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Summer Matters – The Importance of Learning All Summer Long

summer-learning-engage

Summer is just around the corner and we all know what this means – warm sunshine, outdoor activities, maybe a vacation, and best of all – freedom from SCHOOL! Undoubtedly, kids get up early to work hard at school approximately nine months a year, so they deserve a fun-filled break to recharge their batteries. They should be able to enjoy their summers, just as adults do.

But where do academics fit in? Should we press “pause” on all learning materials and expect children to just pick up where they left off when the new school year starts in the fall?  Is summer vacation all about sleeping until late morning, watching TV, playing video games, and hanging with friends?

According to education experts, children are in constant learning mode when they are in school. But as soon as the final bell rings, their focus changes and the academic skills they acquired throughout the year simply slip into the background. This results in an academic loss that hurts them when they return to school. To make matters worse, teachers must then spend countless days reviewing previously learned material, time that could be better spent learning new concepts.

This is why it is important for parents to stay involved with children during summer holidays and set aside a specific time each day when they can review and enforce what they learned throughout the school year. Summer months are also a great opportunity for students to strengthen the areas in which they are weak.

The same goes for preschoolers. Since they are just developing various social, mental, and emotional skills, the summer months are a great time to polish and strengthen these skills so children don’t forget their newly acquired abilities.

Learning is a lifelong process and should not be pushed aside for TV shows, video games, and long slumbers. The beauty of the summer months is that they give children a chance to have fun while learning.

Summer Learning Tips:

Read, Read, Read

The summer holidays are a great time to catch up on reading material with children. Plan to visit the library and allow children to select books of interest. Consider participating in a library reading program that rewards children for reading.

At home, set a designated reading hour every day where each family member can enjoy a quite reading time.

You can also put together a summer reading list for each member of the family and celebrate the completion of each book with rewards.

Encourage Art Activities

Provide children with space and materials that encourage creativity and imagination. This can be anything from paper and art supplies to Legos and building blocks and even sculpting materials for older children.

Art plays a vital role in children’s development and enhances fine motor skills, problem-solving capabilities, concentration, and even confidence. So give children different art supplies and watch their imagination unfold.

Stay Active

Children not only suffer from lack of academic activities but they also become couch potatoes due to lack of participation in scheduled physical activities. Encourage them to stay active by enrolling them in a team sport, going swimming, taking walks together, and bicycling in the park.

Remember playing outdoors for several hours a day leads to improved concentration and better academic performance.

Take the Learning Outside Your Home

Use the summer holidays as an opportunity to visit all your city has to offer such as the museum, zoo, and the science center. If you are planning a vacation out of the city or state, make a point to tour historical landmarks and teach your kids what makes each area so special.

Plant a Garden

Learning can also happen in your own backyard or in pots on your balcony. Select some seeds and plant a vegetable garden. Take turns watering them daily. Extend the activity by having children decorate or paint the pots to personalize them.

Apart from all the above-mentioned activities, don’t forget to enjoy your fair share of carnival rides, movies, and lazy pool days. A balance of learning and fun will be the perfect combination for the perfect summer.

March 27th, 2017

Posted In: Tips

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Success through Montessori Style Learning

Success through Montessori Style Learning

The Montessori Method is a method of education that emphasizes the importance of keeping children at the center of activities and lessons. It is a set of beliefs that seeks to allow children to be themselves and act as children tend to behave. More specifically, the Montessori Method encourages the eagerness of children to explore their world and actively engage with their environment and their peers. This is much different from the more traditional method of schooling, which tends to place children in rigid classrooms that demand their attention and obedience. This can have a poor effect on children and actually work to reduce their interest in learning and observation.

The Montessori Triangle

As a highly effective educational method, the Montessori Method makes use of three separate elements. The child, the environment, and the teacher create what is sometimes known as a learning triangle. Every point is important for the overall success of the program. The environment, usually carefully prepared and organized by the teacher, is meant to stimulate interest and encourage children to engage. The teacher works to keep order while also guiding children through periods of self-teaching as well as more traditional instruction. The child, of course, is the center of the entire process and the most important point. All other points on the triangle are created to foster their intellect and ability.

Multiage Groups

Another important aspect of the Montessori Method is the use of groups of multi-age children. This is beneficial to both the younger and older children. Older children, for example, can help the younger children learn new concepts or ideas. Younger children provide older children with a means to reinforce their previous learning by helping someone new to the concept. In this way, a beneficial environment for all involved is created.

Allowing children to interact with their environment, their peers, and their teachers can have incredible effects upon their desire and ability to learn. Montessori style learning is one that can have a surprising amount of success, and help bring children to new academic heights and pursuits.

January 25th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori Education

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