What school related activities do you with your child in the summer?

Take a child, the world around us, a sense of wonder and the question “Why”…

Cire Jauregui, BA Education, University of North Texas

I’m not a parent, but I did have a mom who made sure we didn’t stop learning over the summer time, and I thought I would share what I felt was good from my perspective as well as some things I have seen work with others!

  1. Library trips! My mom would take us to the library at least once a week during her lunch time. We had to get at least once book that we would read during the week, but she didn’t ever limit us on what we could get in addition to that. I worked my way through the entire section of books in our local library that was dedicated to books for 4th/5th grade readers, and by the end of junior high I had finished all the Young Adult books that interested me as well. My brother got a lot of non-fiction books, especially if they were things like “How to Make The Perfect Paper Airplane” that had explanations of how a fold here or there could make it do a loop. Or if they were about dinosaurs or other awesome things like that. My mom made sure that everything we were reading was age appropriate and had some semblance of educational value. This really helped us keep our reading scores up when it was time for Accelerated Reading (AR) in the school year.

  2. Math books! As much as math is the dreaded subject, keeping it going over the summer is so important! We didn’t do this every year, but if we had been having a bit of a hiccup in math grades at the end of the school year, we would get math workbooks added to our summer activities list. My mom wouldn’t get the hardest one available for our skill level, but she wouldn’t get the easiest one either! For me, she got long division and the very beginning of algebra because it was easy enough that it wouldn’t be frustrating but still not something I could finish in like 2 minutes. For my brother, he wasn’t a math guy… so my mom would get him ones that were times-table-based multiplication. So the way she would get us to work on them was this: every day we had a chore list/group/something with stuff to get done before she got back from work that day. She didn’t care how we got it done, what order we got it done, or when in the day we got it done, as long as it was done by the time she got home at 6 pm. Every day one of our “chores” was to do one full question sheet from our workbooks, front and back so she could check it. When she would get home, she would check our answers and go over it with us. If we didn’t get it done, we weren’t allowed tv time that evening and got to do the page we missed and a maybe few others (especially if we were disrespectful about it) while she would read her book at the table with us.

  3. Library program! The library in town would always do a summer program series for kids to go to. This was usually something like a story telling time where someone would come read a story, and then we would get to do a snack and a game or activity. These were always really fun, and I still volunteer from time to time to put one together for the library while I’m home for the summer. Sometimes they aren’t very textbook educational, but they do keep a “classroom” mindset and a love of learning alive!

  4. Nature walks! We didn’t do very many of these because it is very hot where I live in the summer, making it difficult to go outside during the day and by the time it’s cool, it’s dark! However, we would go on camping trips for our vacations, and we would do a lot of nature walks then. We would look at the types of trees, animal trails, how the river affected the rocks to make them smooth and things of that type.

Richard Dahm, Owned by 2 cats for 52 years, learning more every day

It's now with the grandkids but it's the same as with my kids…

Biology, when walking or playing outside… talking about what things are, how they grow, their environment how frogs change, how butterflies become.

Chemistry, making baking soda rockets with vinegar and plastic bottles about chemical reactions

Heath, when washing hands or fixing a scraped knee, about germs and how things heal.

Psychology, explaining possible reasons why people behave the way they do.

Physics, teaching about how to throw a ball, a frisbee, balancing on a teetertotter

Arts, about mixing colors on the color wheel, painting, proportions and perspectives

Math, counting, estimating, how to estimate how tall or how far away something is.

Astronomy, looking at the stars and moon, constellations in the night sky

All these “lessons” just by spending time playing and camping with your kids! And they look forward to it! Talking and exploring.

Take a child, the world around us, a sense of wonder and the question “Why”…

Robert Pattison, studied Education at University of Cambridge

In this part of the world it is winter.

On Wednesday next we have three grandchildren coming for the day. They love going to The Wooden Playground, a playground built by local business people one weekend, featuring a castle, slides, tunnels, swings . Very popular. Also free.

The love hitting a ball back and forth to one another across our street which has very little traffic, and I hope we can have a few games of chess.

Georgia DePaola, Business owner (1995-present)

No school! It’s summer!

But you can go to museums, libraries, indoor play areas, swimming.

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