“Woo-hoo, schools out!” A time for cheer and adventure, but also a time for “what they don’t know won’t hurt them”. Sneaking in a little learning won’t hurt them. Learning should not stop just because the school doors close for a few months. A child’s mind needs constant “food” to grow. As parents, we need to figure out ways to keep the child learning without making it seem as if they were swooped from one school into another. Sometimes, when faced with a task such as this, parents become unnerved and don’t know where to start. The task becomes work when it should not. The main thing we need to remember is keep it simple and fun.
· Read a favorite childhood book – My son had a “very favorite book in the whole wide world.” It was Fox and the Hound. I have discovered while reading this book to his son that I can interject stories of my reading it to his Dad. He loves knowing he is doing something that his Daddy loves and it brings excitement to an already fun-filled book.
· Have a book themed event – Let’s say you want to pull out the old classic, Cinderella. Oh, what a wonderful theme for a day that could be and how exciting for the child. Have the child pick a character from the book that they would like to be. Don’t automatically assume the child will pick Cinderella. The mice in the story add a lot of enthusiasm and adventure. Now the fun begins: you can play dress-up, create masks, eat cheese, grow a pumpkin, or even do chores like Cinderella. Your book themed day is only limited by your imagination, so think fun and exciting.
· On the road word search – Learning is not only limited to a brick and mortar foundation, but also can be a traveling school on wheels. Take your education to the road on that trip to the grocery store. Choose a word to search for on the way. How about the word “sale” for starters. This activity inspires the child to read every day words they see in the community. The child will be reading signs all over town in order to find the word “sale”. You make the rules of the game. One possibility would be to see how many times the word could be found and the winner gets a small prize. Another possibility could be to choose another word after “sale” has been found. The trick is to keep them reading.
What tricks do you have for keeping your child learning and bridging the gap from May to August?
Belinda @ Kids Matter