August 21, 2017

4 Ways to Build Learning into Your Summer Vacation

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Jamestown

It may only be February, but I’m already starting to firm up summer vacation plans with camps, weekend trips and maybe even a two-week roadtrip from Washington, DC to Boston. Summer may be an extended break from school, but it’s also a great opportunity for learning. Take a look at these four things you can do now to build relevant learning experiences into your summer vacation.

Research Next Year’s Curriculum: Go online to your school’s website or to the state or county public schools’ website to find out the curriculum for your child’s next year in school. I did this recently and discovered that the kids would spend a good amount of time learning about Jamestown and Virginia Indians, so of course we’ll travel two hours to Jamestown this summer to get a jump on learning.

Look to Reading Lists: You’ll find plenty of reading lists online from Parents, Oprah.com, and Scholastic. Suggested books are often separated by age group, so check out the lists with your kids and pick some books. Then, think about how you can expand your child’s learning with travel or field trips. For example, read Charlotte’s Web, then visit a farm, or even check into agri-tourism.

Think About Holidays: Of course, the major holiday that pops up during the summer is Independence Day, so if you live on the east coast, why not take a trip to Washington, DC to check out the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives. There’s also Flag Day on June 14, a perfect time to visit the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia.

Check Out Summer Movies: Take a look at the list of movies coming out this summer and start thinking about ways you and your kids can take these to the next level. Madagascar 3 will hit theatres on June 8, so why not visit a museum to learn more about wild animals, like the International Wildlife Museum (Tucson, AZ) or the National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC).

Do you have any more great ways to integrate education and learning into your summer vacation? Let me know and leave me your advice in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: W Baldwin

Comments

  1. Great post! When you head to Boston, don’t forget about visiting Concord and Lexington where you can visit Minute Man National Park and Old North Bridge where the 1st shots rang out for the American Revolution. There are also some great author homes in Concord, Thoreau, Emerson and Louisa May Alcott ( the author of Little Women). Typically in the 5th grade students learn about the Civil War, so Gettysburg is a great place to visit. Also bring the kids to Ellis Island to learn about immigration. When you visit Philly kids can have breakfast with Ben Franklin which is only offered in the summer. Since you mentioned Madagascar 3, what better place to take the kids to Central Park Zoo. I can go on and on since bring lessons to life is my whole premise of my blog… the traveling classroom 🙂 …. just love educational travel!

    • Erin Gifford says:

      Sherri — Thanks for all the great tips. These all sounds so perfect for my kids and we can’t wait for our trip this summer. I’ve never heard of the breakfast with Ben Franklin. I’m definitely going to explore that one further. Ellis Island is another really good idea, and of course, who doesn’t love a good zoo! 🙂

  2. Love this! Just posted recently about a mapping book for kids I got from the library that was largely ignored until a day out at the ocean. When we got home, we pulled it out and mapped out our adventures from the day. Was great fun and great learning over our spring break!

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