Summer is here for my Michigan Virtual Charter Academy 3rd graders (K12.com school in Michigan) and my own children only have a few days left. I’ve had many friends ask me what I do for my own children to avoid the “brain drain” where students lose the information they learn over the summer. I’ll be honest, I don’t do much. I want my kids to have a fun summer, like I did as a kid. I want them to explore, be bored, get dirty, stay up late and enjoy the stars. This doesn’t mean I want them to not retain what they learned during the school year. I just believe that summertime allows for a different kind of learning.
This is why I try to not overbook the summer with tennis lessons, golf, sailing, etc. I want my kids to sleep in, play with their Barbie’s, build forts in the woods, stay in their bathing suit all day and go to bed with black feet and sticky faces. I’m okay with this. We go-go-go all school year long and have such a strict schedule of wake-up times, bed-times and after school activities. I like to just enjoy the summer.
With all that being said I do have a list of reading programs and online games that I highly recommend. As a teacher, I have a list I provide my families because I know that for some parents it is very important to have continued learning during the summer and some children need it. I get this. For my own children we limit television time, computer time and I encourage outdoor time and lots of reading. However, during rainy days many of these websites are bookmarked for my kids to utilize.
- http://www.bookitprogram.com/summer/games.asp – Free reading games
- http://www.bookitprogram.com/summer/ – BookIt summer reading program with prizes!
- https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10369_46265-84526–,00.html – DNR State Parks Explorer program
- https://learnzillion.com/ – An excellent site to help your student better understand common core lessons!
How do you encourage summertime learning for your children?