Summer Schooling: Making learning fun when school’s out!

Facebook Fans Share Fun Learning Strategies for the Last Few Weeks of Summer

ImageNo early alarm clocks, no lunches to pack and no pop quizzes—school’s out! But that doesn’t mean the end of learning. Between games of pick-up basketball with the neighbor kids and Barbie swimming parties, your kids can keep up with their studies through fun, simple summer learning opportunities. Not only will your kids discover the world around them, but they’ll get back up to speed more quickly once school’s back in session. Try some of these ideas:

  • Learn through playing. Facebook fan, Janelle C, writes, “I just let [my kids] play and expose them to fun, summertime adventures. Kids can’t help but learn, and discover and ask questions.” Help your children learn by giving them plenty of unstructured (and unplugged!) time for hobbies, games and imaginative play. Tackle the big questions like, “How do ants build an anthill?” and, “How do airplanes stay in the sky?” with help from your library or the Internet.
  • Learn through working. Kids of all ages will love helping you make muffins for snacktime or lasagna for dinner—plus they’ll be educating themselves on numbers, fractions and nutrition at the same time. How’s that for brain food? Gardening and simple house projects will also grow their minds.
  • Learn on the road. Facebook fan Jody G. D. suggests parents try “Lots of educational vacation activities. Learning American History and Science through visits to the actual places!” Kid-oriented history, art and science activities are virtually guaranteed to get your kids into learning—and some are even free.
  • Make the library a weekly tradition. Swap books, motivate readers and track progress using a summer reading program, plus check out special events. Help your child set reading goals and find books or magazines that excite her.
  • “Backyard theater!” writes Lisa v.d.B. “Encouraging [my daughter] and her friends to put on plays that we all sit and watch. She loves it (and so do we).” Your kids will learn everything from script development to simple sewing if they choose to create costumes.
  • Set up a summer business. Not only will your kids learn the fundamentals of dog washing, lemonade selling or being a mother’s helper (plus marketing, advertising, planning and operations), they’ll acquire some money sense when they decide whether to spend their earnings on candy or save it for the new game they’ve been wanting.
  • Dig in to workbooks. While your kids might not get super-excited about something so studious, workbooks can really help them keep up in subjects that might have them struggling when the new year begins. “I bought a summer workbook and my school-ager has to do two pages in it a day,” commented Anna M. She keeps him interested by using a When-Then Routine so her son finishes his work before he’s allowed his TV time.
  • Use online education for kids. “My kids are learning their letters, sight words and keyboarding at www.discoverykids.com/puterbugs,” Facebook fan Laura S. told us. Your kids will be happy to learn if it means a little extra computer time!

With these tips, your kids will have lots of fun this summer—and they won’t even know they’re learning at the same time.

About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.