The following post is mainly for parents. Teachers: pass this info on.
This is going to sound crazy....
And just by saying this I'm running the risk of you closing my blog and throwing your laptop or smartphone across the room.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES DONE TO ELECTRONIC DEVICES DUE TO THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT.
So here it goes.... are you ready?
"I don't like summer break!"
The problems with Summer Break
The problem with Summer Break is that it is TOO LONG. Another teacher once told me that it would be better for kids to have school year round with 2-3 week breaks dispersed throughout the year. I hear some school system do this......pure genius!.
When students go through summer, they come out on the other side having forgotten not only what it is like to be in a classroom, but much of the material.
Then teachers spend at least a month catching students back up.
That's not even the worst of it. If you are a parent, you know that by week 2 (or possibly even hour 2) of summer break, your kids are already saying things like, "I'm bored!" or "What should I do?"
What a shame!
Students need a break (happiness actually improves productivity). However, in light of the long summer break used by the current popular school system, we should do something to keep students' minds active.
So here are a five websites you can show your child to keep his/her mind active during that long summer break.
Online Classes for Students
1. DuoLingo - I'm biased here because it is the language learning site that I use in my classroom. DuoLingo is a great language learning website and app. Your students will not only see the language, but the software also speaks the language. As always, I have had some students complain about Duolingo. At the same time however, I have had students become addicted to this fun and easy way to learn languages. (BTW- They are working on adding Klingon to the list).
2. Khan Academy - You can learn just about anything on Khan Academy. I enjoy this site because it maps out your learning path so that you can see where you have come from and where you need to go to reach your goal. This website used to be known for just math, but now offers all the the following:
3. Codecademy - Software developers are in high demand these days. If your child enjoys technology, have them try Codecademy. This step by step coding website makes it easy to learn the basics of computer programming. It is easy to follow and offers a kind of lab through each lesson. As your child codes, they get to see their code in action.
4. HippoCampus - This website gathers videos from outside resources and organizes them into subject material. Learn about Science, Math, and the Humanities from middle school level to college level.
5. TED.com - This is a website that I still use to sharpen my skills as a teacher. Although some of the humor is adult humor (you'll need to monitor) , TED talks will not only teach students about interesting concepts, but will also give them examples of how to publicly speak. You could watch these with your child and discuss the topics afterwards. Have your student give their own "TED talk" at the end of the summer.
Try it out!
So whether your are a summer enthusiast, or agree with me that the break is too long, the above websites can keep your child sharp through summer.
Pick one, try it out, and observe the difference it makes when they are ready to re-enter the school year.
How about you? What do you do to keep your child busy through the summer?