For those of us who need the summer break, summer learning loss is a real concern. In this week’s Homeschooling & Loving It! podcast we discuss the statistics that show the seriousness of summer brain drain and what it means for all of us as homeschoolers. And, NO… I’m not encouraging lesson plans and worksheets for summer learning! I’m doing the nice thing and giving you a summer learning challenge that is FUN! That’s right, with 10 smaller challenges to implement in your summer daily routine! So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started…
Challenge #1 – –Just read. Experts seem to think that reading at least six grade/age-appropriate books during the course of the summer will curb any brain drain that might want to sneak up on your poor unsuspecting kiddos! But don’t turn reading into another chore – – try using some of these challenges to make it fun!
#2 Make library visits part of your daily summer routine — like every Monday – or whatever day the library has something fun for the kids! While you’re there do some fun things – let the kids choose their own books – enroll in some fun events.
#3 Join a summer reading challenge. Most libraries have a summer reading challenge with a reward for finishing – but there are others like Scholastic that hold a summer REad a Palooza – – and even Good reads is hosting a summer reading challenge. Find one that your family thinks is fun and get reading!
#4 Can’t find a challenge you like? – Start your own! Involve your own kids – your homeschool co-op – or even the neighborhood… I’m sure your neighbor moms would love it!!
#5 Encourage your child to read every day… how you may ask – – by reading with them! Sure it’s summer and we all want a break – but for me getting to read a book for pure enjoyment is an opportunity that I don’t get much. Take the summer as a chance to share that experience with your kids… I like to do it right after breakfast before everyone gets off playing or working.
#6 Read to your kids! Yeah, even the older kids like to be read to… and if you can’t find the time or don’t feel comfortable reading aloud – use audio books. There are so many free audiobooks that your kids would love. Alternate between books they read and audiobooks to keep it interesting!
#7 One of our favorite summer pastimes is visiting the zoo, museums, and state parks. I love it! But my kids also tease me – yes – I confess I’m a sign reader – I have to read every sign at the museum… so I’m always the last one out and it takes me forever. But I promise I’ll speed read if someone wants to go to the museum with me this summer!!
#8 Ask friends and family that are traveling this summer to send your kids postcards with a few details about the places they’ve visited. This is a super fun way to sneak in a little reading – – and what child doesn’t love to get mail??
#9 Get cooking! Yes, even cooking is a way to get in a little reading practice. Have the kids search for the recipe they want (using indexes) and then plan and determine what they have and what they need and make a grocery list. Quite an adventure!
#10 Play board games – – yep you heard that right – – and you don’t need to go buy those fancy learning games. The good old fashioned games like SCRABBLE, Monopoly, and BOGGLE are perfect for practicing spelling!
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]