June 11, 2018
It’s that time of the year again, as school is out of session for kids across the country! Your child has made some huge learning gains over the school year, and you may be wondering how you can keep that learning growing while staving off the summer learning slide. Luckily it’s possible to mix summer fun with learning by creating your own customized plan.
Summer learning programs for elementary students revolve around one key aspect: choice! Since summer is a time for making great memories and having fun, it’s important that kids feel involved in the plan from start to finish. That means giving kids a choice when it comes to any rewards and learning goals.
Follow the steps below to tailor your child’s own unique learning plan this summer:
Step 1: Choose a Reward Your Child Will Love
When school is out, a little bit of extrinsic motivation can go a long way towards engaging children in the completion of learning tasks that are usually done in school. Choosing a reward ahead of time gives your child a concrete purpose, and something to work towards as they work through their studies. For younger children, think about offering several small rewards over time, while older children could look forward to one large reward at the end of the summer.
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When choosing rewards, be sure to work with your child and offer several ideas and choices. The rewards can be anything that fits into your family’s schedule, and can include outings, like a trip to museums, the beach, or an amusement park. You may also choose several small rewards, and have your child earn them by completing assignments or projects. Smaller rewards could include toys, puzzles, clothing, or bikes. These rewards are great because you might have planned on getting these items for your child anyways, and by offering them as a reward, they are able to earn them instead.
Step 2: Let Your Kid Decide What to Study
Once your child knows what he or she is working towards, it’s time to select what to study. While you might be tempted to hone in on problem areas, it’s important that your child doesn’t become frustrated or bored. A basic principal of Montessori learning, kids who are offered individual choice and pick their own learning paths are more intrinsically motivated to learn and complete projects based on the subject or topic they picked.
Your child might want to explore more about something not covered in school, or maybe he or she just really likes math or reading. Whether it’s music, art, STEM, or writing, ask your child what to study, and create learning goals based upon your child’s interests.
Step 3: Find Learning Supplies and Activities
After creating summer learning goals based upon the topics your child wants to cover, it’s time to find the right supplies and tools for activities your child will complete. Decide upon a few projects to complete over summer, while supplementing activities with learning tools to reinforce learning. To support learning goals in between hands-on projects, turn towards printable worksheets or engaging learning games and fun educational videos.
Step 4: Devise a Way to Track Learning Goals
Now that you have learning goals and activities to go along, you’ll probably want to figure out a simple way to track learning goals to make sure your child is progressing towards the selected rewards. Create a chart for every activity your child completes, and encourage him or her to update it as they progress towards their goals.
Alternatively, go digital and find a goal charting app available for free. Whichever you choose, be sure to engage your child in keeping track of completed tasks and projects to keep motivation high while teaching a valuable life lesson about keeping and attaining goals.
Step 5: Follow Through!
At this point, all you have left to do is implement your child’s learning plan! After reviewing the above steps, it’s time to get started on your child’s summer-long learning journey! As the summer goes on, be sure to make sure there are enough activities and learning tools to keep your child occupied and learning, working towards the end-of-the-summer goal!
Start thinking of rewards and goals first, and don’t forget to include your child in on the process every step of the way! Find more about 6 sensational summer learning themes to keep your child busy all summer long.