It's important to me that in our summers full of long, lazy, sunshiny days lounging in the yard and bike riding and hiking and field tripping to parks and splash pads and amusement parks and attractions my kids don't forget or fall behind with everything they learned in school during the year.
It takes some planning to keep up with traditional learning during the summer months while kids are on vacation from school. We join the summer reading club at the library every summer and have quiet reading time before bed every night. They do the money counting and score keeping when we're playing Monopoly or cards and there are lots of opportunities for learning when we're out for bike rides or hikes through the arboretum and ravine or exploring the botanical garden and the zoo. But my favourite learning activity is the summer journal the kids keep every summer.
We started the summer journals a few years ago. We set aside time twice a week for them to write an entry - one for the week and one for the weekend. It's so interesting for me to see what sticks out most in their minds and what details they remember and the differences in how the two boys interpret the same memory of an event. Then they draw a little picture to go along with each journal entry.
At the end of the summer it's a great little keepsake of their summer and a wonderful record of their childhood memories. And without even realizing it they've been practicing their reading and writing skills all summer long!
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