Summer Learning Opportunities for Kids
The school bell may stop ringing, but summer is a great time for all kinds of summer learning opportunities for kids. Good Tutors Finder has packed a bag full of activities for teachers to help families get ready for summer and to launch students to fun, enriching summertime experiences.
Ideas for active summer learning
Offer recommendations for active summer learning opportunity experiences. Check with your local department of parks and recreation about camps and other activities. Find out what exhibits, events or concerts are happening in your town over the summer. Create a directory or calendar of local summer learning fun to share with your students and their families. (Be sure to note any costs involved.)
1. Encourage parents to build reading and writing into everyday activities. Some ideas to pass along: (1) watching TV with the sound off and closed captioning on, (2) reading directions for how to play a new game, or (3) helping with meals by writing up a grocery list, finding things in the grocery store, and reading the recipe aloud for mom or dad during cooking time.
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2. Encourage writing. Give each of your students a stamped, addressed postcard so they can write to you about their summer adventures. Or recycle school notebooks and paper into summer journals or scrapbooks. Another way to engage young writers is to encourage your students to spend some time researching and writing community stories — not only does it build research and writing skills, but helps kids develop a deeper sense of place.
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3. Kids blog! Arrange for a safe, closed community so that your students can blog over the summer. Edublogs and Kidblog offer teachers and students free blog space and appropriate security. Free, disposable e-mail accounts are available at Mailinator. Students can create an account there, use the address long enough to establish the blog and password, and then abandon it.
4. Be an active citizen. Kids who participate in community service activities gain not only new skills but self-confidence and self-esteem. Help them zoom into action!
Help parents plan ahead for summer. Work with the teachers a grade level above to develop a shortlist of what their new students have to look forward to when they return to school. For example, if rising third graders will be studying ancient cultures, suggest that parents check out educational TV, movies, or local museums that can provide valuable background information on that topic.
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Ideas for Summer Reading Fun
Summer learning opportunity includes making sure kids have something to read during the summer — put books into children’s hands.
Get your local public library to sign kids up for summer reading before school is out. Invite or ask your school librarian to coordinate a visit from the children’s librarian at the public library near the end of the school year. Ask them to talk about summer activities, educational videos, and audiobooks at the library and to distribute summer reading program materials.
Encourage parents to start a neighborhood book club with other families this summer. It’s a great way to keep the summer learning opportunity social and low-key. Warmer weather can inspire some not-so-run-of-the-mill meeting places, too: a tent or picnic blanket in the backyard.
Listening is learning, too! Suggest to parents that they set up a summer listening program. Listening is an engaging way to learn, and many children love listening to books, music, stage plays, comedy routines, and other works. Point out background sounds, such as the way the peppy tune on a soundtrack adds fun and humor to an adventure tale. Learning to listen is particularly helpful to children with learning disabilities.
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Take a look at our recent blogs for more learning tips and guides.
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