Five Simple Projects for Summer Learning

Even if you normally follow a rigid curriculum during the academic year, summer is a great time to relax a bit and try project based learning and on for size.  Unschoolers typically follow a less regimented approach to homeschooling, and utilize things like project-based learning, Waldorf-inspired lessons, and student-led learning to educate their kids.   Doing some traveling this summer?  Roadschooling fits in well with that!  Find educational things to do along your way, and learn as you go!  Enjoy your summer!

1.  Start blogging!  Kids as young as middle school can write a blog.  Plant this seed in your child’s head, and turn them loose to see what they do with it.  Whether they write elaborate works of fiction or complain about having to clean their room, they’re writing!  Along the journey, they’ll be using their creative side as well as getting valuable practice at organizing their thoughts and putting it all into words.  You could even start them off with a Blog Writing Course to get them off on the right foot!

2.    Have a lemonade stand and let your kids practice their math skills -  What’s their profit margin after the cost of supplies and paid employees (little brothers?) are subtracted out?  Is it any better to make homemade lemonade from a pile of lemons, or to buy the mix?  And how do you triple the recipe?

3.   Do a nature study -  There’s so much to notice outdoors in the summer.  Why not write some of it down in a journal, or do some sketches of the summertime landscape?  Ask your kids what they’d like to learn more about!

4.  Make your own sundial or solar oven –   Google it and get some directions.   Check out the human sundial in the picture above.  If the kids are going to be out in the sun anyway…

5.  Gardening is the ultimate in project-based learning.  If you can’t plant a garden, at least plant a few things in containers and watch them grow!  Get your kids busy researching what grows well in your area, how much space will be required, and all the particulars.  You’ll eat healthier if you grow it yourself too!

Whether you’re looking for a few fun activities or you want to try the project-based-learning style on for size, you don’t have to suffer from the “Mom, I’m bored!” blues this summer!  Try something new, especially something you didn’t have time for during the school year.  Sure, it’s fun, but they’re learning too!

About the Author:  Jennifer Needham homeschools her own 5 kids and loves writing about health and learning.  She’s the Nutrition Editor at Natural Family Today, and publishes a nutrition curriculum for homeschoolers on her website, Nutrition for Healthy Kids.

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