Keeping Those Brains Working Over Summer

Author: Dr. Julie. Sorenson, DMFT, MA, LPC

Summer is here, and the kids are home from school, ready to have fun. It's a season of discovery, spending quality time with family and friends, and exploring new places. However, it's important to keep the kids engaged in learning over the summer to ensure they're prepared when school starts again in the fall. Teachers often must spend time reteaching behaviors, rules, and information that may have been forgotten over the summer break. This responsibility falls not only on the teachers but also on the parents. Why not help your child by keeping their previous year's skills sharp and encouraging them to learn new ones?

There are plenty of resources available to help with math, English, writing, science, and social studies. You can make learning fun by incorporating activities such as singing songs, conducting experiments, writing short stories, and finding ways to make learning enjoyable. For example, you could plan a trip to the museum and then have your child write a short story about their experience there. After finishing the story, have them read it aloud to you so you can experience the museum visit through their eyes.


Additionally, numerous virtual websites offer interactive experiences for kids. These virtual field trips can take them to destinations they might not be able to visit in person due to distance. Some examples of virtual field trips include:

Your school may also have online opportunities to keep your child’s mind fresh. It is good to create routines for your child. Starting your day with some chores can allow your child to learn responsibility. Carving out some time for reading can also enhance their reading and comprehension skills. Many local libraries and bookstores have fun reading programs where your child can earn prizes for the time or number of books they read.

Allowing time for free play provides children with the ability to use their imagination. Kids love doing science experiments, this could be a way to have some quality time with your child. Allow them to pick out a few experiments they want to do and maybe some that you are interested in. Legos are also a great way for children to learn, as it takes discipline to follow directions and create.

Another summer idea to keep kids involved and stimulate their brains is career exploration. Taking your child on field trips to different establishments and talking to them about different careers is an activity that allows them to think about different career paths they may not have considered before. Here is a link for additional career exploration:

While your kids are home for the summer, give them learning opportunities, but don't feel that you need to have them overscheduled. Provide them with opportunities for camps. Allow your children to explore sports, music, and theater to encourage a well-rounded mindset.

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