During these summer months, most kids are on the move. Between camps, trips, vacations, and other activities, the children are often busier than the parents. One of the challenges that parents face over the summer is making sure that their kids are still exercising their creative muscles. Too many children spend their summer months glued to the TV or running from one activity to the other. While everyone needs a break from school, summer does not mean that learning has to stop.
So, how can we ensure that our kids brains don’t turn to mush over the summer months? Well, thanks to technology and some innovative thinking, there are several ways that we can combine learning with fun summer activities.
1. “Know Where You Go” - Many families take vacations during the summer, and some kids even get to go away without their parents. Before your children leave on their adventures, ask them to learn about where they are going. Sites such as History.com and Traveling Through History offer virtual tours and information about some of the most popular travel destinations. Make this fun and encourage your kids through games or small rewards to do some research. Most likely, they will remember some important worldly facts even after the trip is over.
2. “Recording History” - Just about every teenager today has access to a digitial camera. Most cell phones have cameras as a regular feature and most teens will not leave to camp or vacation without this important piece of equipment. So, since your kids are snapping pictures anyway, ask them to be creative at the same time. Encourage your kids to create a scrapbook or diary of their summer experiences. They can take their photos and write descriptions or thoughts for each image. The best part is that with today’s technology, this can all be done online, where your kids are most comfortable. Sites such as Mixbook enable users to create and share online scrapbooks. You can even use a blog platform such as WordPress to publish and share images, videos, and written thoughts. Your child will have a great way to remember the summer and will have an opportunity to enhance skills such as writing, composition, history, and technology.
3. “Fantasy Summer” - Many students use the summer to both play and watch their favorite sports. As the season progresses, stats pile up and the competition increases. Well, as the players hit more home runs and kick more goals, opportunities for math enrichment also increase. Fantasy teams have been around longer than the Internet. Many of today’s popular fantasy sites such as ESPN and Yahoo take care of the stats for you, but with a teen, you can ask them to do the stats themselves. Microsoft offers several Excel templates for sports stats. Kids can get practice in factoring statistics and in working with advanced tools in programs such as Excel and Word.
4. “Daily Dose of Talmud” - For those students looking for a way to expand their Judaic learning options, Daf-Yomi is a great way to learn over the summer. With the Daf-Yomi schedule, a different page of Gemara is learned every day. There are websites such as Edaf that make Daf-Yomi easy with tools such as translations, practice questions, and other interactive activities. Daf-Yomi can be learned from almost anywhere including laptops, IPads, and even Smartphones.
5. “Enrichment Time” - Of course, Tomorrow’s Genius is here as well to help you maximize the summer months. Our Virtual Summer School program is already providing hundreds of students with online classes and enrichment opportunities. We schedule learning sessions according to the schedules of each individual student. So, even with camp, trips, and other activities time can still be made for some fun summer learning.
Summer is a great time for both kids and parents to kick back and enjoy some well deserved time off from homework and tests. But, there is also time for some fun learning options. During the school year, most students are working to meet an academic goal or to pass a test. Over the summer, students can study topics that interest them and can enjoy learning new information.