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fun summer enrichment activities prior to starting 9th grade?


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I've been so focused on catching up with the academic year (we have been pushing hard for the past three months) that I can't think in these terms without a little push.

 

We have been schooling year round forever, at least it feels that way, because of babies, deployments, and moves (3 times in 19 months). But it looks like we can take all of August off and I can't tell you how excited I am!

 

I would like to introduce the kids to some fun "games" that are also educational. I have some board games but I could use some ideas. I'm also wondering about *WEBSITES*?

 

I especially need things that don't seem overtly, bang-over-the-head-learn-something sort of stuff. :tongue_smilie: My 14 yo son is close to empty. I hope that makes sense to someone. He needs to fill his fun tank, IYKWIM.

 

All I have "planned" is to go to the beach a lot and explore Hawaiian history and culture.

 

Any idea?

 

Thanks so much, you wonderful experienced group of ladies!

 

Jo

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Art projects, music, cartoon history of the world books, small electronics kits, nature guides, games, TinTin or Astrix in whatever foreign language you are learning, telescope, microscope (no lab writeup or anything, just use for fun), National Geographic, travel, map skills, compass skills, museums, nature walks, boating, hiking, camping, first aid, model building, books on tape, knitting, sewing, woodworking, trebuchets and potato cannons, origami, cook your own meal over a campfire (with brief lecture on structuring a meal to include something other than hotdogs and marshmellows)... those are some of the things we've done that were semi-educational. I don't require any of these things, usually, just sort of scatter them around. They get used when everyone is past the dead-in-the-hammock stage. There are fun books of exploding projects and projectile projects. How about kites? As far as games go, my family plays lots of settlers and lots of dominos. My youngest does online chess and online risk (he just told me he had learned the map of Europe). My older one liked the computer game Sim City. That is definately educational but not obviously so. For some reason cow wars was a huge, multi-aged hit in my family as well (projectiles). There was a computer game where you were a settler, too. Maybe it was called Oregon Trail? That one might be too obviously educational. Ooh I remembered more games my family loves: Apples to Apples, Pictionary, Dictionary, and Taboo. These are good fun if you have a large enough group. They are very unobviously educational, too. We also adore boggle. There is a cave-man settlers-type game and a space civilization settlers-type game that are fun. Some of us play Dungeons and Dragons. Sudokus are nice on a beach blanket. So are cryptograms and crossword puzzles. And there is always tons of slightly-below-level reading of fun kids books. That builds reading speed. You can read aloud, too. GRIN Now that I think about it, our fun summers are pretty educational. So here is a list of fun family games extracted from my meanderings above:

 

Settlers

Apples to Apples

Pictionary

Dictionary

Boggle

Taboo

Pirateer

 

-Nan

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Art projects, music, cartoon history of the world books, small electronics kits, nature guides, games, TinTin or Astrix in whatever foreign language you are learning, telescope, microscope (no lab writeup or anything, just use for fun), National Geographic, travel, map skills, compass skills, museums, nature walks, boating, hiking, camping, first aid, model building, books on tape, knitting, sewing, woodworking, trebuchets and potato cannons, origami, cook your own meal over a campfire (with brief lecture on structuring a meal to include something other than hotdogs and marshmellows)... those are some of the things we've done that were semi-educational. I don't require any of these things, usually, just sort of scatter them around. They get used when everyone is past the dead-in-the-hammock stage. There are fun books of exploding projects and projectile projects. How about kites? ....

-Nan

 

Wow, I want to spend the summer at your house, Nan! ;) Great ideas! We do some of those things at our house during the summer with my sons (ages 10 & 13). My oldest DS is trying an online course for the first time this summer, so maybe that would be a fun thing to try, depending on your child's interests. If that is too "schoolish," why not encourage some in-depth, unstructured study of your child's interest or hobby, whether it's graphic design, botany, World War II, astronomy, auto mechanics, cooking, drama, soccer, or whatever? We've also been tapping into a lot of community resources -- farmer's markets, train exhibits, art workshops, outdoor jazz concerts, library programs, etc. And, although neither of my boys are into Scouting anymore, we still use their Scout books (and will begin looking into the merit badge series as they get older) for fun, independent, educational activities. We also do lots of reading, both independently and read-alouds. And the boys have taken a greater interest in chess lately, so they can start to master some strategy. Hope some of this inspires you.

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Give your poor brains a rest and just enjoy the island!! Play games in the evening, and watch some old movies, and read aloud, but you all could benefit most by relaxing. (My dad was a professor of Physics, and he was a firm believer that the brain needs a break -- he encouraged his students to take summers off.)

 

You may have already been to these, but over the years when we're in Honolulu visiting the grandparents I've taken the kids to:

 

Bishop museum -- they have shows, a planetarium, lectures in addition to their exhibits

USS Bowfin -- the submarine museum next to the Arizona. All the hands on stuff is great for little kids although they have to be a certain age or size in order to tour the sub.

USS Midway and the small new airplane museum next to it on Ford Island (you have military stickers and ID, yes? You can just drive out there and skip the tourist buses that load at the Arizona.)

the zoo and aquarium in Waikiki

Academy of Art -- fantastic collection of Asian art

University of Hawaii campus (my alma mater!!) There is a Japanese Tea Room, a building that looks like a Korean temple, thousands of unique plants

The Chinese cemetery in Manoa Valley is very old. In April it becomes a festive place as people clean and decorate family plots for Qing Ming festival.

The Byodo-En (spelling???) Buddhist temple in Kaneohe

National Cemetery in Punchbowl

Hickham AFB -- there's lots of holes in the buildings from the attack on Pearl Harbor, airplanes on display

The lagoon next to the Officer's club on Hickham used to offer water skiing instruction -- my b-i-l taught there years ago

Isn't there another military museum at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki???

China town, during the day...

 

What else??

Sans Souci beach near Diamond Head was a favorite, though parking is a bear

Bellows beach (aren't y'all stationed in Kaneohe?? Bellows is part of a military facility as you drive towards Makapu'u, and has a great beach

The nice man-made lagoons by the luxury resorts at Ko'olina

snorkeling at Haunama (get there really really early)

 

Have y'all discovered all the terrific local food? Plate lunch, shave ice, manapua, crack seed...

 

I'm ready to get on a plane now and come have fun with you guys!!

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