Did you know that the first month of school is usually spent reviewing material that your kids already learned the previous year, but forgot over the summer? Check out these 12 ways to keep your kids learning all summer long without them even realizing it.
I love summertime!
Freedom to do whatever you desire, from lazying about by the pool to taking a family road trip. Some days just staying in and having a movie marathon sounds good, or maybe you want to hike to a nearby waterfall.
The possibilities are endless.
My kids use this time to sleep in, stay up late, and just do whatever they want.
Just a relaxing couple of months.
Now you don’t want to infringe upon their summer fun with school work, no way my kids would go for it without putting up a fight. I don’t want to argue and nag them all summer, that’s no way to relax.
You don’t want them forgetting everything they learned either though.
Even as homeschoolers, summertime can be a time of forgetfulness. I find that I have to reteach certain things just so we can move on to the next concept more often than I like to admit.
So how can you sneak in some effective learning during those summer months without all the backlash? Keep reading and I’m sure you’ll discover some ideas you can start implementing right away.
Here’s the list
1. Have them keep a summer journal
Journaling is a fantastic way to keep your kids writing all summer.
Have them jot down a few paragraphs every evening documenting their day. If they like to draw, have them include a drawing along with their writing.
They can use this journal to help them keep their amazing summer memories to look back on later.
If you buy them a special journal just for summer, it will motivate them even more!
Skills: narrative writing, creative writing, grammar, art
Get them in the kitchen.
Cooking and baking require math skills.
They won’t even realize they are converting fractions, weights, and measurements. You could even have them create their own recipe, including ingredients and instructions for preparation.
Plus, they will learn some invaluable skills they can take with them.
Bonus, you won’t have to do all the cooking and they might surprise you with delicious food!
Skills: fractions, measurements, weights, conversions, cooking, baking, expository writing
3. Planning a road trip
Let your kids help you plan a road trip.
Allow them to help in deciding your destination then figure out the route and cost of the trip.
They can make a schedule for stops along the way by researching the area. Have them create a budget and help ensure it gets followed. Give them all the receipts and let them add up expenses and determine if you stayed within budget.
Skills: Mapping, Distance between two points, budgeting, researching, scheduling, basic math, and calculating tips and taxes.
I have created an amazing 11-page guide to help with all the planning. Use it to plan your next epic road trip. You can download the road trip activity guide below.
4. Treasure Hunt
Set-up a hunt that leads them to a specified location.
Give them directions using feet, yards, or miles. Or give them map coordinates. Have a new clue at each location that they must find using word clues from a riddle they need to decipher.
Be sure that the “treasure” at the end is something they will love and likely they will ask to do this activity again and again.
Skills: following directions, understanding measurements, converting measurements, understanding map coordinates, brainteasers, teamwork
5. Yard Sale
Have your kids go through their rooms and pick out at least 5 things they want to sell. Let them, with your guidance, determine the price they want to sell it for.
They can even research online a fair resale price for such an item to help them find the right price. Have them create a price tag for each item and place them on display at the sale.
Allow them to sell their items at the sale.
If someone is interested or wants to make a purchase, let them take care of it. This allows them to get experience talking to people, negotiating a fair price, as well as giving change.
At the end of the sale, allow them to keep the money they earned as a reward for their hard work.
Skills: giving change, people skills, customer service, understanding value, determining the fair market value of a product
6. Lemonade Stand
Every time we have a yard sale, I let my kids run a lemonade stand during the sale.
Usually, yard sales are during the hottest part of the day, and folks are thirsty. We also offer cookies at the stand, few can resist them.
This is a fantastic opportunity to teach your kids about running a business.
From designing a sign to setting a fair price on their goods and determining strategy and profit, these skills will help them in many future endeavors.
I think the hardest lesson my kids learned when running a stand was when they had to pay back their supplier(mom) for the cost of goods(lemonade, cups, cookies) from their sales.
They didn’t realize the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something was even a thing.
Skills: customer service, marketing, setting a fair market value, profit, and loss, basic math, giving change
7. Visiting a museum
Plan a trip to visit a museum that directly relates to a topic they have recently learned about.
Have them bring a notebook or journal along to take notes of interesting facts.
If they like to draw, take some time to sit quietly and make a sketch of one of these displays in their journal. Have them write down 3 things they learned that they didn’t already know.
On the car ride home, have them share these out loud using the information to help you lead a discussion about the new information.
Skills: note-taking, reading comprehension, oral report/discussion, art
My kids had photography as an elective this past school year, so naturally, continuing to develop this skill will be an easy sell.
Have them take a camera with them whenever you go out and encourage them to take photos using the skills they learned throughout their photography course.
To keep them taking photos, allow them to get prints developed for their best ones. Have a place for them to display their photos, either a clothespin wall display or a scrapbook.
Even if your kids haven’t taken a photography class, you can quickly find a few photography skills to teach them online. Just mention these skills while your out and about to help them improve their photos.
Skills: photo composition and storytelling, improving their shots, using photos to document events
Interesting in learning more about the photography curriculum? You can read my review of the course we used here.
If your kids have been learning to play an instrument, challenge them to write a song about how summer makes them feel.
They can write lyrics to go with their music. If you think they’d be up for it, plan a talent show or an open mic night to allow them to show off their hard work and creativity.
Skills: creative writing, understanding melody, rhythm, harmony, and notes/chords, performing
10. Make a solar oven
What better time to make a solar oven than in the summer when it’s hot?
We don’t get many hot days where we live other than in the summertime, so making a solar oven during the school year is out of the question.
Why not use it to make s’mores? Yum!
You don’t need anything fancy to make one either, just a few supplies will do the trick. Pizza box, some foil, a ruler, and of course some s’mores fixins.
There are all kinds of tutorials on Pinterest for how to make your own solar oven, so head over there and make yours today.
Skills: understanding heat and energy, determining time and temperature, cooking
11. Making Slime
Grab a slime kit at the store or gather up some ingredients to make your own slime.
Making slime is all about science.
There are so many different recipes for creating the perfect slime out there, just do a quick search and find one that you want to try.
Gather up the ingredients and let your kids play around with the measurements and different ingredients to see how they affect the results. Discuss why different ingredients react differently.
Here’s a list of simple slime recipes from Elmer’s Glue that are tried and true.
Skills: chemistry, measurements, trial and error
12. Making Bath Bombs
Much like making slime, there are many different recipes all around the internet just waiting for you to try them.
The way your bath bomb reacts when placed in the water is directly linked to the ingredients you use to make them.
Let your kids try different recipes and measurements to see which bath bombs they like the best. They can add colors and scents in so many different combinations, they’ll be entertained for hours.
Skills: chemistry, measurements, trial and error
Keep your kids learning all summer long using these activities.
Spend less time reviewing and more time learning new concepts at the beginning of your school year.
The best thing about these 12 ways to keep your kids learning all summer long is that they’ll be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning too.
Why not start doing some of these activities today?
Until Next Time…
Wanna read more about my Road Trip Planning Guide? Check out this post that includes all the details you need to plan that perfect trip.