It’s summer! School is out, the sun is shining (most days), and the pools are open! While summer is a time for relaxing from a season of strenuous mental activity, it doesn’t have to mean all learning should be put on the back burner. Keeping your kids’ brains active during the summer sounds like a total drag, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are four quick ways to engage the brain and foster continual learning in the summer—and to have fun while you do!
There are a variety of workbooks available at local chain stores like Barnes and Noble or Books a Million or even Walmart that will keep your kids on top of what they’ve learned the past year. Our favorites are the Brain Quest workbooks and the Star Wars workbooks. Every evening, I pull just a few sheets out for my son to work on in the morning. It usually takes him between thirty minutes and an hour to complete them—so not long at all! These help keep concepts fresh in their minds and ready for the next grade!
Learn a New Language
This is something that you and your kids can both benefit from and have fun with! My son (we are homeschooling first grade this year) developed an interest in learning German, so I took a label gun and began labeling every day items in our home with the German word for them. We refer to it in German in our every day going on’s. For example, “Please go set den Tisch.” As our vocabulary in the language increases we begin to add more of it in.
Reading for an hour a day is the best brain booster there is! Take a weekly trip to the library and let your kids explore and pick out books that interest them. Have them keep a notebook beside them and write down words they don’t know so you can both look them up later. Increasing vocabulary and understanding for the win!
Visit Museums and Galleries
Take a walk through history at Fort Defiance in Clarksville and discover how people lived during the Civil War, or tour The Hermitage (the home of Andrew Jackson) and learn about the life of one of our nation’s presidents. There are plantations galore and historic homes all over greater Nashville to add to your summer education adventure bucket list. These adventures will expand not only their knowledge but also their understanding of their own history and the history of our great nation. Visit the Adventure Science Center or the Frist Center for Visual Arts for hands on fun!
I’m certain grandma and grandpa would love a letter—or a few!—this summer from their adorable grandkids! Find a soldier overseas to pen pal with for the summer. Send letters to old colleagues, friends, or those living in a different state. They can even write to your neighbor down the street! They’ll be able to consistently practice handwriting skills (have them write their letters in cursive to practice with that as well) and put a smile on someone’s face at the same time. Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail?
I hope these tips help you have a fun and educationally engaging summer with your children.
Continual learning doesn’t have to be boring. It just needs to be creative. Have a great summer!