The Best in Summer Learning

The BestinSummer LearningUnfortunately our brains don’t stop once summer hits. Yet, who wants to work hard at learning – especially when there are so many fun things to do? Well, to be honest… I don’t. I’d rather sit by the pool and enjoy my summer… but I know… I know… we can’t let our brains (or our kid’s brains) atrophy. BUT – we gotta do it without stress.

Here are our favorite no -stress summer learning ideas!

  1. Need inspiration for learning – go to the king of inspiration – Pinterest!
  2. Find some great summer reading for middle schoolers and elementary age kiddos here!
  3. Choose an online summer school alternative!
  4. Bring a writing teacher along on your summer vacation!
  5. Get your kids hooked on a summer science program!
  6. Find great summer ideas for your homeschool highschooler.
  7. Have a garden? Use it as a learning tool – summer learning in the garden.
  8. How about a whole pinterest board on great books for summer reading?
  9. If “free” is your thing – check out free summer ideas for kids.
  10. Or – just break down and allow them to play computer games – but don’t tell them they’re learning games!

Television…is it a big deal?

We’ve been seeing the signs, hearing the warnings for a long time now. In fact, why wouldn’t it make perfect sense? Television can have an effect on our children, and not a positive one. I really enjoyed this talk from a recent TED conference. When we allow kids to just sit in front of the television we are playing nature games, and experimenting with habitats. This speaker is a pediatrician, a researcher, and a PARENT.  I think the combination really allows for discovery of what is truly going on behind the scenes… I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

TED Talk on Television

Early Learning Anxiety

I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked by a worried parent where their preschooler should be developmentally, and what they should be learning educationally! To be completely honest, this really bothers me… can I tell you why?
You see preschoolers are by nature – learners. That’s why they ask 100 questions all day long. They learn by doing, by playing, by asking. These little people have learned an amazing amount of stuff since the time that they entered this world. How did they do it? Did you sit them down and try to teach them the 1, 2, 3’s of walking? Of course not, they did it on their own – through experience. That is how they were created to learn. By playing, feeling, doing, seeing, asking, wiggling, they learn what they need to know about the world around them. Learning this way develops and encourages a love for learning, and these little ones see learning as fun!
If we approach early childhood learning in a formal way, they are forced to conform to something that they are not ready for. We all know these little guys are designed to move… can we make them sit still and learn their numbers/letters/writing etc. for hours on end? I guess we could, but it would have devastating effects on how they would view learning for the rest of their lives.
Yet, teaching these early learners through doing, feeling, and playing is another story. They can learn well, when they experience it. Let your little ones color, paint, play with play dough… because they are learning while they are doing this. They are learning how to hold a pencil and their fine motor skills are being tuned to be able to do a multitude of things that will prepare them for formal education in the days to come.
Don’t stress over where your preschooler is… let them learn the way they were made to learn!