It is a well known fact that children who keep up with their reading, writing and arithmetic during the summer are those who eventually are academically far ahead of other students who don’t do any of this type of work during these months. That is why many parents ensure that their child is getting this type of work during the summer. There are two other things that you can do for your child that could change their life forever.
The first is to introduce your child to other children that they would never regularly meet. Throughout the school years, children typically stay with the same friends and are attracted to those who have very similar backgrounds, culture, family values and economic similarities. Their friends will often stay the same year after year, and the familiarity of their friends keeps a child thinking the same way. This summer, why not introduce your child to new children; children who have completely different backgrounds, and see if your child can forge brand new friendships. While building these relationships, your child will naturally try to understand why the new children are acting the way they are and saying what they are saying. Through this experience they will learn how to see the world differently and therefore understand and see the world through different lenses. In today’s world understanding others not “like you” is extremely important, not only for your child when they get older when they join a very diverse work force, but also for your child to learn how to quickly adjust their thinking to include that of others, and therefore to accept others. Here are two ways that you could do this:
1. Send your child to a day camp that is either catered to children or youth in a very different part of town, or a camp with a focus introducing activities that they would not normally have chosen.
2. If you can’t put your child into a summer camp, then simply go to a different part of the city where the demographics of that area is very different from yours. Go into the stores and spend some time in the park to allow your child to play with others. Do this as a regular trip so that your child has a chance to start to see the differences in perspectives.
he second life-changing action you can do for your child is to take this time to introduce them to nature. One of the primary intelligences that Howard Gardner introduced was that of nature – understanding living things and being able to read nature. To get a feel for the natural environment, one must first understand it and learn what to look for, then a child will learn HOW to look at it, developing an ability to read it. When a child has this ability, then they will be open to a whole new understanding of how the world works, and how humans fit into this much bigger world. Some of the world’s largest problems in the future will be based on the environment, and if each child was taught how to read the environment, then the protection of nature will start with millions of human beings, which is the most effective way of taking care of nature.
Some simple activities that you could participate in with your child:
1. Pick a public place and pick up garbage.
2. Learn the names of 5 different types of trees and be able to recognize 5 birds.
3. Plant an herb and watch it grow.
4. Travel to a stream and see how many creatures you can count living in the stream.
5. Take a trip to a forest and have a look at the type of trees that grow inside the forest compared to those that grow on the outer skirts of the forest. How does their bark differ? Where are the leaves? What type of leaves do they have? If there are pine trees, have a look at the shape of the pine needles of two different types of pine trees. What advantages do pine needles have over other types of leaves?
CEO & Co-Founder
Spirit of Math Schools