What does it mean to have a memorable summer? For many of us, it’s relaxing on the beach or throwing backyard cookouts. But for our children, an unforgettable summer looks very different.
Think back to your favorite childhood summer memories. The odds are, they didn’t involve reclining and relaxing. That’s because what really resonates with children is exploring the world, discovering new things, and staying active. A child’s brain is constantly growing and simply isn’t built for a lot of down time. Attending a summer program infused with learning like Apple Montessori’s Summer Camp is one way to keep that spark ignited. Here are ways you can build learning into your summer plans.
Time to Schedule Lessons and Museum Trips? Not Quite…
Your child wants learning and stimulation. So, it’s time to pack their summer schedule with lessons, flash cards, and museum visits, right?
As parents, it’s tempting to go into traditional classroom mode and plan out lessons, introduce our children to core subject matter, and even quiz them on what they’ve been learning. Sometimes that happens when we’re too focused on the outcome (what we want our children to learn) and not the process (how they’ll learn it). But process is what makes all the difference. If you were educated in a traditional classroom, it’s something you know very well. Sitting at a desk, listening to the teacher telling the class how fractions worked, and then turning to page 38 of your workbook to try to make sense of abstract math problems probably didn’t get you excited about learning.
So, how can we help our children learn in a way that keeps it fun and exciting?
Let Fascination Lead the Way
Children learn best by indulging their curiosity and following their interests. So this summer, let them take the lead.
Fascination is one of the best motivators for learning. And that’s great news because Children are constantly fascinated by something. So much of what we take for granted about the world is still new and interesting to them, so they’ll latch on to different subjects and want to learn as much as they can about them, whether it’s lions, venus fly traps or volcanoes.
That doesn’t mean you just have to sit back and do nothing. Children are great at finding things to learn about, but they don’t always have the tools they need to do a deep dive into those topics. And summer is the perfect opportunity for you to help them explore and learn more about the things that animate them.
Endless Ways to Learn
Summer has endless opportunities for learning.
If your child wants to learn about animals, why not visit Lucy the Elephant? Or go for a nature walk and point out the birds and little critters scurrying through the trees. Another fun, simple thing you can do is go online and brush up on some animal trivia. Did you know that elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump? Or that the killer whale is a type of dolphin? These facts (and more) will really wow your curious child.
If your little one is fascinated by maps, you can do more than just flip through the Atlas with them. Take them for a hike to a high spot so they can get a firsthand glimpse at how things look from high on up. If they’re really adventurous, you can even do the same from a hot air balloon.
There are also plenty of ways to turn your regular summertime recreation into hands-on learning experiences. While you’re spending time at the beach, grab some driftwood and draw letters in the sand. When you’re preparing for a picnic, sneak in a little math by getting your little one to help you divide the snacks into even portions. Little lessons like these really stick when they’re an organic part of a fun activity.
Our Summer Program is another great option. We provide countless fun, hands-on activities that help our students learn new skills, explore their world, and gives their brain a boost. Our summer STEAM curriculum combines physical activity with a blend of science, math, and art for a well-rounded learning experience.
These are just a few ideas. Of course, we have no way of predicting what quirky things your child will find interesting. The point is to get creative and find ways to bring these subjects to life.
A summer spent exploring, discovering, and playing is a memorable one. So, let your child take the lead and have a memorable summer!