Guest Post: Summer Education Tips

The following is a guest post by Winter Harris the editor of Christ Centered Home Magazine. She shares her own tips and tricks to keep your kids learning, yet having fun, this summer in Prince William County!
Guest Post: Summer Education
by Winter Harris

One
of the most talked about problems for children during the summer is how
much information they lose from the previous school year because there
is not an option at home to continuing building upon what they have
learned. As a mom, I understand how difficult this can be when you are
used to transporting kids from school to practices and other
extra-curricular activities. If I’m being completely honest, the end of
the school year signals a welcome break for more than just the kids;
Mom is officially on “Summer Vacation” as well. However, the older my
kids got, I began to realize the importance of them retaining the
information they had learned during the school year.

I
strive to set my kids up for success so I went on mission to find the
least stressful way to promote learning throughout the summer. Thanks
to our dear friend, the Internet, we don’t have to go far to find the
tools we need to make things fun and interesting. My children range in
age, so I have a variety of suggestions you can use.
  • First
    and foremost, encourage your children to read at least 15-30 minutes a
    day
    . This alone can help them keep the mental juices flowing. Use your
    local library to check out a variety of subjects, and not just the ones
    they enjoy reading. There are great fiction and non-fiction books that
    promote learning without seeming too obviously educational. My children like to read
    books about history and facts. My son can tell me information from the
    1800s that I had no clue about.    
  • Use online resources like ABC Mouse, Disney Jr and Sprout Online that include free printable
    worksheets, grade appropriate games and learning challenges. I’m huge
    on electronic devices, so if you have a tablet or device, utilize those free
    educational apps. My kids will jump at the chance to play on my tablet. I would suggest any apps by IntelliJoy.   
  • Take field trips to places like the Manassas Battlefield Park, Bull Run Regional Library or the Teaching Garden in Bristow. There are an insurmountable number of options to choose from in Prince
    William County, but these are some of the ones we frequent.  
  • At
    home I like to choose a letter of the alphabet each week and attach a
    scripture to it. We have a large empty pretzel container and each time
    they can repeat the scripture back to me or name something that starts
    with our letter of the week then they get to put their name in the jar. We have a weekly drawing and that child wins a prize. We attach age
    friendly scriptures to promote fairness in the game. This concept could also be applied to poems, historical speeches, or the Bill of Rights as a way to promote memorization.
Summers can be relaxing and educational. As moms our job is to do our best in finding the balance between the two. Try visiting the National Summer Learning Association
to get the facts and to find additional resources. While I get the
importance of taking a load off, I just want to ensure my kids don’t
dump the whole load and that they are adequately prepared to start the new
school year refreshed, ready to learn. Enjoy your Summer!

Winter
resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and four children.  She
enjoys traveling, photography, scrapbooking, writing, socializing, and
decorating.  She attends Fireside Church, where she is a part of the worship team.  She owns Christ Centered Home Magazine, a modern periodical for today’s woman of faith.  She is active in the non-profit community, member of Off the Field PWA, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Meant 2 Live foundation. You can follow Winter on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.