Getting Ready for Summer Break: Tips and Tricks for School Aged Children
It’s almost time for summer break and parents are getting ready for new routines and trying to think about new ideas to keep their kids structured for the summer. It’s time for families to go on vacation and some families may have nice campers or summer homes in a different city. Parents are also thinking about keeping their grade school children up on reading and learning so they can transition into their next grade smoothly. Here are some great ideas to help your grade school kids keep on learning this summer. The break can be a positive learning atmosphere or a negative waste of not learning. Parents push their kids to watch TV, play video games or sit and play on devices, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t want to keep them out of your hair all summer. Parents can use some creative thinking skills with a bit of planning and summer can be a great time for learning adventures, new hobbies, new skills that are built on the skills they already learned.
Keep your Grade Schoolers Learning
The average teacher spends about 4 to 8 weeks during the fall reviewing what students have learned the year before. Summer can be too long of a break so if you don’t stimulate your grade schoolers, they are going to forget quite a bit of what they learned from before the break. Most students lose about one to two months or reading and math in summer and don’t get very good test grades like grade schoolers who were encouraged to keep learning in summer. Every time a student shuts down their learning abilities for the summer, this lowers the overall performance of the school districts percentages.
Parents don’t have to push worksheets on their kids all summer to help them remember what they learned the previous year, however; summer break is a great time for kids to find other ways to learn that are new and fun. Children shouldn’t think that learning about new things is only done in school. Parents should want their kids to have fun learning in the summer, and they can learn anytime and anyplace with different supplies that are taught by different people or by you the parents. Summer is basically not as structured as the school year but it’s a good time for grade schoolers to try new things and find new interests that don’t happen during the school year.
Ideas for Grade schoolers for Summer
Ask your kids if they would like to help you plant a garden and learn more about science. Teach them about the seeds and how they grow with water, sunshine, oxygen, and nutrients from the ground. Vegetables are fun to plant and educational as well. They will learn a lot and be healthy at the same time!
Keep a Journal
Family vacation time is a great opportunity to make scrapbooks that build memories for life. Teach them about collecting postcards and different brochures. Have your child write and describe all the places they went during the summer and write about all the adventures your family had. You can also have your child work on a sports scrapbook if they are in sports lessons for the summer. If they have a favorite sports hero, have them follow the person in the newspaper and cut out pictures, stories, news articles and other important information about their sports hero. Look online if you need any ideas about teaching your grade-schooler about making the journal look professional by using captions and pictures.
Grade schoolers love a good puppet show and they can actually make their own theater. You can start by cutting the tips off of unused gloves and teaching them to draw faces with markers. Felt is great to use to make animal faces and help your child write out the puppet act. If you have older children in grade school, they can work with their friends to build a theater, go to the library for books about writing script for theater. This is how they will learn to create a performance, and make an easy stage on the steps outside, including making some playbills and they can even sell tickets to their performance!
Whip up a Dessert or try Carpentry
At a toy store, you can buy kits for making all types of things including bird feeders, models and mosaics to sewing and looming. These types of kits help kids in grade school learn how to read the directions and create the finished project. Books filled with science experiments help kids to watch and ask many questions as they are enjoying hours of learning and fun using science.
There’s always baking and cooking and maybe your child would like to see what making a mousse is all about. There are cookbooks out there for kids and ethnic cookbooks are a great way to teach them how to find out about other cultures and their diet. This also encourages them to ask questions and talk about how different people eat and live in other countries. If your kid is a picky eater, they are more apt to try something they made by themselves.
Summer is a great time for extra writing and they become excited when they receive return mail. There are lots of free items out there that your child can write and send for. There is a book that talks about “Free Things for Kids”, which includes over 300 organizations kids can write to and get different kinds of stickers, tattoos for kids that are temporary, comics and magazines. The best part is that most of these are for free. This author that writes about free stuff has been writing about this for years so the person is considered well versed in that field. The author also updates the book yearly, adding more websites for older kids to look at for free items to send. Writing helps your child keep up on their reading and writing skills during summer break. You can also talk to your child about writing a local letter to a government official or a letter to the President of the United States. Children are worried about issues in their communities just like their parents and the best thing is they get a return letter. This is a great learning experience for grade schoolers that are a bit older because they can actually feel really important to know that they got an answer from an important official! Read more about tips and tricks for preschoolers here. You could also read more about summer break tips for college students.