Engaging children and keeping them interesting in learning can prove challenging during the summer break from school. Parents often wonder how they can help their child retain what they learned last school year and be prepared to enter a whole new year of school in a few short months. Here are a few tips to helping children with the transition and keeping them prepared:
–Read! Reading is entertaining, increases imagination, builds vocabulary and helps develop grammar skills. Essentially, reading helps children develop their minds in many ways. That doesn’t mean it has to be a chore! Find topics your child is interested in such as sharks, how bubblegum is made, volcanos or horses. Let them learn about what they love through magazines, websites, crossword puzzles, novels, graphic books or any way that engages them. Reading should be enjoyable.
-Create a motivating, encouraging environment. Instead of punishing if a child doesn’t read, motivate by rewarding them if they do! Local libraries often have summer reading programs that offer incentives for children to read. Try doing this at home with rewards like family game nights, friend camp outs, candy, prizes, trips to a water park or whatever will engage your child.
-Teach children real life skills. Have your child help prepare a weekly meal plan, buy the groceries, and prepare the food. Involve them in vacation planning. Give them a chance to navigate the map on your next family trip. All of these life experiences will help them feel capable and give them confidence that they can accomplish adult things.
-Find them an international penpal. There are many programs such as Students of the World where you can connect your child with a penpal from another country. These opportunities to express themselves and describe their life, learn from another person who lives in a totally different environment and learn to communicate can be a wonderful, fun and exciting way to engage children. They can make a friend, learn about the world and learn to interact with others.
Summertime is a great time to build some of these awesome memories with your children while helping them to continue learning. A love of learning will help them for a lifetime!