What do your kids do on their summer vacation? Many kids go to camp, or visit relatives, or enroll in special classes designed for children. But no matter if your kids are heavily scheduled, or if their time is completely their own, summertime is a perfect time for kids to experience boredom, forcing them to be creative. It's a time to follow interests, discover new passions, and experiment. But even the most self-entertaining child sometimes runs out of ideas, so here are some items they can add to their summer checklist.
1. Explore outside. Being outside in nature is important for all children. Fresh air, exercise, and observation of the natural world are synonymous with childhood. See what your kids can discover about the area around your house, and about themselves.
2. Make a pet rock. When they are out exploring in nature, kids can choose a rock. Something not too large, and with a smooth enough surface to take paint or sticky items. When they bring it back, once washed and dried it can be decorated with paint, glitter, sticky foam, googly eyes, or whatever is needed to make the rock into a new pet. And here's the best part: It doesn't require food or cleaning up after.
3. Go stargazing. Summer is the perfect time to go stargazing. It isn't too cold at night, and a family snuggle on a blanket looking up at the night sky is an enjoyable way to learn together. Read up on a few constellations and planetary locations ahead of time, and your kids will think you're a genius.
4. Study the weather. Set up a little weather station and measure rainfall, wind direction, and temperature. Chart these over time to see how the weather changes in your area. Compare notes with a cousin who lives in a different city.
5. Watch movies.Movies that your kids missed in the theater but are out on DVD still make for an exciting way to spend a lazy afternoon when it's too hot to play outside. Popcorn and lemonade make good accompaniments.
6. Catch up on geek classics. This is a fantastic opportunity to indoctrinate your kids in the all-important geeky movies, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Princess Bride, Back to the Future, WarGames, Tron, and others. And for older kids, set them on Monty Python, The Matrix, Akira, and Highlander.
7. Read books. That says it all.
8. Visit the library. Most local libraries have summer reading programs, special craft project times, puppet shows, teen clubs, and other fun things organized specially for the summer. Check the schedule at a library near you.
9. Build with Lego. Kids can build free-form projects, or modern art pieces. If they run out of ideas, challenge them to build a spaceship, a plant, or a robot. See who can assemble the most realistic Dalek. But no instruction is really necessary here. We've all been building with Lego since we could hold up a 2x4 brick. Give them a tub of Lego and let them go.
10. Experiment with cooking. Even very young children can try their hand at cooking or baking. They can help to measure ingredients, stir, and arrange the final result. Older kids can cook on the stove, or use the oven. Contributing to the family meal is a very rewarding experience for kids of all ages. And the more that they learn how to do, the more they can help out on a regular basis.
11. Become an expert on a period in history.Regency England, Ancient Egypt, modern day Lapland... It is all within their reach. Have them choose books at the library, or search for interesting websites. Then have them teach you all about what they have learned.
12. Play in the dirt. Sure, it's messy, but there is research that says it is good for you. And there's something about digging and piling and making trenches that is just fun. Plus it's one of the five best toys of all time, so you can't go wrong there.
13. Make forts. No matter your age, making and playing in forts made out of pillows, blankets, and couch cushions is a load of fun. Bonus challenge: Make the fort large enough for grown-ups!
14. Rediscover old toys. If your kids are anything like mine, many of their toys get forgotten, or perpetually hidden behind other toys. Summertime affords plenty of time for kids to go through their rooms and rediscover some of the toys that haven't been played with for some time. Perhaps they've outgrown some of them, and can donate them or pass them on to others.
15. Play with science. Roll cars down an incline. Mix vinegar and baking soda. Examine ants on the sidewalk. Compare rocks. A lot of the usual childhood activities are just science. Have fun with it!
16. Play board games. Of course, this activity is good for any time of year. But if you have more than one child, or a child with nearby friends, encouraging them to play board games together always bears fruit. Kids often come up with their own set of house rules for old favorites, and often have more patience with each other for repeated rounds of the same game, over and over. And any time that parents have to join in, all the better.
17. Watch the Summer Olympics. This year the summer Olympics will be held in London, England from July 27 to August 12. No matter their leanings, there is likely a sport or two that will interest your kids. In addition to watching and learning, kids can mark the winners on a world map, or keep track of the medal count.
These activities are great for kids alone, kids together, or whole families. I hope they help everyone have a rewarding summer, and hopefully, your kids will quickly develop a daily mantra of, "What can I learn or discover today?"
As the summer vacation time comes closer, each student looks up to it with excitement, having many plans in mind. To take a trip to a new city, join some new activities, visit your family, do an internship, spend time with friends. After a hectic semester and long study hours, a break from the college is surely a time to relax.
But think this- is spending the entire day in just enjoying and having fun enough? Not really, because once the holidays are over, you would be getting back to your school or college and your studies. So, you must not break off your connection with your books and notes. It may look like a tough task to do when you have no burden of assignments, tests and evaluations, yet you have to study. But it is very helpful to avoid summer learning loss and will indeed help you a lot when you join back your classes.
Some of the suggested ways to keep in touch with your studies are given below:-
- Prepare your upcoming semester calendar and mark all the important days, i.e. scheduled tests and exams. According to the dates, draft a study plan with which you are comfortable.
- For each subject, prepare a list of the references and notes that you will need for an in depth preparation.
