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Summer Slide

Summer is here - the kids could not wait until they could have their summer days with no homework or a schedule and suddenly they are bored.

Don't let the summer slide hit your kids this summer. The best way to keep them engaged in learning without them thinking they are learning is to develop a summer learning unit.

When my son was about 5, we would pick a topic and then explore every aspect we could. One year we picked the topic of "Bugs". We went to the library to get all kinds of bug books. We would look at the pictures and find stories about bugs (The Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, Big Bad Bugaboo). Then we would go out exploring to see what kinds of bugs we could find in the cracks of the sidewalks, at the park, or on a nature trail.

One year he received a microscope kit and we made slides of dead bug legs and wings - what fun we had. The library is a great source of puzzles and movies as well as books.

As he got older, we studied dinosaurs and added a trip to the Field Museum. We studied ocean life, and went to the Aquarium. We studied animals and went to the zoo. There are so many learning experiences around us, it is easy to keep the learning going. The internet was not big when my son was small, but today you can even engage your child in looking up fun facts about whatever topic you choose. Go to YouTube and watch funny videos.....read a book with fictional animal characters and then go look up the real animal. My favorite example is Timon from Lion King. Mere Cats are such funny creatures and if the child is older, have them do a Venn diagram on comparing the characteristics of the cartoon animal to the real one.

Learning never stops and you would not believe how much you learn as a parent - about our world and about your child - during this process!

Happy Summer!