“Last day of school!!!” was the frenzied chant in our house today. While our kids — G, age 9 and B, age 7 — love school and are sad to leave their teachers and friends, the shift to summer brings a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation of unscheduled afternoons filled with whiffle ball in the front yard, board games, and marathon lego building sessions.
In past summers, I have stocked up on advanced math workbooks, required daily writing assignments from the kids, and other such crazy, overachiever parent moves. But, these best intentioned plans usually backfired and led to extra stress in the house rather than extra learning. This summer, I’m going to try to be a bit more mellow about pushing the academics, but the concern of ‘summer slump’ or learning loss is a real issue to me and to many families. Too much time away from school-ish things can make kids lose some of the academic progress they made in the last school year.
I’m happy to see research that shows READING is a wonderful antidote to the summer slump. Reading at least 4 or 5 books over the summer can stop learning loss and keep kids mentally stimulated. My boys love to read and have already picked out several books for the summer (and put them on their “Want to Read” list in Bookopolis, of course!)
I’m going to focus my crazy mom-educator instincts on book related things like:
- Encourage them to read more nonfiction
- Keep up with current events by reading news blogs for kids
- Invite friends over to discuss the books they are reading
And, of course, I’ll make sure there’s plenty of time for front yard whiffle ball tournaments with the neighbors.
How do you keep your kids mentally stimulated during the summer?