Summertime means time for vacations, relaxation and fun; but it’s also time to explore, learn and grow. Though summer learning loss is common, it can easily be avoided by planning your summer to include a variety of fun structured activities.
Learn and Explore
Washington, D.C., always makes the list of top ten most visited cities in the United States. We are fortunate to live near a place with so much to see and do. Stroll through the monuments and memorials on the National Mall. Tour the White House, US Capitol, Supreme Court, National Archives or the US Mint. Visit a few of the twenty–three Smithsonian Institution properties, including the Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the National Zoo.
In Virginia, the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts offers their Children’s Theatre in the Woods. Tour local historic sites like Mount Vernon, Colvin Run Mill, Woodlawn Plantation, Gunston Hall or Sully Plantation. Take a trip to Charlottesville and Monticello or the historic triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
Devote time to reading! Students are expected to participate in our Summer Reading program and will earn academic credit for the next school year. Students choose four novels from the approved list and write a book report for each one. The reading list is provided by their English teachers.
Younger students should read to their parents for a few minutes each day. This will prevent summer learning loss and ready them for a good night’s rest. Their teachers can recommend books based on the student’s reading level.
A quick drill of the multiplication tables or spelling words during car rides can keep these skills fresh in a child’s mind. There are many apps for smartphones and iPads which can provide hours of entertaining learning and can help to improve students’ knowledge in math, spelling, grammar, history and science.
In addition, games like chess and Trivial Pursuit or educational applications like Duolingo can help students keep their minds active during the summer months.
Go to Camps
The Fairfax Christian School hosts several YMCA of Metropolitan Washington/Fairfax County Reston camps over the summer. They offer hundreds of options for day and overnight camps. Participants can choose to focus on sports, academics, adventure or nature. More information is available on their website at www.ymcadc.org.
FCS also offers a Summer English Institute for international students who want to improve their English skills and study for the TOEFL.
Try an Internship
Many local businesses, hospitals, non-profit organizations and political campaigns offer internships to high school students over the summer. Often students will take on an internship to learn more about their areas of interest. In past years we have had students volunteer at Reston Hospital, participate in Barbara Comstock’s reelection campaign and even go to California to intern with Movieguide. If students need help finding an internship, they should talk to their Academic Advisor.