Arizona is heating up, and you know what that means… summer vacation! Although school may be out for summer, that doesn’t mean our kids should stop learning. Often referred to as the “summer brain drain,” many teachers worry about the impact the lapse in structured learning over the summer has on students. In fact, some studies report students can regress up two to three months in math and reading over the summer months.
Last year, we asked our friends on our Facebook page to describe some ways they keep kids learning when school is out. Here are 10 great suggestions to get ready for summer, direct from our Facebook friends:
- Take them to the library. Read with them… or to them… or whatever it takes. Even the funnies from the newspaper or the sports page will do.
- Visit the Musical Instrument Museum. So much fun, they don’t know they are learning about cultures, music and tradition!
- Go on a Walk-about. Walk around the neighborhood with your kids and talk about what you see or play games like “I spy.”
- Wander the Web. Learning-based computer games are a fun way to keep them thinking. Brainpop.com, Kidsknowit.com, icivics.org of the NASA Kids’ Club are just a few.
- Get “Mad about Science” Projects. Amaze your friends by making paper clips floatand raisins dance! Click here for more ideas.
- Play Road Games. Become an “equationeer” (finder of equations) by doing road sign math when in the car, and play other learning games on road trips.
- Map Your Family Tree. Get kids talking to family members about their family history. You can look at photos, do internet searches and tell fun stories as well.
- Play Rummy Roots. It’s a fun game for all. They are Greek and Latin root word cards that you match with the English meaning cards.
- Take a Road Trip. Arizona has lots of beautiful places to see. You can pack a lunch and head in any direction. Check out the Arizona Tourism web site to map your journey and search the web for fun facts about your chosen destination.
- Create Your Own Summer School. Kids love playing with technology, so do things like play on PBSkids.org and K12.com.
This is, of course, just a short list of the limitless possibilities to keep Arizona kids engaged and learning all summer long. We’d love more suggestions to keep this list growing. What are your recommendations for summer learning? Let us know in the comments below.