Top Summer Learning Tips

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by on June 21, 2012

CA student computer and textsDid you know that today, June 21, is national Summer Learning Day? 

Research has shown that kids can lose their skills over the summer months, so as parents, we want to keep our kids engaged to make sure they keep all that needed knowledge. Taking just 30 minutes each day to devout to a fun learning activity can help when they return to school in August ready to learn more. Reading, crafts, games – those simple and fun activities are educational for your kids and help keep their minds going during the summer.

I know that it can be challenging to keep your kids busy during the summer, so I hope this list of ideas for FREE activities to encourage summer learning will help. Thanks to Connections Academy for these tips:

1. Drive Home Math and Spelling Skills — A 15-minute car trip is a great time to review math problems and spelling words. Play a game and spell as many summer-related words as you can. Or challenge your children by asking how many addition or subtraction problems they can solve in the time it takes to drive to the grocery store.

2. Show Me the Money!— Money is a tangible and fun way for students to explore math. Challenge your children to count the money in your wallet or ask them to point out the items that they could/would buy with $5 at a local shop. Connections Academy offers a nifty interactive Lemonade Stand – an online math game that examines supply and demand while building estimation and calculation skills.

3. Read Every Day—Your local library is a valuable resource and often will host special events throughout the summer. Make sure that you and your child have a library card and explore the shelves together. And don’t forget to sign up your young reader for free motivational programs like www.BookAdventure.com that reward her with prizes for her reading accomplishments.

(And you can find more FREE reading activities and resources in my Kids Summer FREEBIES list)

4. Blast Off! to Outer Space—Visit your local science museum or observatory to learn about astronomy with your kids. Then visit www.NASA.gov, a treasure trove of free science activities, information and videos for kids. There’s even a game area, indexed by grade level.

5. Play Ball!—Let America’s favorite pastime give your kids a mental workout this summer. The Science of Baseball is a free web site that offers fun and interactive games.

6. Take a Virtual Vacation—Sometimes half the fun of a vacation is planning the trip itself. With your child, decide upon a fabulous destination, then research the location at the library and online. Consider things like, the best time to visit and the local currency and how much money is needed for your fantasy trip. Read up on the history and cuisine. Finish the project with a "destination evening" — cook a regional dish and present the details of the trip to friends and family. Visit the travel Web site www.lonelyplanet.com to get started!

7. Family Game Night—Set aside one night a week for family game night. Chess supports youngsters’ analytical and problem-solving skills, and scrabble helps boost spelling and vocabulary skills. And every day, you can add magnetic letters to your fridge or play with Connections Academy’s virtual version.

chessThis last one is definitely a hit with my son – he LOVES chess. He and my husband play often, but he also plays a virtual game, and we were even able to get him into a week of chess camp this summer (yes, he loves it that much!).

What other tips do you have for keeping your kids’ minds going during the summer months?

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