Summer Is For...

Learning! Yay! Well, most of you might groan as old habits from childhood kick in. Recent studies have shown some startling things regarding kids/students (Yes Mom/Dad, you who are putting yourself through college).

Did you know that 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills are lost during the summer months? Or that typically, teachers spend between 4-6 weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer?

Yikes! So, how does this apply to you and your kids? Well, it is simple. Keep them learning.

While there are many private and community funded summer programs, sometimes there isn't the money or time to ferry kids back and forth. What you can do is contact your school and see if your teacher, or your kids' teacher(s) for the upcoming school year have any assignments that can be completed over the summer. Put a reminder up for next April/May to start checking your local newspaper & teachers.

Don't be afraid to watch educational programs with your kids or even alone. Many great shows are on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, NatGeo and the Smithsonian Channel and do not have that dreaded "e" rating in the corner. Some great programs my own family has enjoyed without realizing it is educational include, anything about animals/habitat, any show that talks about prior wars, shows that deal with civilizations, the list goes on!

Some other ways to learn on the sly, as I say, is via gardening, hiking, camping, pretty much anything outdoorsy.

As for keeping Math skills up, it is never too early to teach your kids how to save money when grocery shopping as well as budgeting money. Just by going to a grocery store with a set budget your kids will learn addition, subtraction, fractions, mathematical planning and averages. Perhaps even more. And to top it off, your family will become frugal and perhaps see why, no you can't have that box of cookies at $6.99.

Finally, in my home, we have Family Night. This is a treasured and loved night. But I recently added a twist to it. Every other Family Night is themed. We vote on the theme. It can be a country, continent, civilization, ethnicity, religion, idea, language or culture. Then the whole night is based on that. I do my best to make food within the theme (try new things). While we are cooking the dinner, I try to draw the conversation to philosophy. That's right, I sneak in philosophy on them while doing Home Ec.

In addition, I reward for any kid that can say a complete phrase (foreign language only). Rewards vary from "I'm proud of you" and a hug to treats. Then we watch a movie either from that country, culture, etc. Afterwords we talk about it. Find out what they found to be different or they liked plus how that area of the world/culture/etc. evolved to be different from us. Finally, I try to bring them around to finding similarities between themselves and whatever our theme is. Yes I did. I snuck in psychology and sociology.

The bottom line is, not only will you be learning, keeping your family learning but you will be spending some great time together. :)

Here are a few great resources to help you out in your quest for knowledge and giving your kids a leg-up in the world.


  1. These are really great tips!

    I talk to our kids about money and math things everyday. It is funny watching those gears turn. Our 11 yr old has Asperger and loves math and science. He comes up with calculations for things. it's funny.
    Thanks for posting

  2. It is great you talk to your kids about money and math. I really believe that kids need to be aware of money and all it entails. Thanks for reading!


Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Stay frugal!