I may be aging myself here, but maybe you can relate. When I was in middle school, our first activity when returning to school in the Fall, was to write a paper sharing, “What I did this Summer” and it was drudgery. Maybe it was because my summer activities were centered around our home or maybe it was because I hated to be put on the spot and forced to write something that did not seem natural to me.
As a homeschool family, frequently exotic summer trips are not an option, but this does not mean that our children cannot experience exotic destinations. As a homeschool parent, summer can become our greatest asset to excite learning! One way to excite your children is to give them a project – a chance to make plans and decisions — a chance to experience real life. Let me share a fun activity:
Begin by looking at a world map and ask your children to select a city or country they would like to visit. Once they have selected a place, ask them to begin to research and plan a trip to this location. This planned trip can be independent for teens, a family trip or a “get-away” for the child and one parent. Using the library or internet (with your supervision), have them; choose places of interest they would like to visit. Allow their imagination free reign. Dream big! Once they have finished dreaming their perfect trip, have them plan the itinerary for their trip. This itinerary should begin and end at your home location. Older children (middle school and up) should include planning and budgeting for their trip.
Once they have completed their plans, check your local library for videos (National Geographic tends to have excellent ones, although you may need to check for evolutionary content based on location selected) of the city/country selected for family night viewing. Make this more than just watching a movie! Using the internet, make recipes from the location. A wide variety of foods will breathe fresh enthusiasm into the study. For the more adventurous unit study mom, if you children want to explore a warmer climate, turn up the furnace and watch the video in lighter weight clothes or swim wear. For cooler excursions, turn down the air and put on the winter clothes. Other fun ideas include filling a baby pool with water or even sand to create a beach experience. (Protect your carpet/furniture) or create snow using crepe paper and small foam balls. For a more authentic snow experience, check out Super Snow. You and your children are only limited by your imaginations!
For families wanting to further expand the geographical studies of their summer trip, be sure to check out the one week, Passport Geography Studies! These fun, short term unit studies make perfect summer fun enhancements!
Learning through the summer has never been easier or more fun!! I would love to hear from you. What is your family doing for fun this year? Comment below!