Teach Your Kids the Truth– Learning is Ongoing!

Came across a wonderful post, Top 5 Ways to Prevent Rusty Summer Readers, on the Department of Education’s website and decided to leave a post. Here’s what I wrote:

Just returned from a wonderful four-day vacation in Sarasota, FL with my 8 year-old as we traveled in search of the nation’s best beach, Siesta Key. Amidst a vacation of beach time fun, pooling and chilling, we toured the city’s library, museum and science center offerings as we always do when we visit a new town. Sarasota has a wonderful marine life community of learning for young kids and our vacation ultimately became wonderful field trip of science learning which always involves applying reading (and sometimes dormant math skills).

As other posters have already said, learning is ongoing. A child need not travel outside of their own town to apply what they learned in the classroom. What parents should understand is that regardless of your financial status, you have the power to turn your time with your child into an exploratory field trip. Whether it’s a trip to the local library where your challenge your child to set a book reading goal and reach it by summer’s end or you have them pick a summer theme and you plan trips, activities and conversations around it. Our trip to Sarasota inadvertently became a marine life themed trip due to the prevalence of experiential opportunities around us.

One thing I want to stress is that reading is not separate from science is not separate from math is not separate from art, etc. Our children always have an area of emphasis that they respond to best of all and it is our job as parents to use that as the attracting factor to engage them while including all disciplines into the pot to ensure that our children are well-rounded and able to build skills in synthesis and analysis. If the message is that learning is fun and ongoing, then pretty soon they won’t need us parents to initiate the process– they will be too busy doing it on their own!

My daughter and I had a ball in Sarasota and for me, the joy was seeing her apply her learning skills throughout our vacation in a way that was seamless and enjoyable for her. As a parent, that is best outcome that can be achieved when it comes to public education. Here are some photos from our vacation:

Touching a stingray at Mote Aquarium
Fun in the sand on Siesta Key beach
Making waves at the hotel’s pool
Visiting the local library to update her blog and check out missed footage of Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas
At G Wiz Science Center learning about the tools medical students use to learn about the human body
An aspiring vet, she is learning about what vets use to learn about animal bodies
At G Wiz Science Center playing with an electric ball
The amazing aquarium in the Selby Library in Sarasota, FL
Collecting mollusk shells on Lido Key beach
Jelly fish world at Mote Aquarium
Massive turtles at Mote Aquarium

Literacy Arts Activities Encourage Youth to Love Learning

 (In photo: Beads were used by the children to create their percussion instruments)

SOYA’s Khadijah Ali-Coleman facilitated this past week a session in a series of literacy arts activities she is providing to K-2nd graders at New Horizon Elementary School in Maryland. This week’s session continues a series on “Music” where the children are learning about the three categories of instruments (Percussion, Wind and String). In past weeks, the children have categorized instruments, enjoyed an instrument “petting zoo” and participated in a theater game where they devised different ways to transform everyday materials into instruments. This past Thursday, they put their brainstorming into practice when they created percussion instruments from recycled plastic materials.

 (In photo: The children painted their plastic recycled items as they created their instruments)
 (In photo: The children painted their water bottle instruments with recycled sponges)

Before creating their instruments, Khadijah read to them the story 1, 2, 3 Music by Sylvie Auzary-Luton and were challenged to identify the different instruments in the stories and categorize them into the three categories of music instruments. The story is a wonderful read for young children. It is about a young girl’s love for music and how she uses it to express herself.

To receive the lesson plan to this specific activity or for the entire series, email us at SoOurYouthAspire@yahoo.com. The lesson plan identifies the outcomes, materials and anticipated length of the activity. You can schedule SOYA to facilitate this activity at your school, youth program or site by emailing us at SoOurYouthAspire@yahoo.com.