Today Matters » Keep Creating, Learning & Growing – All Summer Long!

Keep Creating, Learning & Growing – All Summer Long!

May 18, 2018
What an exciting time of the year! The weather has finally turned milder and brighter. Students, staff, and parents are anxious and excited for what the summer months will hold. District 142 is busy wrapping up another tremendous school year… and simultaneously readying for a busy summer in preparation of the 2018-2019 School Year.
It’s with this spirit that we think about learning opportunities for students while on summer break. Rather than allow for summer regression to grab ahold of our students, we look to engage in some fun-learning activities. By some studies, research shows that students can lose up to two months of academic progress if learning ceases over the summer. Therefore, we offer a few ideas to keep students’ curiosity peaked and brains active.
Join the District 142 summer reading program. “Our Kids Read” offers an opportunity for parents and students to log their reading time over the summer. By doing so, even for short intervals, reading and language skills can continue to grow and develop. Keep an eye out for information posted on the district web site: In the past, we have had nearly 500 of our students join in on the reading fun, meet their goal, and win a free District 142 Reading T-shirt.

Offer children a small allowance and encourage them to budget out their money when going to the store to spend it. There’s nothing like seeing the wheels turning in a youngster’s mind as they try to determine the maximum amount of “stuff” they can purchase with a few dollars. It’s a great opportunity for students to add, estimate, and calculate as they consider their options.

Look for and build experiences for students by visiting museums, nature centers, or simply playing creatively outside. To encourage learning, consider writing/illustrating a story about these amazing adventures. A few pieces of paper stapled together, with a little parent help, can become a creative story full of pictures to color and shareable moments for family and friends. If accessible, the same process can take place, using technology. Using an iPad or other similar device, pictures can be taken and easily woven into a story about an exciting outing, our environment, a problem our older students would like to solve, and/or more.

Most importantly, make learning fun. When the task becomes laborious, take a break and change gears, try something else, or come back to it later. It’s okay for students to work on something and set it aside. Work completion and learning are not synonymous. If the experience is fun, if the students get the opportunity to express their creativity, if there is creating, planning, or building involved… our brains are active and learning is occurring.

The last thought for consideration is to create a small group of other parents and students to join you in the learning fun. This is good for ride and resource sharing, brainstorming, accountability, and fun. Kids love learning together and many lessons can be learned through collaborative play.Have a wonderful summer; we’ll see you in August!