Summer of Discovery
|“Travel is the opportunity to experience learning opportunities head on.”|
I’ve seen so many posts recently about the dreaded “Summer Slide.” If you read any mommy/education blogs, I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. Summer Slide refers to the “learning” lost during the summer that takes weeks to regain when school starts. I question whether they really “learned” that information in the first place. Learning, by definition, is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.
Notice the first word on the list – “experience!” Travel is the opportunity to experience learning opportunities head on. And, you don’t have to force it if you foster curiosity in your kids! I didn’t make my kids a travel journal to write what they learned. Nor did I have them come home and write an essay about the geology of the Grand Canyon. They learned about the striations and shape of the rocks by reading the signs there and asking questions.
This summer, go do things with your kids! Let them be creative! Want some ideas that require little to no cash? Check out my list below:
1. Visit a small shop in your town you’ve never ventured into.
2. Volunteer at a local food pantry, animal shelter, or nursing home.
3. Go to the library and check out the fun, free programs they offer.
4. Eat a meal in a neighboring town at a little café.
5. Go on a scavenger hunt for historical markers in your town.
6. Help your kids start a small business; this could be as simple as a lemonade stand.
7. Host a maker day at your house or in your neighborhood. Gather boxes, empty cardboard tubes, tape, fabric remnants and other items in your house and let the kids create!
8. If your kids are into drama, encourage them to write a script and put on a play; they can also create the costumes, props, and set.
9. Find foods from cultures not your own and cook a meal with your kids.
10. Talk to your kids, play with your kids, get into deep conversations with them.
These ideas aren’t new or revolutionary, but sometimes we need to be reminded that it is okay not to do what everyone else says we must. Your kids will only be this age once so worry less, enjoy more!
Leslie Clark is a parenting coach and co-founder of a non-traditional private school. She is passionate about helping parents find out of the box schooling solutions for their children. She has been married for almost seventeen years to a wonderful man named Darren and they have two amazing kids. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education) and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She taught in the public school system for almost ten years before making the leap to alternative education. For more about Leslie or to read more of her work, visit http://www.leslieclark.me/.