Summer Learning Activities and Skill-Builders - FamilyEducation

Summer Learning

Don't let your kids forget all they've learned this year! Discover how to make learning a fun part of your everyday summer routine.

10 Best Backyard Science Experiments to Try This Summer

Just because school is out doesn't mean brain drain needs to set in. Transform your backyard into your very own science lab and have a blast with these awesome summer science experiments. As you conduct your experiments, ask your child what they think will happen, and then discuss your observations and results when you are finished. Also, check out our favorite science and math toys and mobile apps. read more

10 Best Family Destinations for Learning Experiences

Traveling with kids almost anywhere is a tremendous learning experience, but there are certain places that really excel at educating kids in a fun way. In the "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Best Family Vacations," the FamilyTravelForum.com community recommends the following cultural centers in North America as the very best at bringing history and the arts alive for all ages. Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Best Family Destinations read more

10 Everyday Ways to Explore Science While Having Fun

Simple science lessons are all around us during the summer. Prevent summer brain drain in your kids with these mini science experiments and activities for children of all ages. Expand their knowledge of meteorology, zoology, botany, chemistry, and more without any special equipment or instructions. read more

10 Everyday Ways to Keep Your Child Reading While Having Fun

Reading is one of the most important skills you should try to boost outside of school. Foster your child's bookworm habits with these simple activities and tips that make reading so fun, he'll fill up his book chart in no time. read more

10 Free Summer Learning Printables for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners

Print these early reading, math, and learning worksheets to help your child prepare for preschool or kindergarten over the summer. Also, print this Preschool and Kindergarten Workbook for even more printables from our friends at Funbrain Jr. read more

10 Hands-On Nature Activities for Kids

Summer is a great time to get outside and learn more about the environment. From hunting bugs to making seashell magnets, these awesome hands-on activities are a great way for your child to get a little closer to nature. read more

11 Awesome STEM Toys to Get Kids into Science & Math

It's smart to nurture your child's love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)! Exploring science and math for fun could help give your child an edge in these subjects in school and beyond. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many STEM fields are growing, and STEM jobs pay nearly double the average salary of other U.S. jobs. See which toys can get your child psyched about science and math, from preschool through middle school! read more

11 Everyday Ways to Learn Math While Having Fun

Math is everywhere, not just in the classroom, and summer is a great time to learn how math relates to the real world. It's more than just addition and subtraction worksheets— it's everywhere you look. Keep your child learning this summer with these ways to find math in the everyday. Also, check out these fun math and science toys and mobile apps. read more

21 Free Educational Apps for Kids

Mobile apps can be a life-saver, but the cost of buying them can add up. These 20 mobile apps aren't just educational — they're free to download on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android mobile device. Don't forget to check out our top picks for paid apps, too! read more

7 Great Places to Squeeze in Summer Learning

Summer learning doesn't have to take a lot of time or resources. Although structured activities are great, quick and easy lessons on the fly are an educational (and much simpler) way to squeeze in a quick math or science session. The next time you find yourself at one of these summertime places, turn it into a fast (and fun!) learning experience. read more

7 Smart "Unschooling" Tips to Practice Now — Even If Your Child Is in "Regular" School

You don't have to homeschool your child in order to enhance her learning with experiences outside the classroom, according to author and education thought leader Clark Aldrich. In his book "Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education," Aldrich asserts that some of the best learning experiences happen outside the walls of a classroom and the boundaries of school curriculum. Incorporate some or all of Aldrich's "7 Cs of education" to round out your child's schooling and foster a love of learning. read more

Best Educational Apps for Kids of All Ages

Looking for high quality educational apps for your toddler, preschooler, or school-age child? These award-winning and noteworthy mobile apps help kids of all ages learn a thing or two during tech time. Also check out our top picks for free educational apps for kids! read more

Kick-Start Summer Learning: 5 Motivation Strategies for Kids with LD

Having trouble getting your child with learning difficulties excited about summer learning? Here are some motivation strategies from psychology expert Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D., that will encourage your child to dive right in to summer learning activities — and go the extra mile. read more

Mastering the Basics

Use summer school to help a child get a strong foundation of basics. read more

Practicing Summer Learning

When summer vacation seems to stretch to infinity, make sure your children's minds stay active. read more

Promote Summer Reading

Find tips on ways to encourage your child to read throughout the summer. read more

Sharpen Basic Skills in the Summer

Learn strategies to foster basic skills in a ten-year-old. read more

Stop the Summer Brain Drain!

Stop the Summer Brain Drain!Kids Lose One to Three Months of Learning Did your child's brain shrink last summer? Probably not, but it may have shifted into reverse, according to a study by Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The study found that when students return to school after a long summer vacation, they've lost one to three months worth of learning. Kids Lose Most in Math read more

Summer Learning Brainstorming Form for Parents

Determine what learning skills your child needs to work on over the summer, and record them on this chart. Then you can get started on the summer learning contract. read more

Summer Learning Contract: Page 1

Print out this contract to get your child interested in a summer learning program. Help him reach his summer learning goals and get prepared for the next school year. Go to Summer Learning Contract: Page 2. read more

Summer Learning Contract: Page 2

Use this printable sheet to record the creative and innovative ways in which your child wishes to learn new skills over the course of the summer. Go to Summer Learning Contract: Page 3 or go back to Summer Learning Contract: Page 1. read more

Summer Learning Contract: Page 3

Print out this contract to get your child interested in a summer learning program. Help him reach his summer learning goals and get prepared for the next school year. Go to Summer Learning Contract: Page 4 or go back to Summer Learning Contract: Page 1. read more

Summer Learning Contract: Page 4

Think about your child's goals for summer learning, and ask him to record the potential obstacles and possible solutions. Go to Summer Learning Contract: Page 5 or go back to Summer Learning Contract: Page 1. read more

Summer Learning Contract: Page 5

Print out and have your child sign this summer learning contract to help him reach his summer learning goals and get prepared for the next school year. Go back to Summer Learning Contract: Page 1. read more

Summer Learning Problem-Solving Form for Parents

Record the obstacles that might stand in the way of your child's summer learning program, and think about how to prevent them from interfering with the program. read more

Summer Learning That Isn't Math and Reading

Explore options for summer fun and learning beyond reading and math. read more

Summer School

Retention may not be necessary with enough skill-building during the summer. read more

Summertime Tips for Kids with LD

Summertime Tips for Kids with LD Courtesy of the Children's Health Council. Striking a balance read more

Tips for the End of School

Tips for the End of SchoolMake a strong finish! Here are the tips and resources you need to help you and your kids survive the end of school and enjoy summer. 1. How to decide which classes your child will take next year. Gifted programs Do you think your child has special talents? Don't miss out! Now's the time to submit parent and teacher referrals for gifted and talented programs. An evaluation period may be underway in your school to determine eligibility for programs in the fall. read more

What to Do When Summer Gets Boring

What to Do When Summer Gets Boring Two weeks into summer vacation, Harry dons his best pitiful face and turns it on you. "I'm really, REALLY bored. Are you listening to me, Mom? Dad? Anybody?" Banish boredom from your house this summer with activities that cross-pollinate and resonate with your Harry. Adventures that complement each other put skills and knowledge in a broader, more real-life context. When projects are related or are natural outgrowths of each other, that initial spark of interest jumps from one activity to another. read more