I’ve sat through three parent sessions this week at my daughter’s school that dealt with “summer brain drain” and how to keep kids from losing 30% of what teachers worked hard all year to cram into their little brains. And while some of the information was useful, very little of it took into account that kids actually need and deserve some time off. I was also struck by “fun activity” recommendations they offered parents for keeping kids’ minds engaged all summer. I’m pretty sure that my daughter would not, in fact, enjoy me dumping her LEGOs all over the floor so that she can count them as she cleans them up.
For my part, I’m not running to the bookstore to snatch up subject workbooks for my incoming first grader to be tortured over all summer. But I will spend some time talking to her (vocabulary building) during a day trip that I’ll let her map out (geo-literacy) to visit a national monument (history/social studies) where she and her brother will explore with wild summer abandon (recess).
Sometimes the best learning moments are disguised as fun.