Students across Oregon are probably more excited about summer break this year given all the chaos they just experienced during COVID-19. Educators at the online public school, Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) are celebrating National Summer Learning Week July 12-16th, and they’re asking families to keep the learning alive the next several weeks to help children avoid the “summer slide.”
Oregon Connections Academy is a full-time virtual public charter school that delivers a high-quality educational experience to students in grades K-12 statewide.
Oregon Connections Academy has created a list of fun-filled Summer Learning DIY Theme Weeks for families to use that contain crafts, field trips, activities and more.
Financial literacy develops from a young age, helping students with math, character, and life skills, as well as a sense of entrepreneurship.
Lemonade stand. This is a great week for your child to set up that tried-and-true lemonade stand. They’ll learn math skills for buying supplies, calculating how much to charge, measuring ingredients for the drinks, counting money and keeping records of profits and expenses. The national Lemonade Day organization has lots of helpful information (lemonadeday.org).
Older students can be entrepreneurs by arranging a neighborhood car wash, hosting a garage sale or by getting a summer job.
Operation Piggy Bank. Money is a tangible and fun way for students to explore math. Work with your child to make a piggy bank so they can track their finances. Teens can probably move up a level by opening a checking and/or savings account.
During food week, kids will learn a lot about the items that land on their plate, including how
they were grown, prepared and more.
Farm to fork. A trip to a local farm helps kids understand that fruits and vegetables don’t magically appear in the grocery store. Try taking your child to the U-pick section to harvest blueberries or marionberries, an Oregon favorite. They might also enjoy selecting apples or tomatoes at the farm.
Kid chef. The highlight of the week could be letting your child take over the kitchen, from meal planning to clean-up, with your help when necessary. Make sure they write up a grocery list, go shopping for ingredients and stick to a budget.
Games are an effective and entertaining method for children to achieve strong bodies and strong brains throughout the summer. Research shows when kids increase their physical activity, it improves their academic performance.
Take it outside. Fresh air stimulates both the mind and body, so encourage your child to organize games with friends like basketball or tag. You can also help your student set up an obstacle course or learn a new sport.
Summer Olympic Games. With the Tokyo Games coming up, ask your child to pick one of the Olympic sports they’re interested in following. Have them research the origins of the game, or any stand-out athletes competing from various countries.
Exercise the brain. Family game nights are a valuable way to enhance math and logic skills. Consider using games that utilize math techniques such as counting and categorizing. Yahtzee, Monopoly and Dominos are a few recommended by experts.
People and Places Week
During People and Places Week you can enrich your child’s learning in history, writing and more by making a list of some of the cultural events happening this summer.
Discover diversity in Oregon. There are many informative resources to help students learn about the state’s diverse populations from the past to the present. The Oregon Historical Society’s award-winning History Hub was specifically designed with hands-on interactive activities for children.
The exhibit “Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years'' focuses on the efforts of the state’s black communities to bring about social and political reforms. Your child can see the exhibit this summer at the Museum of Natural and Culture History in Eugene where organizers (oregonblackpioneers.org) have added elements of the civil rights movement in that area.
Tamástslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton is featuring a special exhibit to help visitors experience the storied past, dynamic present and bright future of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes.
Tour your town. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for brochures about your community. Then have your child select interesting spots to visit, investigate sites ahead of time and write about them after returning from the trip.
Space Week will likely be a favorite summer learning series around your house. As a parent you’ll discover Space Science covers engineering, math and many other academic areas.
Celestial homework. Ask your student to check out NASA’s website before they start staring
at the sky. Your child should use the special NASA tracker to see if the International Space Station is going to pass over your area soon (spotthestation.nasa.gov). Since NASA only sends crews to the surface once in a blue moon, lots of preparation is underway for next year’s moon mission (nasa.gov/moon).
Backyard astronomer. Your stargazer is ready to pitch a tent in the backyard and explore the galaxy, with a telescope or binoculars. Not only will your child see prominent stars and planets, but a couple of meteor showers will pop up in the coming weeks.
Chalk constellations. Kids have loads of fun mapping out constellations on the sidewalk with small rocks representing the stars and colored chalk connecting the stones.
Reading is part of any theme week but when it’s center stage one week you can emphasize the ways books can be fun and how literacy is a priority in your family.
Library visits. Taking trips to the library will help your child see the wide selection of books to choose from. Many libraries are open again offering summer reading activities for kids.
Family bookworms. Researchers believe spending time reading together as a family has a significant impact on preventing the summer learning gap. Support that love of reading by taking turns reading a chapter book with your child, or for teens start a new book together.
Information provided by Oregon Connections Academy www.OregonConnectionsAcademy.com