School is out and parents are challenged with the task of balancing summer enrichment programs, summer camps, and just having some fun! Often, summer programs are quite pricey and they have to fit around your scheduled vacations and activities.
Many parents are using apps with their mobile devices to continue their children's education throughout the summer. However, finding the right apps can be a challenge. The App Stores are saturated with apps targeted to children, yet many do more entertaining than educating. Then there's the challenge of using the apps in an effective way in order for children to get the most benefit. Here are some tips for using apps to create an effective summer enrichment program at home:
1. Choose the right kind of apps. If it looks like a cartoon, it is a cartoon! Apps that just entertain have their place, but when it's time for learning apps that are more academic in nature work best. Many apps do so much entertaining that the educational aspect is almost secondary. The reality is, children enjoy learning, and with the right apps they can learn without excessive distractions. That is why Mobile Montessori apps are truly academic in design and function. Experience has shown children sitting down and working with these kinds of apps for up to an hour to complete the activities!
2. Organize your child's mobile device. Arrange the app icons on the tablet so that you have a page or two dedicated to summer learning. This will create a separation between play time and learning time. Group the types of apps together: math, geography, etc.
3. Make a schedule for the summer. It's a fact that we all get more accomplished when we make written lists, appointments, etc. Come up with a plan for the summer that works for you. Learning time does not have to be lengthy. Being consistent each day with your schedule will reap the best results. Choose a unique ringtone on your phone to set an alarm as a reminder that it's time for learning.
4. Be observant and take notes. Some apps provide feedback to parents, such as how long it took to complete a task, or even a final score. By observing your child's interaction with an app, you can learn a lot about their needs and see where to adjust the assignments for the next day. All of this contributes to progressive learning for your child.
5. Rewards come at the end. Just like recess time at school, schedule fun outdoor activities right after learning time with apps. Research has shown that children need a brain-break after they engage in learning activities and those who get it tend to retain what they've learned.
With a little planning summer enrichment can be a manageable task and prove to be extremely effective in helping your child to be a progressive learner. Each new school year teachers struggle to help children "make-up" for what they forgot over the summer months. Now with the proper use of technology and a good schedule your children can keep their skills sharp and will hit the ground running when school starts up in the fall!