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Top 5 ways not to hear “I’m bored” this summer and encourage learning

Find a quiet spot outdoors, under a tree, or in the cool AC and escape into a good book. (courtesy photo)

Find a quiet spot outdoors, under a tree, or in the cool AC and escape into a good book. (courtesy photo)

Find something to do together outdoors and mix it up. While one person rides a bike the other can be walking or going for a run. (Courtesy photo)

Find something to do together outdoors and mix it up. While one person rides a bike the other can be walking or going for a run. (Courtesy photo)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

School may be out for the summer but that does not mean learning needs to stop. Continuing to engage in fun learning activities helps students retain information they learned during the past school year, and parents can enjoy getting involved in the learning process as well. Here are a few ideas for individual and family activities:

  1. Encourage 20 minutes of reading a day. Studies have shown that reading 20 minutes a day by students improves vocabulary, comprehension, test scores and imagination. Additionally, the most successful leaders of our time, past and present, read.  If you are not sure what is right for your child ask your local librarian. If you are not sure what is right for you to read, Air Force senior leadership has shared their recommendations:
    1. Chief of Staff of the Air Force reading list click here
    2. Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force reading list click here

       

  2. Create an A-Z book. This is great for all ages and can be used to help develop many skills to include learning letters, writing, geography, history, military knowledge, leaders, and so much more. You can use index cards or pieces of paper, one for each letter of the alphabet. Next, identify what category or categories you want each child (and yourself) to work on and research the topic for that letter.  The possibilities are endless.
    1. For a young learner have them practice the letter and an Air Force job or equipment that relates to that letter: A = Airmen and Airplane
    2. For an older learner then can work on geography, history, current events and Air Force mission related to that letter: A = Afghanistan, where it is located, history of Afghanistan, what is currently happening there, current Air Force mission/involvement.

       

  3. Map it out. We all love GPS but knowing how to read and navigate by a paper map is a very important skill to have in the military and in our civilian lives. If you are getting ready for a road trip have a paper map on hand and have your children help “map out” the path. When they ask the dreaded question “Are we there yet” or “how much longer” you can tell them to figure it out! All they need to know is where on the map you are located and the speed limit. From there they can figure out the remaining distance, do some quick math and problem solve. This also helps to develop critical thinking skills.

     

  4. Get outside and play! As military members maintaining fitness is an important component of maintaining our readiness. Let this go beyond sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5 mile run; create an obstacle course for you and your family, play on a jungle gym.  There are many nature trails to take a walk or hike on and going on a family kayak or canoe trip through the mangroves is a great way to explore nature while getting in a workout with quality family time.

     

  5. Present what you learned. Developing written and oral communication skills takes time and practice. Students can continue to develop these skills by writing summary paragraphs about what they saw, did, or read. If your child wants to do something you are not 100 percent convinced of, have them write you a persuasive essay to identify the facts. Then they can present their evidence to you after you have read their essay, asking questions, as this gives practice improve their communication skills.