5 Educational Ways to Prevent the “Summer Slide”

Exhibition "Garden for Children" at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 2010 | Educational ideas for children in the summer | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Mekiko Endo

Education is not intended to end the first week of June!  Recently at my kids’ elementary school I met with a group of moms and school staff to talk about the knowledge that is unfortunately lost during the summer. Think of the summer as an opportunity to implement some educational activities at home and your children will thrive in the coming school year.  Here are 5 easy ways I’ve found that can fill the educational void that often enters your children’s lives in the summer.

Educational ideas for children during summer | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Ari Zakharova

1. Go to the library

This is very important! Reading during the summer keeps children from losing an interest in reading, comprehension skills, and vocabulary. Libraries always have fun, free summer events for kids. My local library recently had the author of a children’s book visit and read the book. Afterward they made ice cream and it was all free! Attending the library on a regular basis will keep the kids thinking about books and will feed their imagination.

Educational library time for kids
Photo courtesy: pragmaticmom.com

2. Plant a garden

Find a space in your yard and add a raised planter bed, or get a few small plants you can grow in a pot on the window sill. You can effectively use this to teach your kids about  self-sustainability, the importance of a healthy diet, the life cycle, the importance of caring for our planet, and even build a love for all that nature has to offer when it is nurtured. The kids will love watching their own plants grow and it’s such a great experience to eat the food you grow yourself, coupled with the fact that it is the best food for your body.

Home garden for educational purposes
Photo courtesy: domainehome.com

3. Take advantage of vacations

While your out of town, look up educational places nearby to take the kids. Go to a museum. Take a hike or bike ride and learn about the wildlife, rocks, and plants along the way. Check out a local visitors center and learn how that town became an established community.

educational kitchen space
Photo courtesy: Ashley Blankenship

4. Give a daily assignment

I usually try to keep summer homework to about twenty minutes. Sometimes I will have them read or I’ll read to them for 20 minutes.  Sometimes I’ll give them a math book or a work sheet I found to work on. One of my children struggled this year with writing legibly. So for him, I got a book with a focus on writing.

educational study area
Photo courtesy: Sharon Montrose

5. Take regular walks with your kids.

Walks help me bond with my kids. We use this time to talk, relax, and be in nature. It’s a great way to give everyone a reset and get ready for bed before the sun goes down. It makes the kids so happy and they love to bring scooters or bikes. When you give your kids the time they need from you, they are more likely to reciprocate and they’re more likely to cooperate when you hand them that math workbook/worksheet or ask them to do their daily reading!

Sarah Jessica Parker educational walks with kids
Sarah Jessica Parker + crew | Photo courtesy: celebritybabyscoop.com

Educational Resources Perfect for Summer

It’s not wrong for kids to rest and have fun in the summer, but it is equally important to inject education as much as you can during this time.  Giving your kids some educational experiences during the summer keeps them happy and takes away from the boredom of too much free time as well.  Check out some of our tried-and-true finds below.

Share Your Ideas Please!

If you have any other great ideas, let me know!  Please leave a comment below sharing any ideas that have worked with your kids during the summer. I’d love to use some new ideas this summer or next.  🙂

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