As the traditional school year draws to a close, the relaxing and sometimes bustling summer is only beginning. We’ve put together a list of ways to learn on the go! If you live around the Nashville, Tennessee area, you’ll be especially interested in our list, but be sure to check out similar places close to you too!
Social Studies & Science
Map Reading Skills sure sound boring until you realize that by handing your child the local zoo map (like this one), you’re not only discovering facts about animals and their habitats, but you’re also practicing traditional map reading skills that sometimes get passed over in this GPS world!
Keep in mind there are usually maps at science centers, amusement parks, and on brochures to vacation destinations! Plus, they will hold your child’s attention and give her a feeling of responsibility if she’s the one navigating!
Science & Language Arts
Zoos, Science Centers, & Caverns are only some places where you can spend a few hours or few days with kids. Whether it’s an all day visit or an occasional visit to your local zoo, the whole family can read & observe a lot about animals, nature, space, and will get to experience the learning first-hand. Check into the reciprocity agreements with your local museums and science centers. You may find that you can purchase a family pass that can be used in a variety of places.
Art, Mathematics, & Physical Education
Skill practice is usually what happens during more structured learning times, but now it’s time during the summer to take a painting class, shoot some photos (and play with free editing tools), spend a few hours learning how to code, or catch a local team sporting event. You’ll be surprised to consider that not only are your kids learning perseverance, teamwork, design,game rules and maybe a new skill, but you’re also making memories.
Physical Education & Mathematics
Sports- whether organized or unorganized are not only great ways to get exercise and feel good, but they’re also all about teamwork, determination, competition, and effort. Aren’t those skills that your child can always use year ‘round? Add to that some statistics, batting averages, elapsed time, & money and you’ve integrated math with the real world.
Going to the capitol building is just a little more fun when it’s followed by an ice cream cone and a walk around downtown. Take lots of photos and remind your kids of the trip when it comes up learning about government or battlefields. It will make more of an impression when you’ve actually visited a place. Or, take a wrong turn and get off at a different exit. You can visit a new place or a place you haven’t seen for awhile. Compare how places are different, alike, and how places change over time.
Mathematics& Language Arts
Building a treehouse, building a sand castle, or painting a fence Tom Sawyer style are all great ways to get moving, accomplish learning, and still have fun. Cause and effect, perseverance, reading and following directions, and math skills all play a major role in these learning opportunities. Check with your local hardware store to get building (even for the little ones).
Making new friends is a great way to learn! When you’re traveling, they can be people you’ll choose to keep in touch with after you return home. When you’re a regular somewhere, they can be the people that will help you out in a pinch. You never know where you’ll meet a friend and you can learn about different perspectives and cultures. There are even groups that are designed specifically to make friends while learning!
History & Cultural Studies
Get in touch with old friends and family. Go visit that Great Aunt who hasn’t seen your kids yet. Go visit your old college roommate who lives just an hour away. You’ll get to relive old memories and it will give your kids a chance to learn more about their own history and yours. Visit the place where you grew up (yes, including the candy store that’s still there). Talk to your kids about what life was like for you growing up. It’s all about history, making connections, and having fun.
Cultural Studies & Science
Visit a restaurant. By finding a place that offers food different from your average meal, you may open your child’s eyes to cultures, customs, and exotic foods that your child hadn’t realized even existed. Talk about why some of the foods you eat aren’t found locally. Contrast those foods with ones you find during a visit to a local farmer’s market.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.
– Mahatma Gandhi