Summer of Learning
It’s the end of the school year! Well, almost. But now you have to decide what to do or where the kids will go in the summer. Just because they’re not going into a physical classroom doesn’t mean that learning automatically stops.
There is an old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” and with that thought process in mind, I am of the persuasion that summers are the best time to accelerate learning and provide enrichment activities for your children.
Wait! I know what you’re probably thinking. They need some time off. Yes, that’s true, but not as much as you think. Summer break is about two months. There will never ever be a time in life for you to dedicate that much time to pursue your passions (without worrying about how you’ll survive financially) or have an unlimited opportunity for instilling a life-long lesson.
What if we taught our kids to pursue something new like learning a sport or a new language? Playing a musical instrument, traveling, planting a garden, or starting a business? The possibilities are truly endless.
Summer breaks can also be used to enrich lessons your child may have struggled with during the school year. When my daughter was younger, she HATED reading. As a parent and early childhood educator, I knew what she didn’t – having strong reading skills improves your vocabulary and reading comprehension, skills that will be needed in all areas of study and subject matters.
Fortunately she was motivated by money. Initially, I paid her $1 per book and let her choose the book, no matter how bad I hated it. My only requirement was that she write out a summary of the book. Eventually we increased it to $2 per book. Then I found a local program that paid children $3 per book for up to five books per week.
Somewhere during this process she developed a love of reading. She went on to win AR awards for most points and even had a poster printed in the library with her picture on it because she was in there reading so much!
Our kids are going to be kids. They want what they want and will give you grief about it if you don’t give into their whims. But as parents, if we change our thought process and approach summers with some intention, not only can fun memories be made but lifelong lessons too.