Planning Summer Learning Activities
What sparks your kids’ interest?
What skills or knowledge base do you have that you would like to pass on to your kids?
What skills or knowledge would you like your children to have?
Planning lessons, ahead of time, for summer vacation creates new learning opportunities and opens additional possibilities to create lasting memories. Before planning, I like to consider my kids interests and what I’d like them to know. Additionally, I consider what skills I have. Still, I don’t necessarily need to be skilled in an area for them (us) to learn. Often, an area I have some skill in is one I would like to share with my kids.
Also, I like to plan themed days for summer break. I currently have Thinking Tuesday as one of my theme days. It’s a day dedicated to learning about something or learning a skill. You don’t need a themed day to create a learning opportunity. However, having themed days makes it easier for me to plan fun ideas for summer vacation. Moreover, it provides the kids with some consistency over summer. Additionally, it gives them something to look forward to. To read more about what my kids think about themed days click here.
8 Steps to planning summer learning fun:
- Brainstorm ideas you would like your kids learn, including: your kids’ interest, your skills and knowledge base, and other skills or knowledge you would like your children to have. Additionally, ask your kids what they’d like to learn.
- Make a list of the resources you have, to support your lessons.
- Prioritize what you would like your kids to learn first.
- Decide when you would like to add some learning opportunities into your summer schedule and if you would like to do that as part of a themed day(s). Look over your calendar, consider family vacations, kids camps, and other activities.
- Decide how long you’ll want or need for what you’d like to teach your kids (some ideas might take most of the summer). This may require a little bit of research, especially if it’s something you are not as familiar with or would like some additional guidance on.
- Break it down into simple lessons, by making a list of lessons for each subject you’d like to teach. . (I typically, stick with 2-3 main subjects I want to teach the kids and have a couple of additional mini lessons.)
- Starting with your top priorities, start filling in your calendar with your plan.
- Review your plan. Is there anything you need to locate, purchase, or prepare ahead of time?
Keep it Simple. I try to plan a learning activity that is anywhere between half and hour to a couple of hours, depending on the activity and their engagement. Also, start with the basics– if your kids express an extra interest in the lessons, you can always add more later (maybe even the following year). Most importantly, have fun and enjoy this time with your kids!