I am so happy when school lets out for the summer because that means I actually have time to teach my kids something! Yes, I know they do learn in school and that is important as well but during the summertime they meet with a much stricter and more loving teacher. Her name is Mommy. I think most kids generally forget much of what they learned during the school year by the time August rolls around and I try to avoid that by making learning an exciting adventure all summer long!
Here are some ideas of what we will be doing this summer to shake off the boredom and have some intense educational fun. Almost as soon as school lets out we will be having a party at our house, and inviting the children's cousin, friends and neighbors for an Ancient Egyptian play date, including foods from Ancient Egypt, inexpensive crafts that I am researching on the internet now such as making amulets, and turning one or two of the kids into "mummies". In this way we learn about how mummies are made, the kids learn to write their names in hieroglyphics, they get to experience a touch of Egyptian cuisine, dress up as Egyptians and have fun with their friends. We are also planning a 19th century (My daughter's idea and I couldn't resist) and a Greek Mythology play date. Each one will require research, work, labor, and eventually a great deal of learning fun! I am told I have to host the 19th century play date on a Saturday because so many adults who work during the week would like to attend.
Those in Tucson may also join up with us in visiting Flandreau Planetarium at some point during the summer and those outside Tucson can of course research similar places in their respective areas. My kids also always participate in the Summer Reading Program at the library, which I believe is a nationwide program. Some of our favorite books that promote learning are the "You Wouldn't Want to Be" series, which uses cartoons and humor to teach things such as Ancient Greece, Pompeii, American History, and Mount Everest. My kids adore them and they are some of the best educational tools I've ever seen. Another of our favorite authors is Marcia Williams, who has published several comic style books of Shakespearean plays, Dickens novels, and Greek drama. My goal this summer is to read all the Williams' comics of Shakespearean plays and Dickens novels to my kids. I also tend to teach them a little science and math so that when they reach higher math in their next grade levels it will not be totally foreign to them.
So what are you going to DO with your kids this summer? Hit the ground running and get them in gear to rock out their next school year.