Summer, a time that excites almost every student, is just around the corner. The potential opportunity to spend hours immersed in inquiry about a passion topic or multiple topics magically opens up. For some students this is their time. A chance to learn about what they want to learn in the way that makes sense to them. Books, camps, time to explore outdoors or conduct experiments are available to fill the time off of school. Authentic learning occurs.
The keys to making time off of school successful could be easier than you think. Let your child guide the path. Start by finding out what interests your child. What questions are rolling around in her head that just make her wonder? Then head to the library or internet to delve into finding those answers. If the answers will be found in doing or experimenting say yes to whatever you can. Businesses and organizations that connect with the inquiry are often excited to help young learners learn—if you ask. Contact them and ask. If they aren’t able to help they may be able to direct you to another business or organization that can.
Don’t worry about reading levels. If your child wants to check out a book from the library that seems too hard, let it happen. The worst thing that will happen is that the book won’t get read. Of course you want to check on the appropriateness of the content.
Camps abound. An internet search may help you locate one that meets your child’s needs. Some of these camps can be a bit expensive. Scholarships are often available. Don’t be afraid to ask. If the camp doesn’t offer them the people holding the camp often know of other organizations that support student summer learning scholarships.
Make the most of this wonderful time to inquire. Spend time with your child engaged in conversations full of questions. Don’t let all of the questions come from your child. Share what you are wondering about. The circle of inquiry can start anywhere…and go anywhere. I wonder…I discover…I think…I saw…I tried…
Enjoy this wonderful time and soar with your child!