Summer Learning Day – VP of Curriculum Dee McDonald

“It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened- Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many.”
― Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I read these words for the first time on a hot, hot, hot summer day in Kentucky. My sister and I were lounging on our front porch with our treasured library books, hoping for a cooling breeze. She was nearly finished with John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and I myself was enjoying an adventure with Huckleberry Finn.

I am saddened to think that few children today will have summer memories like this one. Instead, many will spend their time inside, playing video games or streaming movies. This may be okay in small doses, but I believe it is imperative that children have other options, other activities that promote exploring, learning and imagining.

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Today is Summer Learning Day, a day set aside to remind adults that the summer should be about more than vacationing. Children should also stay active and engaged in educational activities that aren’t traditionally found in the classroom. For instance, a friend’s daughter shared a summer plan with me that was at once entrepreneurial, engaging and enjoyable. She spends part of her days having fun gathering up lost golf balls, washing them and then reselling them for a fraction of the cost. How terrific is it that she is using economics and math even though school is out?

With some creativity, any parent can make an endless number of fun activities that will keep their child’s mind active and stimulated while they are away from school. Here are a few:

  • Create a rock garden by gathering many different sizes and shapes of rocks to promote classification and number skills.
  • Put on a neighborhood performance and charge an entry fee to promote math, creativity, collaboration and economics.
  • Take a bike tour of your neighborhood and then draw a map of the journey to promote large muscle development as well as classification and memory skills.

No matter what you do, enjoy the summer with your children and make sure to keep their minds active and engaged while they enjoy themselves. This will help them grow and develop while making memories that will last a lifetime, like my sister and I did on a porch, one magical summer in Kentucky.
To learn more about Summer Learning Day, please go to:


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