By Sophia Parsa
1. Plan educational field trips
You live in Los Angeles – a hotspot of amazing and often free museums, parks, and monuments that have so much educational value. What are you doing to take advantage of it? For example, did you know that in addition to their exhibitions, LACMA provides art classes for children and teens throughout the summer including watercolor, printmaking, and street photography? If your child isn’t a huge art critic but the star of the science fair, be sure to check out the La Brea Tar Pits or the Natural History Museum where they learn fascinating things about science and nature. Although these are great resources, it’s up to you to decide where the educational value will come from. There’s a difference between a fun trip to the museum and an opportunity to engage your child and challenge them to think critically about the world around them in a fun way!
2. Plan a summer reading list
Reading for just 30-60 minutes a day can help children retain their reading skills. There is a phenomenon known as the “summer slide,” which indicates that students who aren’t engaged over the summer tend to drop a whole reading level or two in just a few months. It’s time to be proactive! Plan out a list of books, fiction and nonfiction alike, to keep their minds active so they can go back to school ahead of their class. Plan trips to the library or participate in summer programs – the most important part is to keep it consistent and make sure they are kept accountable for their reading!
3. Help your child pick up a technical hobby, learn a new language or skill
Summer is the perfect time to learn anything that they’ve always wanted to explore. For example, they can learn to surf, learn to code, or pick up a new language! Whether it’s through a summer class or a private tutor, help your child explore their curiosities!
4. Connect your child with educational games and apps
For those who have children who can’t keep their eyes off their screens, the app store is loaded with apps like Angry Birds that keep them hooked for hours. But don’t be fooled – there are also tons of educational games and apps for all ages that can keep them engaged and supplement their learning while having fun such as Math Ninja or Mad Libs.
5. Find a tutor to connect curiosity with knowledge!
Ultimately, there is no substitute for accelerated learning through individualized attention and a personal relationship. A tutor can help you meet specific goals that you have in mind whether your child needs to catch up on subjects they struggle with or advance in subjects that they already love. They are a sure-fire way to keep your child accountable and on-track instead of lounging in front of the television all summer!
Sophia is the co-founder and CEO of toot (tootapp.com)- a mobile app that connects K-12 students to qualified tutors on-demand. Toot App offers In-person and online tutoring 24/7.