Today is the first Monday of summer break. It is cooler than usual in St. Louis and the sun is streaming, the trees they cut down are waiting for the stumps to be picked up and the girls are already engaged in their summer learning.
Eager minds are like sponges, waiting to absorb experiences and learn more and more. The school door closed on Thursday, but learning doesn't have to end.
I think that is the difference between the kids who advance and those who start off behind, they are not engaged over the summer.
It doesn't take much, a trip to the library, a walk around the park, a bike ride, or playing with legos are all activities that keep the elementary mind sharp. The walk around the park can be a science lesson about the different trees, grass, and animals seen - it is also a physical activity. The Legos are spatial, creative, and include math, engineering, and to a degree, technology. That trip to the library is an adventure in a brick building. Most of the libraries across the nation have opened wide their doors with programs that include incentives for minutes and hours read, computers for continued learning, and activities to curtail summer boredom. I relish the idyllic summers of my childhood where I devoured book after book, my local library was my favorite place, it was also air conditioned!
My daughters are both entering 4th and 6th grades, respectively. Both are eagerly spending the morning on their summer homework. They have each come to appreciate how much the eleven weeks add to their overall learning goals. They have already logged summer reading hours and are calculating problems to keep those math skills sharp.
Summer can be full of adventure, camps, and loads of fun just going to the pool with kids in the neighborhood. It can also be a time of great discovery and learning. Libraries are free. Take advantage of it.