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Summer Learning with Parents and Families

Summer is here.  Some of us ask, “Where did the time go?”  Summer has always been associated with fun and relaxation, particularly for our students.  They look forward to summer.  This is their time to relax and I say let them relax. They deserve it!

However, just because summer is here does not mean that learning has to stop.  No, I do not mean summer school or their assigned homework.  I refer to a more informal type of learning.  For me, learning happens everywhere and there is always an opportunity to learn.  This also is the time for parents to take part of the learning process.

What can parents do?  Actually, many things.  Parents can use supermarket shopping or even recreational activities like swimming, camps, etc. into a review of mathematics.  Keep them aware of current events and discuss them with children.  Even a movie can be used to motivate learning.  Movies can be a good source of history, writing, mathematics, literature, arts, geography,and even science.  The key is always being able to turn such events into a teachable moment.

Someone I know always turn family summers into a mini-career fair.  Every week, this friend invites a “guest” to a family dinner.  The “guest” is invited strategically so that the children are exposed to different professions and careers.  The children, even some neighborhood kids, get to interview the guest and learn more about different professions.  I find this strategy clever.

To close, learning does not stop because the school year is over.  Make learning a continuous event.  Parents will be surprised that they, together with their children, are learning too.  Talk about a win-win situation!

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