The following is excerpted from a newsletter from our Head of Lower School, Mrs. Michelle Alexander.
Just as the summer can be filled with fun, the summer can also be filled with learning. The summer months are a prime opportunity to expand on the learning from the school year and keep our children’s skills shored up so that they will be ready for the challenges of the new school year that will commence in August. Here is a list of suggestions of ways to incorporate learning this summer from our very own Lower School faculty.
1. Read, read, read. Don’t forget to find time each day for reading. One of our grade level teams suggests taking part in a summer reading challenge – where you can create a scavenger hunt of books to find in the local library.
2. Write. Students can journal about their summer adventures, become pen pals with teachers, friends and families, or dream up creative stories. Be sure to keep all writing activities fun and engaging, so that it does not seem like drudgery.
3. Play games. I love to play games – card games, board games, charades, car games – you name it. All games have value. Not only can they build simple math skills or language skills, but they build social skills as well. Here is a short list of different games you can play. (The possibilities are endless!)
a. Car games – Compete with your children to find the ABCs in order on road signs. You can also build sentences as you drive. Each person adds a word to a sentence. Try not to have the last word.
b. Banana Grams – This game can be played for all ages to practice sight words and spelling, as well as different word families.
c. Monopoly Junior – This game allows children to practice working with dice and counting money.
4. Reinforce math knowledge with real world applications. Math is all around us. For example, students in younger grades can find examples of various shapes within the outdoor environment. When at a restaurant, students can estimate the cost of the bill based on what the family orders. Cook with your children to practice fractions and units of measure. In addition, if you are going on a trip, your children can come up with a budget for various expenses. Think outside of the box and keep it fun!
I always believe that there needs to be a balance. Summer is meant to refresh and re-energize the soul. There should, in addition to learning pursuits, always be opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Be mindful of screen time and encourage your children to have fun outside. One of our faculty members even suggested that we give the gift of time in the way of boredom, yes boredom, which can also be considered as unstructured time.
I believe that summer is what you make it. What you want it to be for your children is completely up to you. Make sure that your summer days are meaningful and filled with delight. Our children are only children for a short span of time. Let’s make it memorable!