By now, just about everyone is on summer vacation, and if you are not, then I just feel sorry for you.
I think it’s a well known fact that teachers need summer vacation as much as kids and families need them. I don’t care what people say about the benefits of year-round school, our society is just built around summer vacation (even if it is a month shorter now than it used to be.)
When it comes to summer vacation, though, I think a lot of families are missing out on something huge. Parents dread the thought of having to occupy the kids all day, so we come up with playdates, camps, and other activities to keep the kids “busy.” Quantity over quality.
However, have you ever considered how much kids love learning?
They probably love it more than most adults. If kids love learning so much, then shouldn’t we stay in school all year?
If kids love learning, though, then why do they complain about school so much? Because they don’t go to school to learn what they want to know. We send our kids to school to pass standardized tests, to jump through hoops, and every once in a while, to learn something that is interesting.
But in the summer, kids can learn what they want.
Parents, how many of you are starting your kids’ summer with this idea?
What do you want to learn about?
In the course of a summer, your kids can soak up the equivalent of a master’s course in anything. Your kid likes plants? Take them to the library, and then the botanical gardens. He likes history? Take him to a museum.
The summer offers some of the best opportunities for learning, because it won’t happen in a classroom. It won’t happen in the confines of a test. They will learn by experiences, those rare joyful jewels that are reserved for the occasional field trip.
Here’s my thing: too many adults do not love to learn. You can tell, because adults have shut their ears to the world and have oriented their lives around collecting stuff rather than experiences. Most of the people in our culture got out of school, and stopped looking at the world inquisitively (if they ever did). Life became just about a job to pay for more stuff.
Get your kids off the couch. Put them in charge of something meaningful this summer. What will they learn this summer?
What will you as a family learn this summer?