and colorful workbooks — books with stickers are also a hit! I find that 20 minutes once a week, is not a hardship for the kids. They think of these workbooks as fun, and since it is only one morning a week, they aren’t bored or feel like they are “stuck” in school.
What are some of your favorite ways to keep learning fun during the summer months?