Today Matters » Summer Learning Can Be Summer Fun

Summer Learning Can Be Summer Fun

May 29, 2019

We are just a handful of days away from the graduation of our 8th grade students and two weeks away from completing the 2018-2019 School Year. This time of year brings about a mixture of emotions. We are sad to see students we’ve gotten to know so well move forward into their next grades, next schools, or onto the high school district. Yet, we are also excited to see our students grow, mature, and develop; keeping track of them as they accumulate future successes.
In the meantime, we would be remiss to not think about a summer away from school. Most parents long for meaningful activities for their children to keep them busy and to keep them learning while school is out for summer break. Learning activities can be and should be fun. If students enjoy what they are doing, it is more likely to be done without a fight and more likely to happen routinely. As the parent of six children with various interests, at varied ages; we too look for healthy activities for our children. Here are some ideas:
  • Participate in the Forest Ridge School District 142 Summer Reading Challenge. Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or who read infrequently during the summer see their reading abilities stagnate or decline. Students of all grades/ages can read and then log their time reading books of choice over the summer. When school resumes in August, these completed logs earn great prizes for our students as a motivator to read often during the summer. For more information on our Summer Reading Program, visit Our Kids Read.
  • Setting aside time each day for Maker Time is a way to pull our children away from the TV and video games to use their creativity. The family recycle bin is a great place to start to make sculptures, kites, rockets, or other ingenious creations. With a small amount of paper, tape, and markers… children can spend time exploring their own interests on a small budget, while making some fantastic creations.
  • Outdoor exploration.  I do remember my mother pushing me out the door to play… for her own peace of mind, and to help me socialize with the other children in the neighborhood. Be intentional with opportunities for your children to play with other children. Imaginative play with toys, creating stories and adventures, playing games, making up their own games, following agreed upon rules, and reaping the benefits of healthy exercise and outdoor air are benefits for our children when they are out of the house during the summer months. For the adventurous parent, just add water to further create excitement around these activities.
Plenty of websites exist with additional thoughts and activities. For every activity done over the summer, a small amount of growth occurs. This growth, when compounded through routine participation, can add up to some big gains for our children.
We wish you a safe, healthy, and happy summer. See you in August for the return of school!