How to Make The Most Out of Your Bilingual Child’s Summer
It’s that time of year again! It’s sweltering out (I know its not JUST in Florida), school is out, and all you want to do is find a beach, lake, or pool to cool yourself off in and entertain your kiddos. As teachers, we love this respite from school, even if many of us take second jobs or at a minimum keep preparing for the school year. For parents, however, it can be an overwhelming time of year!
So, what are you going to do this summer? After all, you need to keep your sanity, keep the kiddos busy, and stave off that Summer Learning Slide.
Every year, I look at summer as an opportunity. An opportunity to renew myself and my classroom, and also an opportunity for my children to renew themselves. Summer SHOULD be all about play, but if we remember that “the business of childhood is play” then we should also remember that through play there are great opportunities for learning!
So, here are a few ways to make the most out of your summer!
1. Take that trip. Summer is a great time to take a vacation, so why not visit a place where your target language is spoken? Whether you are visiting family or going to check out a place for the first time, summer is a great time to take a trip.
2. Enroll Your Child in Summer Camp. Language immersion summer camps are becoming more and more popular. Depending on the area you live in, you might find a summer camp in your target language for your child to hone their language skills.
3. Summer Reading. Summer reading is one of the best things to keep your child learning over the summer. Try setting up a reading plan in the target language. Help your child make a list of all the books in the target language that he or she reads over the summer, and set up a reward system. Just remember to give them the flexibility of choosing what to read and when (having autonomy will give the best results).
4. Let them play. There is nothing wrong with having a laid back summer and letting kids get “bored” and having to figure out how to entertain themselves. Giving children space and time to be creative is crucial and Kids really do need more of this in their lives!
5. Use Apps and watch media in the target language. 1. Movies, music and apps such as Spanish Safari give children to authentic language exposure in an effective, safe and fun way! As long as you monitor what they watch or play, limit their time, and set up a structure for their use, technology is a valuable asset that we should happily embrace.
So, how do you plan to spend your summer? Will you be following any of the ideas above? Do you have other ideas you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
About the Author
Keli Garcia Allen is a certified Spanish teacher and currently works as a Preschool teacher in a bilingual classroom. She is the Head of Content for Learn Safari and is currently working on Spanish Safari, a Spanish Learning game for children 4-10 years old. You can follow her and the rest of the team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.