Ideas for balancing fun and education this summer

I love the summer time. I love the lazy mornings and the relaxed evenings. I love not worrying about homework or practice. I love taking my kids on road trips and taking them to play in the water. I love playing family board games and going on hikes. It’s all my favorite.

My kids love summer just as much as I do. They love sleeping in, going camping and visiting with their cousins. They love staying up late watching movies, playing xBox and Fortnite. So. Much. Fortnite.

While I am sure that someone out there can make an argument that Fortnite is educational, I’m not sure their teachers this fall, will agree.

The big question is, “how do I balance summer fun and education?” How do I encourage my kids to read, while also allowing them downtime to better their fortnite skills? Unstructured free time and education are both important.

Here are a few of my favorite summer activities that encourage education:

  1. Take a weekly trip to the library. The U.S. Department of Education states that reading daily can help kids avoid the “summer slide.” Most local libraries have summer reading programs that offer incentives and prizes.
  2. Put the kids in charge of the dinner meals for a week. All of it. Have the kids make the grocery list, go to the store, make the meal and set the table. There is always a lot of groaning and complaining, but in the end, they are very proud of their meal.
  3. Read to your kids, even the older ones.
    1. Read them one of your favorite books. My husband spent one summer reading the kids “The Princess Bride.”
    2. If you travel or go on a road trip, read them information about your destination. It’s a great way to pass the time, and it will make the trip more meaningful.
    3. Watch a movie based on a true story — then research and read about the true story. Suggestions; Adrift, Patch Adams, Remember the Titans, A Beautiful Mind, or check out this list.   

What are you favorite summer activities? How do you balance fun and education during the summer?

Melanie Flake

Melanie Flake

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