Summer Learning at Home

Summer Learning at Home 1

The sun is out, the schoolbooks are shelved…summer has arrived! However, that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Summer is a perfect time for homeschool families to leave the routine behind and set out for new educational adventures. Great classes are available at local community centers. Kids can lead in vacation planning by mapping route and locations, and then logging (or blogging) mileage while on the road. Plus, learning ventures can be found closer to home at local museums, parks, libraries and nature center programs.
No matter how active your family is, there will always be time just hanging at home; but those hours don’t have to be filled with tv or video games. Summer is the ideal time for kids to pursue their special interests because they now have the time and freedom to explore favorite subjects in depth. Book lovers can tackle a stack of unread novels. Technically minded students can learn html and build a website. Promising artists can paint/draw to their hearts’ content, and nature lovers can plant gardens or build backyard habitats for local wildlife.
Perhaps there’s a young person in your house that has yet to find his or her great interest. Encourage the child to explore something new. Great discoveries usually begin by taking risks!
Here are some hints to help you motivate the summer learners in your home:
Have students write down their interests. From there, brainstorm related projects that could be done at home and that they find the most appealing. Students can do a project together if they so choose, but do not force them.
Once a project is chosen, make a plan. Set goals. What will they need? How long will it take? Make the necessary preparations as quickly as possible, so your young learner does not lose interest.
Check out the new abcteach Learning Clubs for materials to use for your summer projects.
Dive in! Let the student control the project as much as possible. Resist the urge to show them the “right” way, unless they ask for help. Sometimes we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.
Encourage your learners to keep a journal through writing, photos, or video. If they’re too absorbed in the project, photograph it for them and create a scrapbook after the project is completed.
Reward accomplishments with certificates, stickers, or a party.You will be amazed at how such projects will reinforce basic skills that were learned throughout the school year. Students now have the opportunity to see their skills in action in a real world setting. Ultimately, with a completed project in tow, learners will begin a new school year in the fall with a renewed sense of accomplishment.

Posted by Carol Welch, abcteach staff writer

Share this post