Make Summer Learnig Fun

12 Ways to Make Summer Learning Fun

Help your child retain reading, writing and math skills this summer without making it feel like work.  Incorporate learning into daily errands and interactive activities found in your own backyard.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, students who don't participate in any summer enrichment or educational activities lose about 22 percent of knowledge and skills gained during the school year. Teachers often spend the first two months of school reviewing past material.

When you help your kids make the connection between what they learn in school and how the material relates to the real world, they retain more of their new skills and grow into more engaged, enthusiastic learners.  

1. Calculate tips. Next time your family eats dinner out, help your child determine the tip when the bill arrives.

2. Grocery shop. Dictate your grocery list to your child and have him keep track of the list. As you shop, talk about prices, sales and healthy choices.

3. Visit a farmers market. Peruse seasonal produce native to San Diego with your kids. Ask about fruits and veggies you’ve never heard of. Practice math skills by giving your child a list, a budget and some money to shop at the market. Find a list of San Diego County Farmers Markets at www.sdfarmbureau.org.

Grow a Garden

4. Grow a garden. Kids can learn more about their environment by cultivating their own fruits and vegetables. No room in your yard? Grow a patio or container garden together. Your child can take pictures or make notes in a daily gardening notebook detailing the life cycle of the plant, any problems encountered and how she worked to solve those issues. Learn how to create at patio garden here.

5. Cook together. Involve your child in meal planning and preparation. Depending on your child's age, he could be responsible for a meal once a week. Following a recipe helps your child practice fractions and reading.

6. Play travel agent. Thanks to the Internet, your child can easily research your family's vacation or a hometown field trip. Give him a list of questions to answer about the location, cost and hours of a specific site she wants to visit. Continue the learning when you arrive at your destination.

Tune In
7. Tune in. If your child is passionate about music, attend free concerts in local parks. Encourage her to learn about the history of the music she's interested in and read biographies of favorite musicians. Here is a list of free San Diego summer concerts.

8. Explore nature. Apply what your child has learned in life science to your backyard. “[My daughter and I] always talk about different birds, bugs, and how flowers and trees grow,” says Catherine Elder, mom of an 8-year old. “She actually teaches me some things that she's learned in school. It makes her feel good to know she is helping me learn, too,” Elder says.

9. Go digital. Got a bug or plant enthusiast? Have her grab the camera and go on a scavenger hunt for different species. When she's done she can make a digital presentation of her discoveries.

10. Journal. Purchase an inexpensive journal that your child can personalize (or make one). Write a prompt or question at the top of the page. Take turns writing messages and stories back and forth. Scholastic offers writing prompts at www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters.

11. Read together. Summer is the perfect time to help your child find books and magazines that match her interests. Read together or start an informal book club with your child and a few friends. Schedule an afternoon to discuss the selection over an afternoon snack. Discover San Diego’s Summer Reading Programs and “8 Books Moms Should Read with Their Daughters.”

12. Be a scientist. Discover great DIY science experiments you can do at home.

Looking for more educational summer fun? Find day camps and classes about science, nature, digital media, art and much more in our camp directory.

---------

Freelance journalist, Christa Melnyk Hines, and her husband are the parents of two boys. She is the author of Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.


Published: July 2015

Your Summer Camp Guide: 50+ camps to plan an epic summer

Your Summer Camp Guide: 50+ camps to plan an epic summer

Do your kids want to learn new skills and make life-long memories this summer? Browse through our Summer Camp Guide to find awesome camps and plan an epic summer. Do you have a future game designer . . .

Read more

Make a Splash at Summer Camp!

Make a Splash at Summer Camp!

With San Diego’s oceanic surroundings and ideal climate, it’s no surprise that local summer camps often include aquatics-based recreation. If getting wet is your child’s favorite part of summe . . .

Read more

Is Your Preschooler Ready for Day Camp?

Is Your Preschooler Ready for Day Camp?

There’s so much to love about summer camp: fun traditions, new friendships, the great outdoors, art, athletics and much more. Even the littlest campers can expect a positive experience. According . . .

