The 2020 Pandemic has challenged you to rise to new levels of creativity and flexibility for you and your family. Many school districts have had their teachers in Zoom virtual classrooms teaching your school age children for 4 to 5 hours a day! Also, some parents have homeschooling their children to maintain a learning environment for their children.
Now that summer has arrived, how can you leverage the familiarity with technology and combine it with the resources at your fingertips to keep your child’s thirst for knowledge alive during the Summer? Here are 3 simple strategies to create a fun adventure for your family:
1. Involve your child (or teen) in the “virtual vacation planning” process. This is essential for them to buy into the idea and maintain interest. I’d recommend creating a short list of destinations. Then let them research and choose those that interest them.
Some of these virtual tours are so marvelous “they make you feel like you are actually there”.
Where have you and your family longed to go? This is your opportunity!
2) Ask your children to write in their journal about their virtual vacation. Encourage them to record the experiences they found fascinating. Ask them 1) what they learned about each place they visited and 2) what they enjoyed most about each place? If your child is too young to write it down, ask them the two questions and write down their answers.
(Have your older children write down any questions or observations they would like to explore when they visit the destination in real life.)
3) Then have a picnic in your backyard with a few of the foods you and your children have cooked up in honor of your visit. Making special dishes your family enjoys as well as new dishes from your virtual vacation. By using new and old family favorite recipes your children will be reading and measuring out ingredients, which will help them in both math and science.
I remember fondly cooking meals with my Mom and Grandma. With my Mom, we made pecan and pumpkin pies, and blintzes. My Grandma Mary, educated me in the fine art of creating Hungarian cuisine to make stews, roasts and sides. It all began with cooking the sauces for 3 to 4 hours with the stew meat and adding in the Hungarian spices. The stews and roasts were delicious and the pies were mouthwatering. Many years later I played concerts in Hungary at their Liszt Academy of Music and eat at fabulous restaurants with my husband while listening to Robby Lakatos, Gypsy violinist.
*At your picnic have each person reads their responses to their two questions. Ask your younger children to answer the two questions and if needed quietly remind them what they said earlier when you wrote it down for them. You want to begin your children’s creative process of learning and thinking.
* Have reading family time every night. Involve your child or teen by asking for their input in selecting an adventure story they would enjoy reading as a family. Parents begin by reading with excitement and joy using different voices for each character. Then ask your older children to read and do this too! Afterwards discuss the story you have read together by asking your children questions to guide them through their thought process.
Here are a few resources to start with for your virtual vacation:
Disney Virtual with Rides https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations/watch-disney-rides-on-youtube
Australia and Great Barrier Reef https://www.insider.com/australia-virtual-tour-guide-great-barrier-reef-2020-4
Virtual Venice https://www.thegeographicalcure.com/post/virtual-venice-how-to-tour-venice-from-home
So, where have you and your children decided to travel on your virtual vacation?
Are their Journals ready to go?
Have your children decided what food they want to cook for their picnic after their virtual travel?
What recipes do your children want to search for on the internet?