It lets him see what we're doing for a living and it allows me to incorporate learning into our day. But even if you're together only at night and weekends, you can keep the learning going all summer long.
Summer's a great time to relax, but it's also such a wonderful time for parents to add to what their kids have learned during the past year at school and get them ready for next year. Brady also sees that Mom thinks learning is important too.
Here are some ways we do that just by taking opportunities during our regular daily activities:
- Nature walk, wherever you are. There is always something to be learned from nature. To the left, we were at an auction in a big city and I took us for a walk across the street to a huge drainage ditch. It was full of giant dandelions, butterflies, flowers and water. (Not to mention trash, a littering lesson!)
- Bring education materials everywhere. I have my office and home stocked with activity books for math, reading, spelling and writing. I schedule work time into our days. I also put educational stuff in a backpack I take with us on the road.
- Set goals. We have several reading goals and we are also working on the goal of getting Brady more comfortable with drawing. What areas does your kid need help in? Set a goal, any goal, and get to work.
- Have high expectations. Brady is capable of a lot, but he doesn't always see that so it's up to me to show him. When I lay out a schedule, he just accepts it and goes along with it.
- Intersperse with fun. We carve out time for outside play, trips to the pool, indoor non-screen free play, Nintendo DS, TV or computer. Summer is a time for downtime too and if he's had a break, he is less likely to complain about work. And we do take a break from the "school" stuff on weekends.
- Talk, talk, talk, especially in the car. Brady learns the most, I think, when he and I just chat. Unless we have a very long drive, no DS in the car. He asks me about everything. I learn so much from those conversations too. You can even play games with letters and words on signs, or count things that you see.