Read more

Is Your Child Ready for Sleep Away Camp?

Is Your Child Ready for Sleep Away Camp?

Is Your Child Ready for Sleep Away Camp?  Can He Handle an Overnight Camp?When is the right time to send your child to sleep away camp? Here are four signs your child may be ready for an overni . . .

Read more

10 Tips to Find the Right Day Camp

10 Tips to Find the Right Day Camp

Summer day camp is a place where children can learn new skills, acquire new interests and make new friends. But there is no one-size-fits-all camp. To find the right day camp for your child, conside . . .

Read more

Junior Lifeguard Programs

Junior Lifeguard Programs

Swim to Ocean Safety: Have Fun this Summer with San Diego Junior Lifeguards Find local Junior Lifeguard programs Every summer thousands of kids in Junior Lifeguard uniforms gather at San Diego beach . . .

Read more

Summer Camp for Every Kid

Summer Camp for Every Kid

Does your child have a special need? Are they facing a challenging medical condition? Just not sure they’d fit in socially at summer camp? The enormous benefits of summer camp apply to everyone, s . . .

Read more

Teens Wanted: Counselors in Training

Teens Wanted: Counselors in Training

Summer is the perfect time for teens to gain valuable leadership and work experience by being a counselor in training (CIT) or junior camp counselor. There are many volunteer opportunities as a CI . . .

Read more

The Woes and

The Woes and "Woo-Hoos!" of Tent Camping

We recently went camping with three families that “camp” in their RVs about a dozen times a year. Even though we hadn’t camped for four years and we don’t own an RV, we were not intimidated. . . .

Read more

How Not to Worry When Your Kid Goes to Camp

How Not to Worry When Your Kid Goes to Camp

If your kids are going to camp this spring or summer, you may be wrestling with worries and what-ifs. What if the other kids are cliquish or mean? Will the camp director call me if she’s miserable . . .

Read more

12 Ways to Make Summer Learning Fun

12 Ways to Make Summer Learning Fun

Help your child retain reading, writing and math skills this summer without making it feel like work.  Incorporate learning into daily errands and interactive activities found in your own backyar . . .

Read more

Teens: Volunteer for Summer Camp at theNAT

Teens: Volunteer for Summer Camp at theNAT

Like many high schoolers, I am required by my school to do a minimum of 50 hours of community service. Community service projects like school clean-ups can be awful and boring, but the summer of my ju . . .

Read more

Five Reasons Why Summer Camp is Affordable for Nearly Every Budget

Five Reasons Why Summer Camp is Affordable for Nearly Every Budget

The bottom line about summer camp costs is that there is a summer camp to fit nearly every budget. Many families may miss out on the summer camp experience for their children because they aren’t a . . .

Read more

The Top Five Reasons Kids Should Go to Camp

The Top Five Reasons Kids Should Go to Camp

The Top Five Reasons Kids Should Go to CampSummer camp can be one of the most rewarding, unforgettable experiences in a child’s life. Camp provides children with a community of caring mentors who . . .

Read more

Fun Ideas for Summer Camp Care Packages

Fun Ideas for Summer Camp Care Packages

Here are some fun ideas for summer camp care packages! Camp care packages do not need to be big. It is better to keep the summer camp care item simple—a card, a little love note, or a small box o . . .

Read more

Ready, Set, Camp-Escrita en Español!

Ready, Set, Camp-Escrita en Español!

What happens when you make the decision to choose camp? You open up a world of discovery and learning for your child, a world that values children for who they are and who they will become. Camp giv . . .

Read more

Benefits of Learning to Sail

Benefits of Learning to Sail

Sailing is an incredible experience that has lifelong value and rewards for kids. Consider sailing lessons and camps as you plan your child’s summer activities.1. Time outdoors. Sailing is an ideal . . .

Read more

Best Family Camping in San Diego

Best Family Camping in San Diego

Ready to embark on a San Diego family camping adventure? Help your kids experience the great outdoors at one of the many family campgrounds in San Diego County! First-time campers? Consider pra . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!