Riding bikes, playing catch, eating popsicles, tossing water balloons, running barefoot! Everyone loves summer’s rites of passage and all children deserve to experience them. In addition to spending lots of time playing and exploring outdoors, children can continue learning with a little bit of support from the adults in their lives. Does this mean hours and hours at the kitchen table doing school work? Not at all. Instead, a pinch of ‘academic rigor’ can be sprinkled in to each day in such a way that kids won’t even realize they’re learning. They’ll just think that they are having fun! If you’re an educator, here are a few ideas for you to share with parents and families to help them keep the learning momentum going — stress free — all summer long!
Get involved in community activities.
Connect with your school’s local library and department of parks and recreation. Find out what day camps, events, and outdoor concerts might be happening in your school’s neighborhood over the summer. Create a calendar of local summer learning fun to share with your students and their families.
Encourage parents to build reading and writing into day-to-day activities.
Pass along simple, interactive reading opportunities to your students’ families. Watching TV with the sound off and closed captioning on, helping with meals by writing up a grocery list, and reading the recipe aloud for mom or dad during cooking time are great ways to start.
Willing to share your home address (or to pick up mail from your school’s central office)?Give each of your students a stamped, addressed postcard so they can write to you about their summer adventures. Have extra notebooks that didn’t get used during the school year? Send them home for your students can keep a nature journal, write poems or song lyrics, share a recipe, or keep a scrapbook their summer adventures.
Inspire your students and families to be active citizens
Children who participate in community service activities gain new skills, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Help them jump into action! Point your families to opportunities to get their children involved in making cards for local nursing homes, participate in a neighborhood trash pick-up, or even watering a neighbors’ garden.
Help parents plan ahead for fall. Work with your colleagues in the a grade level above you to develop a short list of what their new students have to look forward to when they return to school. For example, if rising Kindergarten students will be studying plants, suggest that parents check out educational television program and local botanical gardens that can provide valuable background information on that topic.
As always, GrapeSEED is here to support you and your families, too. Encourage your families to check out our weekly summer series, ‘Mondays with Marvin’ on any of our social media pages . They’ll find a wide variety of engaging activities for summer fun! Click Here.