Summer is almost here. For most students in Wisconsin this school year will come to a close one day this week. Chances are most students are counting back the days to the one special day when they can wake up and say, “School’s out for summer!” Kids are excited for a variety of reasons. They can hang out at home, play all day with friends, watch TV or play video games and move a the pace they want to move. The daily structured learning of school is put on hold for nine or ten weeks.
And the potential to be a full time-I can dive completely into my passion area—adventure for gifted students comes alive in the summertime. From sun up to sundown these students have the opportunity to dig deep into their interest area, challenging themselves to wonder and grow. Inspiration comes from their personal inquiry; the desire to know. These students are ready to read, experiment, take apart, create and practice. Many won’t need an adult or teacher to motivate them. Their sheer curiosity is the best motivator.
Children can thrive in the summertime yet oftentimes need a bit of help or guidance in pursuing their passion areas or the resources necessary to further their inquiry. Kids love to learn; anything hands on is what they crave. Camps and interactive museums strengthen student inquiry. Science, STEM, technology, theater, music, art; camps where students can be actively involved are sought after.
Summer learning and activities don’t have to be formal or cost a lot. A student can conduct his/her own science experiments using the scientific method. Make sure the child is safe but say yes to inquiry. Give the child an audience to share what was learned—even if it means sharing what went wrong.
Books, documentaries, job shadowing and field trips to businesses that are willing to open their doors to let students “see how it’s done” all feed the desire to learn. Children who like to take things apart can benefit from finding interesting and cheap items at Goodwill or rummage sales. *Make sure they are safe to take apart. Resources from the internet are boundless and can be interesting and diverse. Authors, scientists, professors and other professionals from around the world are often willing to connect with students who share their interest.
So, as we all prepare for the students to take time off from the school let’s give them avenues to keep on learning throughout the summer!