Thursday, 2 August 2018

Summer Learning

We've really been enjoying the long, unusually hot summer days around here, but I can't say we were sorry to see the weather break and the rain come pouring down. Our grass was turning brown and our plants were looking slightly wilted. The rain was so welcome. It cooled the air, greened the garden and refreshed our energy levels. It brings the familiarity of the usual summers we get in our hilly part of northern England :)

We are a year round home educating family, so the summer holidays usually have a minimal impact on us. This year is a little different because The Girl started college last September and this is her first official six week holiday. We always lighten the regular load a little at this time of year and spend much more time on free-flow learning paths that arise from opportunities that aren't always available in term times.

One opportunity we've always enjoyed is the Summer Reading Challenge. It's a great way to encourage kids to read, not that mine needed it really. The scheme is aimed at 4 to 11 year olds, although some libraries will let them take part even if they're a bit older. The challenge is to read six library books over the school holidays, recording them and collecting rewards along the way. Libraries often have other related activities on over the summer too.

We've always enjoyed the Summer Reading Challenge, but this year Boykin decided that he is too old for it. I remember how proud he was to be able to take part for the first time when he was 4 and a half. It has been such an important part of our summer season for many years. They were very keen to read their six books, collect their stickers, move along the challenge board and receive their medal at the end. They would take part in the competitions and loved going to the weekly craft sessions. We have been so blessed to live so close to an active little library. Happy memories :)

Libraries are great places for all sorts of free summer activities - craft days, STEM sessions, story times, author visits and more. It's well worth checking what's on at your local library over the next month :)

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