Summer vacation: what most children look forward to as the school year comes to an end. The excitement arises as they count down the days. However, as exciting as summer can be, it can also be tough on their academics, especially for struggling students. Although we often encourage youth to have fun during this awaited season, as parents, we may also worry about them losing their academic momentum. What can we do in the summertime to keep students engaged, all the while having a good time?
Educational summer camps/programs.
Sign up for a camp that involves a little academic, and some fun. There are programs that involve focus on literacy, math, STEM, science and other subjects, while incorporating programs that involve physical activities or others such as art. For example, the Caterpillar Club in Montreal is a summer literacy program that aims to support struggling students in literacy. They work on writing, phonics and incorporate art. It is also a good program for those that enjoy writing, and want to continue in the summer.
Educational family trips.
Family outings can be educational, too. Take a trip to your local museum, science exhibit - even the zoo! Education doesn’t mean boring, and most of the time, museums have special events for kids in the summer. Take the opportunity to explore with your children, and have a discussion about it afterwards.
Read. Read. Read.
Continue to read with your children throughout summertime. Visit your local library, check out bookstores - reading is so important. Not only is it important academically, but it creates nice bonding moments as well. Start up a book club or check for available ones near you. Here is a list of awesome books for different ages that prove to be popular time and time again:
Junie B. Jones
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
The Bad Seed
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Good Egg
The Bad Guys
Make Use of Your TV.
That sounds strange to say, but it’s summertime. Kids are probably going to watch a little more TV than usual. Find educational television shows, such as the Magic School Bus, Wild Kratts, or even old shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy. Make it a point to occasionally put something on that will help them learn while they enjoy the show.
Family nights are so important, especially for children at young ages. Have conversations about healthy habits, favourite books - or even family game night!. Play games that involve some thinking - scrabble, jenga, even monopoly. Find time to cook dinner with the children - there’s math in cooking, too! Perhaps together, you can find a new summer hobby.