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June 2000  -  Volume 3  -  Issue 4

Keep Learning Alive This Summer!
By Linda J. Heller of PARENTS magazine

When the bell sounds on the last day of school, your kids don't have to put their brain on hold for the summer. They can enjoy themselves and keep their mind active by engaging in some of these activities, recommended by Lily Eskelsen, a teacher in West Valley City, Utah, who serves on the executive committee of the National Education Association, as well as Steve Barnnett, co-author (with his wife Ruth) of 365 Outdoor Activities You Can Do With Your Child(Adams).

  • For kids old enough to writer: Give them each a blank photo album, and inexpensive camera, and several rolls of film. Say you'll reward them at the end of the summer -- with a day at an amusement park, perhaps -- if they fill the album with pictures and captions of their summer activities, even trips to the mall or to a friend's house.
  • For good readers: Provide them with a subject, such as zoos or dogs or firemen, and have them clip out every newspaper article they can find on that subject each day.
  • For children who are indifferent to reading: Let them read whatever gets them excited, from comic books to sports magazines. Don't insist that what they read have literary merit. The point is that they associate reading with fun.
  • For those who like to draw: Suggest that they create a map of your neighborhood, beginning with your own house or apartment. Then walk around the block with them so that they can add other houses and landmarks to the map.
  • For families on car trips: Ask everyone to write down words they see on roadside signs. When you say, "Word time," each person in turn must make a sentence from his words.

Copyright 1998, Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing. Reprinted from Parents magazine by permission. Excerpted from, "As They Grow -0-13 years", October, 1998.

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