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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Much Ado about Summer

Summers are made for fun, learning activities! Whether attending summer camps, going to library events, or visiting museums, education in the summer takes a hands-on approach. For example, the Houston Children's Museum hosted Super Hero Day, and kids made their own super hero capes. The local colleges, such as UHCL's Kids U, offer nature adventures, poetry writing, and robotics, to name a few, while city parks give swim lessons and outdoor hiking excursions. Many activities are free, and for those that require registration and supplies fees there are often scholarships available.

My kids stayed busy with baseball, Boy Scouts, library programs, and vacation bible schools in the summer months. In fact, they would probably say they were "too busy" and would have preferred to sleep in more often than allowed. But, summer was enrichment program time!  

(Photo by Mark Pierce)            
                                           Oklahoma's abundance of parks
contributed to perfect outdoor learning environments. We camped, hiked, fished, and swam on an almost daily basis. We jet-skied and water-skied on man-made lakes, such as Arbuckle, Murray, or Texhoma. On weekends, we packed picnic items and trekked to Turner Falls or Chickasaw National Park. After we plunged from the rocks of Lil' Niagara into the ice cold water, our limbs turned purplish-blue. Then, we climbed onto the banks and shivered in the warm sunlight as we waited to jump again and again into the clear, blue, spring water. We observed nature at its finest during Oklahoma summers.  

Taking learning outside classroom walls is refreshing for everyone. There is so much to experience, learn, and watch--digging for worms, exploring caves, hiking along trails, walking through forests... Outdoors brings learning alive, and summer is made for fun, learning activities!

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