Summer is almost here. While some homeschoolers choose to continue schooling right on through the warmer months, many families take a break.
A break from formal schooling doesn’t have to mean a break from learning. In fact, by planning the right kinds of activities, you may find that your kids are learning more than ever. As an bonus, they’ll be having a blast doing it.
With this in mind, begin planning your summer right away. Look for fun activities to fill your time as a family, and then find the learning opportunities within them. Almost any activity you do contains little nuggets of knowledge. Find those nuggets, expand upon them, read about them, and create your own summer learning adventure.
At a loss for what sorts of things your family should do? Couple these popular summer activities with ideas for adding extra educational value to them.
Everyone loves a good swim on a hot day. Swimming allows you to to cool off and get in some exercise. It also gives kids an opportunity to experiment with water.
Show the kids how to make a wave pool or a whirlpool and discuss the science behind how they work. Try putting together small sailboats using various materials. See which boats float the best or move the fastest, and talk about why.
Take advantage of movies in the park and special deals at local movie theaters, and see a good flick during your summer break. Although watching movies might seem like an entirely mindless activity, this isn’t always true.
Depending on the movie, you may find the experience educational in and of itself. If not, there are plenty of ways to add to the experience and make it educationally worthwhile.
For instance, before watching a movie based on a book, read the book. Then, use the time after the movie to compare and contrast the two.
Before watching a movie set in the past, learn a bit about the era. If it’s a science fiction film, your kids may find it interesting to look into the feasibility or accuracy of the scientific ideas presented.
You can learn a lot when you use summer movies as the jumping-off point for digging in deeper.
There is nothing quite as thrilling as sleeping in a tent surrounded by the sounds of the forest. Stargazing, fishing, and hiking are all wonderful camping activities that your family to enjoy as a family. Additionally, each of these experiences provides little explorers with a wealth of new information.
Turn your hike into a nature scavenger hunt. See what kinds of animal tracks you can find and discuss the ecosystem of the location. Learn about various birds and see how many you can find on your hike.
Fishing is a great life skill in and of itself. However, you can add to the experience by learning about the kinds of fish in the lake, discussing the ecosystem of the area, and reading about the history of fishing.
Stargazing is a great way to learn about the universe around us. Pick up some good books about constellations or outer space before heading out on your camping trip. Read them around the campfire as you gaze up at the stars.
Museums may seem like a boring suggestion for an educational summer outing. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Most cities have hands-on science and children’s museums, and some even offer living history exhibits. These kinds of museums are geared specifically to the younger crowd. Choose a kid-friendly museum, and you can be confident that your little ones will have a blast.
At the museum, take note of what piques his interest. Perhaps it’s the big exhibit or the hands-on rocket building station. Whatever captures your child’s interest, make a note of it. Expand on the topic when you get home through discussions, reading, internet searches, and YouTube videos.
Many bowling alleys offer a Kids Bowl Free program for the summer, making summer a fantastic time to introduce kids to bowling.
If bowling itself isn’t enough to get you to the alley, consider the lessons to be learned there. Younger kids can get in some addition practice by keeping score on an old-fashioned scorecard. Meanwhile, older kids can read up on the physics of bowling and watch those laws in action as they knock down some pins.
Escape the summer heat and keep your children reading over summer break with a visit to the local library.
From chess clubs to sewing classes, most libraries offer a variety of fun, educational activities in addition to summer reading programs. Regular access to new books and videos will give the kids an opportunity to study whatever captures their interest.
With this list in hand and a bit of creative thinking, you and your family can plan a summer full of fun and learning!
What are your plans for the summer break?