This summer, students will swap their pens and pencils for sea shells and sunscreen –but Reach Cyber Charter School Principal Jane Swan wants to remind parents that quality learning can still take place even when school is out of session.
“Whatever your family’s plans this summer, you can find ways to keep education alive and fun for the students in your household, especially for your elementary and tween-age students. I find that summer breaks are the perfect time to celebrate and strengthen the educational growth students have made throughout the school year. You’ll be surprised how many activities you have been doing for years can help reinforce what your children have learned in their classes,” said Jane Swan, principal of Reach Cyber Charter School, Pennsylvania’s newest full-time, tuition-free, public cyber charter school.
1. Run a lemonade stand—Turn a simple summer treat into a lesson in economics. When planning the stand with your child, have them think about which supplies they will need, how much the supplies will cost and how much to charge for lemonade. Running a lemonade stand can offer a lesson in entrepreneurship by teaching children about commerce and how to keep a business running smoothly. It can also reinforce the idea of doing for others if your children decide to donate their earnings to a local charity.
2. Plant a vegetable garden— Have students plant seeds and teach them about what plants need to grow: air, sunlight, water and nutrients. By tending to their gardens every day, students can learn the science behind nature and where their food comes from. When you have a veggies to harvest, use them to cook a homemade meal as a family.
3. Explore the ocean –Our oceans are endless opportunities for learning. From marine biology to the changing tides, your students can explore the science behind the ocean.
4. Visit the beach and collect shells-When going to the beach, have students go on a search for shells, and see how many different shells they can collect. After the trip, go home and research your favorite shells for a mini science lesson to find out what creatures they came from.
5. Build and paint a birdhouse for your backyard—Have students paint and assemble their own birdhouses with a birdhouse making kit. This can provide a fun way for children to learn how to read and follow directions while promoting creativity and artistic skills.
6. Volunteer in your community — Volunteering is a great way for students to learn how to listen and follow directions, while also giving back to the community. There are many community service opportunities that provide simple, hands-on activities for children that will make them feel like they’re making a difference.
7. Take a nature walk —Pack some lunch or snacks and explore a local park! Have students observe the nature and wildlife in the park by jotting down or snapping photos of all the different plants and animals they see. Have students record the sounds they hear in nature, and see if you can identify them with some research when you return home. have your student research nature conservation centers where they will learn how they help our environment and simple ways they can help at home.
8. Make a sidewalk chalk mural—Have students create their very own murals with colorful chalk on a sidewalk or driveway. Encourage your child to choose symbols that represent their interests.
9. Read every day—Summer break is a great time to explore your local library. Spend an afternoon selecting books about the season, and set aside some time to enjoy reading.
10. Make a scrapbook of your adventures—Make a souvenir from your summer break by collecting postcards, brochures, and pictures of all the interesting places you go and promote writing skills by encouraging students to include descriptions and stories of the places they visited.
Reach Cyber Charter School is Pennsylvania’s newest statewide, tuition-free, online public charter school for students in grades K-11. The school was approved in April 2016 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and began serving students in grades K-9 in the 2016-17 school year. Reach Cyber, a Pennsylvania Connections Academy, provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with an innovative online school curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.ReachCyberCharter.com.