Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Great Summer Learning Ideas for the Whole Family

1.  When you can’t make it to the city to go on a museum tour, try visiting
those same museums virtually. Check out these on-line museums: Library of
Congress, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Science in Boston, and the
Smithsonian’s Library and Archival Exhibitions, all accessible on the web.

2.  During your summer road trips to your favorite vacation spot, play an audio book that everyone will love and journey into the book as a family. 

3.  Create a summer “theme” on which to base all reading books (e.g., world travel), writing activities, field trips, and some dinner ideas.

4.  Brush up on your student’s foreign language skills and pull out some sticky notes. Whether your student is learning Spanish, French, or Latin, help him/her become proficient by labeling everyday household objects in the language they are learning. Require that student only call that object by its foreign name.

5.  Have your student read a classic book for the summer that has also been made into a movie. After reading the book, compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the book and the movie and decide which one is the best. For elementary school students, try Charlotte’s Web. For middle school students, try To Kill a Mocking Bird. For high school students, try The Great Gatsby and A Raisin in the Sun

6.  Board games are more than just games to play when there is nothing left to do. They are also fun ways to get students involved in learning, and they help to bring the family together. Play a game like Monopoly with the family and have your children take turns being the banker to help strengthen basic math skills.

7.  For those students who like to shop during the summer, sit down with them and create a summer shopping budget. Let them explain how much they think they should spend this summer. Create a reasonable budget together. Explain to them that they need to make the money last the whole summer and if they do maybe they can keep the extra cash.  If they spend it too early, they have to take on more chores. This keeps children accountable and helps with their money management skills.

8.  Have students outline their dream vacations. Ask them to pick out the location, dates, cost of travel, estimated cost of lodging, and even the daily itinerary. This will not only give students a sense of responsibility it will work on their organizational and math skills.  

9.  Summer is the time to make fun memories. What better way than to create a video blog?!  Students can create a blog highlighting daily, special, and/or current events. At the end of the summer, compile the videos and they can watch their very own homemade summer diary! 

10.  With the Presidential election happening in November, now is a great time to brush up on politics. Have students research the different candidates and discuss a different pro and con for each debate every week. At the end of the summer discuss which candidate should be the next President and why.