When schools close for the summer, don’t allow your children to take a vacation from learning!
Studies show that children can actually loose the academic skills they acquire over the school year if their minds aren’t stimulated by activities that help them retain their precious scholastic abilities for the new educational challenges of the new school year.
The Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ Department of Teaching and Learning asked its coordinators -- the instructional personnel who actually work with teachers to make sure the division’s curricula is properly taught to students – to select fun activities that parents can help their children achieve and learn.
Below are some suggested activities for children:
- Participate in an enrichment activity like the summer band and strings program offered in Virginia Beach or wherever your summer is spent.
- Play word games such as Hangman.
- Design a comic strip to display on the refrigerator each week.
- Keep a poetry journal.
- Keep a vocabulary journal of new words learned. Integrate the words into family discussions.
- Discuss one current event each day.
- Create a script to act out with friends.
- Write a letter to the editor of a favorite magazine.
- Create an original joke book.
- Design a new computer game.
- Keep a log of words not recognized while reading; use a dictionary to find the meaning of the word. Use the word in conversation and writing as often as possible during the summer. At the end of the summer, check to see how many of these vocabulary words you now know.
- Select a current event that will recur, clip the event, follow the progress of the event, and write log entries with your understanding/feelings about this recurring event. (Example: Iraq, the election, global warming, etc.) If possible, recommend your solution in your log.)
- Read a novel (or several) that a friend or family member has recommended to you.
- Visit the public library, get a library card, and check out books that interest you.
- Read stories to younger siblings or children in your neighborhood. Be the teacher!
- Check the Sunday newspaper to see if an author that interests you is appearing locally (in a library or book store). Go hear the author. Ask questions.
- Check out the public library nearest you. Often, there are summer programs for all grade levels.
- Keep a journal of your summer activities: what you did, when, where, with whom, and whether you liked the activities or not. Share some journal entries with classmates when returning to school.
- Write at least 1 weekly email (or letter) to a classmate..
- Volunteer as interpreter in an establishment which tourists from the target culture are expected to visit.
- Volunteer as an interpreter at an area hospital.
- Visit local museums and galleries. Write about the colors and scenes found in the paintings.
- Visit businesses, such as department and grocery stores, to see how the economy works and how math is applied to daily living skills.
Be a tourist at home in Virginia Beach and learn while you visit these outstanding attractions:
- Historical homes
- Cape Henry Lighthouse
- First Landing State Park
- Fort Story/First Landing Cross/Battle off the Capes Monument
- Old Coast Guard Station
- Princess Anne Courthouse area
- Tidewater Veteran’s Memorial
- Virginia Legends Walk
- Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center/Chesapeake Indian Exhibit
- Contemporary Art Center of Virginia
- Norwegian Lady Statue
For more ideas and references, check out the following websites: