By Lucas Minor
Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Guaranteed Education Tuition
July 18, 2013
“School’s out for summer!” This magical phrase is one your child likely spends the whole school year dreaming about – three carefree months to kick back, forget homework and just be a kid.
But just because there are no teachers or lesson plans doesn’t mean learning should be put on hold. It’s just as important to keep your child’s mind active over the summer as it is any other time of the year. Studies show that on average, a student loses at least a month of grade level equivalency over summer break. The loss is even higher in areas of math and spelling. (Cooper et al, 1996)
Fortunately, there are plenty of fun (yes, FUN!) activities that will help keep your child’s brain moving all summer long. Here are just a few ideas:
Sure, getting off the couch is essential to keeping your child active and healthy, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to get her mind moving. Whether it’s your yard, the park or deep in the forest, there are so many things to stimulate her senses and brain.
Set up activities and games that will challenge your child to explore and analyze the world around her. Try a nature scavenger hunt – create a list of some common and harder to find animals, leaves, plants, etc. When all of the items have been spotted or collected, spend some time talking about and researching each item. You can also create crafts with some of the treasures she finds.
READ A BOOK
This one’s pretty straightforward, as it’s hard to argue with the benefits of reading. Make regular visits to your local library, and get your child involved in summer reading programs. You may even want to set up your own family reading competition (perhaps with the allure of fabulous prizes).
TURN THE MUNDANE INTO FOOD FOR THE BRAIN
Even routine activities can be a valuable learning opportunity. For instance, a trip to the grocery store can be a scouting mission and math lesson. Ask your child to help you navigate to the appropriate sections of the store as you work through your shopping list. If you’re a bargain shopper, let your child help you calculate which item is the better deal.
At home, ask your little one to channel his inner chef. Let him help you in the kitchen when making dinner or baking a special treat. Reading recipes and measuring ingredients is a great way to keep his analytical abilities sharp.
Next week, we’ll explore even more FUN summer educational activities.
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