Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Summer Activities for Kids

In my last entry I talked a bit about summer learning loss.  I was thinking afterwards that it used to bug me that when I needed fun, educational activities while homeschooling I could not find very many in one place (especially on short notice) and many of the activities that I did find, although they were kind of fun, just did not get my son very excited.

Over the past few days I have put together an article describing lots of the fun activities we have done (and still do) and I do intend to keep adding to it throughout the summer.

If you need some fun activities for your child to prevent summer learning loss, take a look and hopefully it will also help you get creative with your own fun educational games and activities!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

School is almost out!

This school year is almost over and I am thrilled to report that once again my little angel has made the honor roll! Just because school is out does not mean that the learning ends though...

If you haven't already started planning a few FUN educational activities for the summer, why not get started? There are plenty of activities that you can do with your child to prevent summer learning loss- most of which you can find the information for free online!  Even if you are not really homeschooling, but are preventing summer learning loss, you may find what you need if you check out some great homeschooling sites- if you are not sure where to look first, I have a few articles that you might find helpful...

Homeschool for a child with special needs Is a personal story of home schooling outlining various activities we did together to keep it fun with numerous links to great, free homeschooling resources.

Free Printable Worksheets Is a directory of sites which I personally use and trust (which are free) when looking for worksheets for my son.

Free Printable Award Certificates for Kids Is more free printables!  Award ertificates really work wonders to motivate kids to keep trying and learning, if you need any then there are plenty on this article as well as links to many other free awards as well!

I do recommend the occasional worksheet- take a look at some of the work your child has brought home this year and try to find free worksheets on those precise topics  to give your child the extra practice they might need to cement that knowledge in their melon head.

Books are super important!  Try to stock up on books that are appropriate for your child's reading level and remember to ask them comprehension questions and see if they can sequence the story correctly.  Just 30 minutes of reading per day day help your child stay ahead for next year.  To help encourage reading we have a few special rules...

  • At lights out time, our son can stay up with the lights on as long as he wants over the summer- provided he is actively reading!
  • We bring books to our favorite restaurants (which typically have 30+ minute waits) and if he reads while we wait, he gets to order dessert instead of having dessert at home (I don't like to pay for those desserts since I make stuff like that at home regularly).
  • We bring books in the car.
  • We bring books to Dr. appointments- there is a prize if he reads and correctly answers a few questions while waiting.
Science is usually fun at our house- even the mundane parts can be fun if you think outside of the box or just get a little silly while reading through less interesting materials.  

Whatever activities you choose, do your best to make it a fun and rewarding experience.  The most important thing that any parent can teach is not facts, but a love of learning.