How To Keep the Learning Going During Summer

How To Keep the Learning Going During Summer

Monday, 03 May 2021 22:56

The 2020-2021 school year is drawing to a close. It has been a long, strange year in western North Carolina. Many students in Haywood County had to navigate remote learning for significant portions of the year. Parents often felt like the primary educators for their children, while they were also figuring out how to work from home. As we begin to return to normal, parents and students are breathing a sigh of relief. 

When the final bell rings, it can be tempting to put away all books and learning for the remainder of summer, however, education never really takes a break. It is vital that parents help their kids continue learning throughout the summer. Here are a few tips to keep your child's mind engaged during the break. 


Seven Tips for Helping Students Continue Learning During the Summer

1) Encourage Reading Over Screen Time

Your kids may want to close books and watch television or play video games throughout the summer. Appropriate and controlled amounts of screen time are not inherently bad, as some video games can be a relationship-building experience. However, from an educational view, there is much greater value in reading. 

Do whatever you can to limit and discourage television and video games, replacing that time instead with books. Summer is a great opportunity to introduce your children to some of your favorite fiction books and series, Christian authors, and even some challenging theological works. Reading helps children stay engaged with their imaginations and creativity, builds valuable language arts skills, and exposes them to the classics. 

2) Go Hiking as Often as Possible

Haywood County has hiking trails in abundance. Hiking is mostly free, a lot of fun, and contributes to physical fitness. Throughout western North Carolina, there are thousands of miles of trails to explore. You can find many within just thirty minutes of Waynesville. Even if you have already traveled every trail, each season provides unique views, plants, and wildlife to see so don’t hesitate to get out there and try those same trails again. Here are some ideas, at a glance.

3) Perform a Play Together

You are already encouraging your children to read more this summer. In doing that, you can have your kids read some of your favorite plays. Of all the various types of literature they could read, plays might be the most engaging for their imagination. Once your children have read the play, you can cast them to act in roles from what you read. Becoming their favorite characters will help cement powerful lessons from the play. 

4) Start or Continue a Family Devotional Time

During summer, your family will typically have more time together than at other times of the year. It is the perfect time to establish a daily or weekly family devotional. There are numerous resources online, or you can reach out to the team here at Haywood Christian Academy for tips for fun, engaging, and informative family devotion suggestions. 

5) Take a Trip to Cades Cove

Just over the border on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cades Cove provides families some of the best chances of seeing a wide variety of Appalachian wildlife. From deer and elk to black bears, your family has a great chance of seeing rare animals. There are also a number of historical homesites, buildings and other things to learn throughout this section of the most-visited national park in the nation. 

6) Start or Continue an Outdoor Hobby

Either helping your child embrace one of your hobbies or practicing a new activity together is a fun way to make sure children continue learning during the summer. Fun summer hobbies include:

  • Mountain biking 
  • Mowing lawns
  • Disc golf
  • Kayaking or whitewater rafting
  • Pickleball and other racquet sports
  • Painting or drawing
  • Gardening

Gardening can be especially rewarding during the summer as your children can see seeds they planted become fully grown plants that can yield food they will be able to eat. Kids will have to battle through trials throughout the season to yield a harvest. The mental and physical reward for participating in gardening is high.  

7) Go Chase Some Waterfalls 

We have one of the highest concentrations of waterfalls of any state east of the Mississippi River. Most of North Carolina's waterfalls are in our area. A few favorites include:

  • Mingo Falls
  • Flat Creek Falls
  • Turtleback Falls
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Lookingglass Falls
  • Courthouse Falls
  • Bird Rock Falls
  • So many more

You could spend all summer checking waterfalls off your list and barely scratch the surface of what is available in our area. Many waterfalls are attached to cold, freshwater swimming holes. This is the perfect activity for learning about the great outdoors while finding a pretty place to cool off. 

At Haywood Christian Academy, we recognize that the primary educators in children's lives are their parents. You kids will learn more from you than anyone else. Summer is an opportunity for you to actively help them learn and understand important lessons. HCA is committed to helping our students become Christian leaders by providing an excellent educational experience on a foundation of Biblical truth.

If you would like to know more about how your child can become an HCA student, contact us this summer. We would be happy to answer your questions and schedule a tour.