- Keep your work organized as much as possible. Buy folders for each subject and keep sticky notes with you to mark anything important right at that time.
- Visit your library at least once during your vacations. Read of books which are relevant to your subject or of your own interest. You will also get the opportunity to choose sources from a vast variety of books, journals and magazines.
- Take up one subject at a time and read a chapter from it. Take your time sufficiently. Also, refer to the class notes given along with the chapters.
- Now, make your own notes based on your understanding from the chapter. Read them when you get time so that you understand it well.
- Expand your knowledge by studying topics online, which are related to your subject. This will not only increase your knowledge about the topic, but also strengthen your interest in the subject.
The tips mentioned above will keep you in touch with your studies and avoid summer learning loss.
Here are some benefits of studying even during your summer holidays:
- It helps keep your learning fresh
Studies show that we have a tendency to forget whatever we study within two to three days, if we do not revise them time to time. And indeed it is true, that’s why our parents and teachers ask us to revise our chapters again and again. This helps you to stay connected to your studies and make sure that you do not forget your lessons.
Let us consider a situation where you are taught kinematics a day or two before your winter vacations begin. And you have spent all your leisure time in travelling and hanging out with your friends, not going through the chapters even once. When the college reopens, you would be wondering what does that word even mean!
To avoid such situations, it is always good to revise your lessons during your summer break.
- It lessens academic pressure on you
Many institutions assign homework and research projects to students, which are intended to be completed during your vacations. Also, evaluation tests too begin in no time once you resume your classes after holidays. Hence, the vacations are a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the exams and complete the assignments. Leaving both for the last minute will make situations complicated for you, where you will not only be confused as what to do, but also lack behind in your scores and quality of your projects and homework.
- To prepare for upcoming lessons
As the academic year begins, students have a fair idea about the scope of their syllabus which they will study all through the following semester. So, when you go for your college holidays, you will be having a fair idea about what will be taught in the class after college re-opens. Hence, it will be wise to spend some time during your break for studying. This way, you will be able to understand the concepts better when they will be discussed in class after the vacation.
- Helps you analyze your position
When a semester is going on, there are a number of assignments, projects, classes and tests scheduled to keep the students busy. It is difficult during such times to review your own position and evaluate yourself, as to how much do you really know. To solve such problems vacations can be a perfect time, as there is no such schedule to keep you engaged, and you can go through your lessons and make tests for yourself to know your true knowledge.
Prepare tests for each chapter and solve them once you are thorough with your lesson. For a better and fun learning, you can ask your friends to make the question papers too, and exchange them with each other. This way, you will get a real chance to test your knowledge while benefiting others around you too.
- Get time to catch up
It happens at times that you are lagging behind in a topic or subject, where you are not clear with some concepts or not understood it well. Summer break is the best time to correct your flaws and ace your game. To begin, pick up the topic which seems the most difficult to you. It may seem to be really boring and you may not understand it all in one go, but keep trying until you finally succeed. Keep in mind to focus on one topic at a time to cover up, or else it may get confusing again. Summer is also a great time to hire yourself an online tutor to keep you focused on your pursuit. Online tutors allow learners the luxury of studying at your their pace, at their own convenient time and from the comfort of their home. If you feel you are lagging behind in a particular subject or you need more attention for a particular topic, summer is the best time to tutor up.
- To have your parents’ support
When your parents are with you and sit beside you when you study, there is no trouble that can come your way. Everyone requires motivation and inspiration to achieve their goals, and parents are the best people whom you can look up to. Discuss your problems with them freely, ask them for help in your subjects and study with them. This will not only make you feel closer to them, you will have a mentor at home too, to guide you in the right direction.
- Study with fewer distractions
While you are at the college campus or in hostel, there can be a number of distractions to take mind off the books; friends’ plan to the club tonight, the new movie at the theatres, baseball match practice or anything else. You may not be able to keep a distance from such things every time, and it may affect your studies slowly. Studying during your college vacations will give you an environment free of all such disturbances, which will keep you in focus. Hence, make sure you go through your lessons at home during vacations, to understand them without distractions.
- Get a chance to apply your knowledge
Practical experience is a must to assess knowledge. If you are a history student, take a visit to the museum and explore the collections present there. Or if fashion is your subject, do your own study by visiting various brands, analyze the fabrics, cuts, embellishments etc. such visits enhance your knowledge and give you a knowledge about what is happening in the world, related to your field. You will surely get to learn a lot through such kind of outings.
Now when you know the benefits of studying during a vacation, make the best out of them. You will notice the improvement in yourself as you get back to the classes after vacations. It might seem boring to sit back at home and study when you have the opportunity to have leisure time, but good efforts pay back well for sure.
Reverse your Summer Learning Loss with UrgentHomeworkHelp
Urgenthomework offers summer tutoring programs for students of K-12, college and universities starting from mid-May till July every year. The learners can opt to study online a subject of their choice and their grade level. Our online tutors will set up a perfect course outline for the same and with the help of that you will receive personal 1:1 online tutoring with our tutors as well as online homework help with quizzes, practice sets and tests. So this summer use your time in the best way to either improve your understanding of a course or to learn a completely new topic with online tutors from urgenthomework.com
So, how are you planning to keep your study mode on track during the summer break ? Do share with us in comments.