Summertime is upon us once again – that time of year when teachers bid farewell to students, and parents are beginning to plan for their children’s days without a school schedule. Given that kids have been spending too much time staying at home, watching screens and not involving in any educational activities during the school closure period, you may want to send them to local learning centers, double their study time to get them to catch up on what they have missed over the disruption.
However, making kids complete workbooks, review flashcards, or attend extra classes all day long is almost just like making them repeat the school year, yet summer should be the time for adventures, laughter, and memories. “When you think about it, we only have 18 summers with our kids”. So how might we balance the academic and non-academic activities for your child this summer? How might we encourage them to keep on learning, and enjoy outdoor activities and socializing at the same time? How might we keep our children physically busy and mentally active during the long summer days?
Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to keep kids learning during the summer, even without a local summer learning program. They may require some extra planning from parents, but they are affordable and accessible in most communities. In this article, we developed a shortlist of activities and resources for parents to use when developing your own summer learning activities for your child. These 5 ideas will help children not only reinforce skills taught during the year but also to entertain them through the summer months. Let this summer be the time for our children to learn, play, laugh, and heal.
1. Keep a summer diary
Summer is a great time to journal! A summer bullet journal will teach your kid how to keep track of the things she needs to do and list out the summer bucket list ideas they wanted to check off. It will help you keep your child productive and entertained all summer long. Your children can add their own ideas to it and it can become a fun keepsake to look back on. Journaling is often a good activity for kids who are reluctant to write or, in some cases, reluctant to speak. The versatility of journaling means it can be incorporated into many different areas of learning, including math, science, and social studies.
If your child is having difficulty figuring out how she’s solving math problems, try putting together a math journal. It can be as simple as a notebook in which she writes various facts and formulas as well as having space to show her work. Going back and looking at her work overtime can help cement her thought process.
A summer journal can also be free-form writing that helps your child build vocabulary, develop her thought processes, and learn to articulate how she feels. She can record what she gets up to each day, people she meets, anything new she has learned, etc. The diary will also be a nice keepsake for her full of memories. You can also encourage your child to use a thesaurus and change several common words to more interesting words to make her journal more lively. This is the first step of how to teach your child creative writing, how to make her writing more interesting while learning great new words at the same time.
2. Make time for reading
Your child should maintain their reading habits over the summer. It is a great activity to engross your child’s attention and help them relax. Try to set aside time for your child to read each day during the summer break – 15 to 30 minutes per day is all it takes! During the summer, students have more time to read for enjoyment, which also offers a great opportunity to preserve and strengthen their reading skills. Get kids reading any way you can, including comic books, magazines, graphic novels, almanacs, joke books, recipes, game instructions, movie reviews, poems, restaurant menus, product descriptions, sports statistics, and song lyrics.
A great way to track how much reading your child is doing during the summer months is a tally on your regular activities calendar. Your summer activities should include taking your children or teenagers to the public library to check out books of interest and/or any summer reading groups they’d like to join. For families who are living in Ho Chi Minh city, take this chance to explore top 4 free and creative libraries here:
To make it more effective, try, and set some reading goals with your child so they have something to aim for. Perhaps you are planning to go to the cinema to see a film adaptation of a popular book, why not encourage your child to read the book before and you could discuss afterward the ways in which the book has been interpreted into the film.
3. Teach with movies!
Watching English movies is a great way for your child to improve English while enjoying stories and music! Movies are a way to see the English language being used, without needing to find native speakers near us. We can stop, go back and repeat any part as much as we want. In movies, your child will hear the natural pronunciation, everyday vocabulary, spoken grammar, common idioms, slang, and be exposed to various accents. Even better, she will learn these from interesting and emotional stories. And because there are countless movies based on an infinite amount of things, you can use them to introduce or spark discussions about a certain topic, be it a historical event, a time period, or the culture of a foreign country.
After watching a movie together, go beyond, “Did you like the movie?” and talk about the movie’s themes, such as respect, friendship, or kindness. Ask your kids why they think the characters chose a certain action or what the characters could have done differently for a better outcome. Challenge them to come up with an alternate ending. This summer, try to set some movie time for family, pop some popcorn and curl up on the couch together with a fascinating, kid-friendly movie. In case you need a recommendation, check out our 7 best movies for young kids to improve English at home.
4. Take educational trips
Plan with your child a family activity day. Visit a museum, the zoo, or take a nature walk; all low-cost ways for children to have fun while learning. Visit your local city website or community library to learn what’s going on in your area in the coming weeks. You can make these experiences even more enriching by setting them tasks to do.
For example, you can discuss with your child to decide how much money to spend, help her research events and activities in your area, and choose an affordable activity the whole family can enjoy. This online Ticketbox may give you some good ideas. Remind your child to make a checklist to have a good preparation for the activity, and to remember to include food in the day’s plan. Don’t forget to bring a camera and take lots of pictures. Your child can mount and label each photo and create a family scrapbook of your special day. You might provide the questions below to help guide your child’s thoughts as they plan this special day.
- Describe the event or activity your family will attend.
- Will everyone in the family enjoy this activity? Why do you think so?
- What do you need to arrange ahead of time? Will you need to purchase tickets? Pack a lunch? Make reservations?
- What supplies or materials will you need?
- What costs will be involved?
5. Sign up for a summer camp
Some summer days can lose their sparkle. Children feel listless, and say they are bored. Summer means kids have more time to play and learn, but adults do not. We can not stay at home all day and find several ways to keep our children occupied as we did during quarantine time. That’s why choosing a good summer camp for your kid can be a good option. There are plenty of reasons why to send your child to summer camps, as they provide, a wide range of unique opportunities. For many, summer camp – either a day camp or overnight camp – offers children, especially teenagers, an opportunity to get out of their usual routine, learn, grow, make friends, and have eye-opening new experiences.
During their stay at summer camps, children are exposed to diversity, to the challenge of approaching children that they may not normally meet, and to the satisfaction of making connections with them without their parent’s help. Furthermore, summer camps’ activities encourage children self-development and teach them essential leadership skills by educating them on how to take care of themselves outside their comfort zone, and by encouraging them to develop a stronger sense of personal pride and self-reliance.
There’s a lot of kids’ summer camps out there for you to choose from, it can take a bit longer to find the right camp than it will for your child. But no matter what you choose, make sure to find a camp that can balance out the academic and non-academic activities, provide campers chances to discover new interests, and stay intellectually engaged.
Learning is like exercise: once we take a break from it, it would be harder to get back on track. Therefore, this summer, take a few minutes to think about what you can bring – both conventional and unconventional – to help your children strengthen their academic skills while still having plenty of time left over for creative activities. By implementing a summer plan and igniting your child’s passion for learning, she can enjoy a renewed sense of academic dignity, and avoid the dreaded “summer slide.”
This year, Everest Education is looking to recruit young members for our Explorers Squad who will undertake an exciting, memorable and fun journey together. Our Explorers Squad provides amazing opportunities for your kids to learn and play in curious ways through many stimulating lessons: hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, drama, sport, and math activities in a 100% all-English environment.
This is a journey which will boost the energy level of every child as we task our Explorer squad in unleashing their creativity through designing, inventing, applying, and creating – using their higher-order thinking skills in unique and exciting projects, which will test both their mental agility as well as their physical strength. If you are looking for a playground that can sparkle your child’s summer days, improve their confidence and teamwork skills and have fun together with their friends, the Explorers Squad is the perfect choice to meet all your expectations.
Find more info about our Summer Camp at https://e2.com.vn/programs/summer-camp-2020/