Where does education fit into your tween's summer vacation? Should it be a part of it at all? Isn't summer vacation, by definition, a break from school for kids? Is it fair to expect them to study when school's out? Is there a better way for them to learn on vacation? Sure there is. After all, tweens can learn by having fun, too.
Play, in itself is a learning experience. There are so many life skills kids learn through play. Pretending may be make believe, but it's also practice building real life social skills. Constructing forts and other play structures can help tweens with spacial relations. In fact, just about any type of play can be educational. That's the whole reason kids play in the first place. It's the most natural way to learn.
You can sneak an education into a tween summer vacation. When you play board games with your kids, they learn to take turns, solve problems and more. Set up a game of kickball in the backyard to teach them teamwork. Either way, they won't even know they're learning. Plus, their brains stay active to help them when school's back in session.
Summer travel is educational. Even small road trips can provide a summer vacation education for tweens. They can learn map reading or how to use the GPS, at the very least. You can teach them practical skills, such as pumping gas and deciding where to eat for the best cost savings. All this is life experience they can use as adults.
Some summer vacation destinations are educational. Where do you plan to go on summer vacation? Could you mix things up a bit? You could take your tweens to a variety of destinations. Some could be pure fun (such as a large amusement park or the beach), while others teach them something (such as a trip to Washington, D.C or Civil War battlegrounds). Some places, like the Grand Canyon, might provide both entertainment and a learning experience.
Summer education can be unconventional and fun for tweens. Think outside the normal vacation road trip. How about a summer vacation cleaning up wilderness areas or attending space camp, science or math camp? Whatever your tween is into, there's sure to be a camp or vacation activity where they can explore their interests and get an education at the same time. A summer vacation education for tweens doesn't have to mean a bummer summer. Use your imagination to give them the best of both worlds.
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