As children chant “No more pencils, no more books” be careful that they are not throwing away months of hard work over summer vacation. To prevent summer learning loss, here are a number of activities that will keep a child’s brain stimulated and eager to learn more.
- Read, read, read and read.
Visit the local library and encourage your child to choose age appropriate books on topics that they find interesting. It doesn’t matter if they go for the world of Harry Potter, the history of Montreal’s own La Ronde amusement park, or the space missions of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. What’s important is that they are learning about the things that interest them.
- Bringing information to life
Get creative in finding real activities and opportunities for children to experience the information they find in books. Going on field trips to a farmer’s market for the child who enjoys gardening, taking a day to walk about one of Montreal’s many museums of art or history, visiting the local farms or zoos with the child who loves animals, or involving them in a home cooking class to learn how to make their favourite meal.
- Make technology your ally
When you child does sit down for some screen time, give it an extra purpose. A new movie came out? Give them the task of “reviewing” it for the family (summarizing the main points, giving an opinion, rating the film, and identifying anything different such as a twist ending). Have a kid who loves their tablet? Find educational apps that target core skills (math, reading, spelling) and challenge them to achieve a new high score.
- Get involved
With whatever time you have together, take an interest and discuss topics of their choice. This can be done during dinner, at the beach, or in the backyard. As you spray them with the garden hose, pique their interest as to why the water created a rainbow. Look up the answers together, and watch as the questions pop up spontaneously for the next learning opportunity.
What ideas and suggestions of your own? Please share them below in the comment section so that everyone can benefit!