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Jun
5
2012

All-in approach to summer learning

in Life Lessons, Parenting

Photo by Avolore on www.sxc.hu

Have you ever seen Fear Factor? You know those freak contestants that climb into the bin of snakes, eat roaches, and tight rope walk between sky scrapers? That is the perfect example of the “all in” mentality that has run my life. Summer planning for my kids is no different.

Over the last few weeks of school, I gathered bridge workbooks, bookmarked websites, printed handwriting paper, collected flashcards, and prepared a schedule (yes a schedule!) for summer work. My goal is to not only have my kids maintain their current reading and math levels but to actually LEARN more over the summer–and have fun doing it.

Today, for example, we spent 90 minutes doing a round robin learning with 30 minutes of English work, 30 minutes of chores, and 30 minutes of quiet time for drawing or coloring. We followed that by hands-on math in the kitchen (aka cooking). After lunch we headed to the library for a scavenger hunt and to pick up our summer reading logs.

We are also incorporating fun Girl Scout patches in our summer learning. In order to get a patch, my girl has to complete a project (like baking for the fire station, planting a garden, raising money for the animal shelter, or starting a recycle program for our family) and read a book about the subject matter.

It is important to me for my kids to love learning. I feel like if I can grab their interest now, find their passions, and instil a desire to WANT to learn, then this will give them the same all-in mentality that I have. If I can also incorporate family cooperation, community service, and love for others then I am preparing them not only for success at school, but also in life.

I just have to find what makes them want to learn and then go “all in” to make that happen. My daughter increased two grade levels in reading in a single school year after being diagnosed with dyslexia. She WANTED to read a chapter book by herself, and that desire lead to her success. My 6-year-old has a science and math brain like his daddy. He can build a snap circuit and make a lightbulb turn on by himself. Feeding that scientific mind forces me to think outside the box on how to stretch his mind with projects. And my 4-year-old… he’s as smart as whip. He can already identify a trapezoid and sphere and he LOVES showing his skills in colorful art projects on my walls. My goal is to break the bad habits without breaking his spirit. We are getting there.

My kids are unique beings, and I think that summer is the perfect time to discover their passions and grow them. I’m all-in with my kids this summer. What are you doing with yours?


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