Since our kids work hard during the school year, it’s only natural to want to keep them smart during the summer too. It just doesn’t make sense to let all of that learning slip away during the summer months. So we have some summer ideas for kids to keep them smart.
We found our inspiration for these ideas from some pretty sharp moms; Sonya Carson, mother of Dr. Ben Carson, our own Content Director Susan Merrill, and a mother of five children who makes learning fun year-round.
First, we want to acknowledge that there are many approaches to keeping our kids sharp during the summer. Some moms choose a more structured approach like tutoring programs or even summer school classes. Other moms use workbooks or worksheets to maintain skills learned during the previous school year.
Whichever approach you choose, consider the ideas of these really great moms as you come up with your own summer ideas.
1. The No Excuses Mom.
Sonya Carson had 23 siblings. She married when she was 13 years old. She had a third grade education and was not a proficient reader. But Sonya was determined to make sure her sons got a good education and they did. Her oldest son, Curtis, became an engineer, and her youngest, Ben, became a neurosurgeon and political activist.
When it comes to helping our children stay on track academically, we need to mimic Mrs. Carson’s determination. At a minimum, make sure your children read a little every day. Help them find fun books they’ll enjoy. Use our reading log and get them excited to read by giving them reading rewards: ice cream, a trip to the park, or something else they love.
Also let them know that you believe in them and expect great things from them. Mrs. Carson took that approach, and Dr. Ben Carson says that’s what gave him the confidence to succeed.
2. The Time Managing Mom.
Summer is great for teaching our children new habits that will actually help them during the school year. That’s the philosophy of our Content Director Susan Merrill. And one of the skills that will help your children the most throughout their school years is time management.
Summer is great for teaching our children new habits that will actually help them during the school year.
This post from Susan’s blog gives you guidelines for teaching your children how to manage their time. First, help them prioritize. Next, let them keep track of how they’re spending their time. Once they’ve done that, talk with them about having some brain time every day. (Susan’s time management ideas are from her free e-book, Every School Year Counts.)
3. The Learning is Fun Mom.
Summer learning doesn’t have to be boring or overly structured… but it pretty much has to be fun! So even though you might feel an urge to expound on some academic topic, try not to. Instead, author and mom of five Jill Savage says use the relaxed atmosphere of summer to teach your children life lessons while you’re doing fun things with them.
What do you do to keep your summer learning fun?