By: Damica Odom
Most kids have 2-3 months off during the summer that us parents can't relate to, right? Yet we know how precious these months are for them. As parents, this is our bonding time: backyard BBQ's, vacations to Disney World, and just sitting outside soaking up some good ole' Vitamin D from the sun-the best mood lifter in the universe.
What we don't know is, while we're soaking up the sun and blowing bubbles, our kids are actually becoming less and less prepared for the world they are about to enter once school starts again.
Cue the drumroll: The Next Grade.
No matter 2nd to 3rd grade, 9th to 10th grade, etc. spending all summer relaxing and emptying their brains with social media and baby shark, is lessening their academic skills slowly but surely.
What Can I Do?
To avoid summer slide, you really don't want to create a mini-school in your house. That will send your kids, back to us teachers, completely tapped-out in August! Let's talk about some fun ways to keep your child academically engaged this summer.
Virtual Summer School
Our Summer School Program here at SVVA allows you 5-weeks of a fun yet educational experience. Students have access to their own teacher for 2 hours a day-not nearly enough time to take away from your zoo trip or park day! They also have a Google Classroom where they have unlimited access to their assignments, educational games, projects and more! Not only will they be able to excel academically, they will also have the chance to socialize and engage with students their age around the world. As a parent you have the perks of being included in our exclusive Facebook group for parents where we post SVVA exclusives, educational tips, and parenting advice. Enrollment is filling up fast! Click here to sign your child up today.
2. Bake and Cook Together
Using recipes for summer dinner meals or your favorite strawberry short cake is a sure way to get the kids engaged. They won't even know they're learning!!! For the littles- this is a chance for bonding and getting messy, which they love. However, they are also learning independence, hand-eye coordination, and so much more. For the big kids- this is a chance for getting them off the Xbox, learning and practicing #fractions, and learning a new life skill. Plus, you get help in the kitchen, dinner's ready earlier, and you have small hands to get in those narrow cups for dishwashing. Everybody wins.
3. Science Experiments
I know you're thinking about the mess! What if I could present science with no mess? Check out the links below for mess free science experiments. For parents that have signed up for SVVA tutoring or summer school, you guys will be able to have access to worksheets, questions to ask before and after the experiment, and request FREE science experiment step by steps in our SVVA parent group. The great thing about these experiments is that you already have the materials lying around the house! With the rate of inflation, nobody is interested in spending extra money- we got you! If worst comes to worst and your dining room table is too precious for experiments, at least pull up the Youtube videos and watch other kids do them.
4. Write a Letter
Students aren't taught in most schools how to write a letter. Why? When we have social media and instant messaging and Facetime...
Writing a letter is a sure fire way to practice grammar and writing skills, learn their address, create dialogue, and increase self-confidence. My advice? Try a sentence a day and then work your way up. Allow the child to be the captain of this ship and address the letter, purchase the postcard, and put it in the mail. The independence of it all will surely create an "I'm an adult now" mentality. The anticipation of waiting for the reader to respond will create a fun experience for you child. They can write to family, friends, or even a mystery person (you all know how the Easter Bunny works right? Wink, Wink) and read the responses to themselves or out loud to you.
We all want our kids to have the best of the best-it's why we work so long and so hard-cars, clothes, shoes, college funds, etc. Sometimes our kids can become completely disconnected from the hard work it took to pay for the PlayStation 5 or the nice car they drive. plus higher insurance because they're only a teen and teens are known for bad choices. So how do we keep them grounded? We volunteer. We have so we share what we have. Spend one or two hours each month volunteering at a soup kitchen, giving homemade cards to the elderly, or whatever service you choose, remind your kids that we are all one bad investment, one bank foreclosure, one bankruptcy file away from needing help. This allows children to remain humble and grateful while instilling a lesson of giving back when they become successful as well.
6. Water Balloon Fight
Transform your traditional summer water balloon fight into an educational experience by adding math problems or alphabets and numbers on the balloons. Children yell our the answer before being allowed to throw the balloon at the target.
7. Try New Foods
Food is associated to experience and culture. Give your child's pallet a break from french fries and gummy bears, to experience a new food. Become #foodies and post your odd new meal or create a mini vlog about the history behind that meal and the culture of its origin. No matter the meal this is an easy way to expose your kids to something and somewhere new.
8. Daily reading