Summer is already in motion for many students around the country. For us New Yorkers, it’s so close we can smell it. Teachers have started cleaning up their classrooms and students have handed in their last homework assignments of the year. But what happens after the last day of school?
Summer planning is an issue that requires quite a bit of thought for many parents. Should we continue some form of academic learning for our children over the summer? Should we send our kids to camp? Do our kids need a break from all of the pressures of school. Summer plans are a tough decision and just like in everything else education, I will advise a balanced approach.
It has been a challenging year in education to say the least. All of the hubbub surrounding high stakes standardized testing has finally come to a boiling point. Stress took over the lives of so many of our young learners this year, and the truth is: YES, THEY NEED SOME DOWN TIME! That being said, they don’t need an 8-week break completely devoid of learning. There are ways that parents can promote learning over the summer for their kids, without sacrificing fun or forcing them to read the dictionary. Depending on your schedule, here are some ways to keep the learning flowing over the next few months.
- Scheduling some cultural experiences with your kids can help you make learning FUN! Visit a museum, a public library, or cultural institution…something that makes you think. See a concert or a explore a park. Make sure to do something that leads to rich conversations with your kids. Learning does NOT always have to be academic or inside a classroom, and the summer is a great time to engage in other modes of learning.
- Find a few new tech tools you’re dying to try and learn how to use them with your kids! Some of my personal faves are: Mentormob, Mixel, ShowMe, WallWisher, ThingLink. If you have a younger child, it might be a great time to work on keyboarding skills in which case you might want to get a set of keyboard stickers.
- Join the Figment community and publish some of your writing!
- Sign up for a Skillshare class with your tween or teen.
- Participate in Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading Program and get a FREE BOOK from the Reading Journal list at the store!
Have other great ideas for continuing to learn throughout the summer? Share them by leaving a comment!