Summer vacation is finally here and your kids have permanently implanted themselves in the couch, eyes glued to the television, with no sign of moving for the next three months.
When kids do absolutely nothing over the holidays, they not only forget what they have learned in school but they get out of the habit of learning and find it difficult to start their schoolwork again in the fall.
Studies have shown that it can take over a month for children to get refocused on learning and academics when they return to school in September, due to what is known as “Summer Brain Drain”.
You certainly don’t want to be making your children do homework assignments every day during the summer, but it can be very helpful to keep them active, engaged and curious about learning new things.
There are many ways that you can make sure that your kids have a fun holiday while still preparing them for the return to the classroom:
Limit Screen Time
Spending several hours a day on the computer or in front of the television will deprive your child of mental as well as physical stimulation, which can cause them to gain weight.
Place a limit on how much “screen time” is allowed per day and encourage your child to enjoy active outdoor activities instead.
Go For a Hike
Not only will this help your child become more active, it is also an opportunity to learn about the plants and wildlife in your area.
You can bring the camera and take photos of interesting trees, flowers and landscapes that you see along the way.
Hang Out at the Library
Research has shown that the amount of independent reading that a child does outside of school relates directly to their vocabulary skills, reading comprehension, verbal fluency and general knowledge.
The trick is to get your child interested in reading what is important to them, whether it is science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror or non-fiction books about their favorite topic.
Take them to the library to discover books that are interesting and fun for them to read and help them learn that reading is not just associated with academia.
Go On a Field Trip
There are many fun places to go as a family which are also educational, such as a museum, science centre, zoo, national park, farm, or wildlife sanctuary. These trips can be so fun and exciting that your kids don’t even notice that they are learning!
Spend some time with your child this summer working on a creative project, whether it is making a collage with leaves, building a bird feeder, making mugs out of clay, or tie dying a t-shirt.
These fun projects are easy to set up and will keep your child’s creative juices flowing throughout the summer.
The most important thing about learning during summer vacation is that it should be a good balance between educational and fun.
Don’t try to force it, but simply set up situations where your children can enjoy learning and challenging their minds throughout the summer while still enjoying their holidays.