Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but we have to keep our kids engaged in learning, too. I love that my child’s school assigns summer homework. It lets him know that academics do not just disappear for two months. In a summer full of flipped schedules and new adventures, setting aside a little bit of regular structured homework time should be as necessary as sunscreen.
Here are 10 resources to try if you’re looking for structured summer homework time.
- Mother Goose Time (ages 3-5) — This professionally developed preschool curriculum provides hands-on activities for you to do together with your child. Fun lesson plans cover topics such as Community Helpers, Me & My Family, and Nursery Rhymes. Your child will enjoy learning through songs, recipes, and plenty of motor skills activities. The curriculum aligns with Early Learning Guidelines for New Hampshire.
- Little Passports (ages 3-12) — Do you want to expose your child to the world without leaving home? Little Passports is a learning program for children ages 3-12 to experience other cultures and learn about geography in a unique way. Developed by two moms, the program allows children to learn about the United States and the world through informative readings, short stories, and hands-on activities.
- Junior Ranger Programs (ages 5-13)— If your kids love being outdoors, you must check out the Junior Rangers Programs activities provided by The National Park Services. Participating parks can provide your child activities to complete as they learn from the great outdoors.
- Free Rice — Committed to ending world hunger, Free Rice is a non-profit educational website owned and supported by the United Nations World Food Programme. Its online trivia game lets you choose your subject (such as math, English, or SAT) and answer questions that test your vocabulary, knowledge, and more. For each answer that is correct, 10 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program.
- ReadWriteThink (grades K to 12) — If you want to encourage more reading, writing, and critical thinking, this website provides an abundance of ideas. Designed primarily for English teachers, ReadWriteThink includes an excellent parent and after-school resources page with lessons you can do at home. Activities include online games, free printouts, podcasts, and more.
- International Literacy Association: Reading Lists (grades K to 12) — Looking to find some new books to read? Then head over to the International Literacy Association’s Reading Lists page. You can choose from lists generated by teaching professionals, children, and young adults.
- Khan Academy — Khan Academy offers free courses on a wide range of subjects including trigonometry, physics, and world history. Your child can learn at his or her own pace via videos, questions, and summaries that aid multiple learning styles.
- Starfall (grades pre-K to 2) — Starfall offers online learning help for reading. Free printouts and subscriber pages give parents the opportunity to enrich early home learning with playful methods.
- DuoLingo — Does your child want to learn a new language or brush up on a language he/she learned in school this summer? Visit DuoLingo and decide how many minutes you want to spend “studying” each day and get started. This free interactive learning tool is a favorite among many foreign language learners.
- TED — When your kids want to watch TV, “turn on” a TED talk instead and learn something new. With hundreds of videos on many topics, TED is a great alternative to satisfy the urge to watch something. Let your older kids decide what to watch, and encourage them to discuss their opinions and points of view. Be sure to check out the “Talks to watch with kids” page here.