Janis Adams

By Janis Adams
Summer Projects

It’s been a tough year and online learning may have taken its toll. Your children may be numb, zoomed out, and possibly dulled to learning. Now the summer stretches before us and we plan to fill the time with summer school, camps, maybe dance lessons. All great ideas. But the question remains: What will rekindle your child’s love of learning?

What will spark their curiosity? What might fire up their imagination? Well, what about a special summer project? What if your child identified just one thing they are interested in, however tangentially, and pursued that to wherever it landed? A deep dive, so to speak, into one subject. For example, they may ask, How do things fly? Well, we have just opened up aerodynamics! Many things are now available for exploration, such as, What keeps up a regular balloon vs. a helium balloon? A kite? A plane? What animals fly that really shouldn’t be able to? Yes, there are fish that can fly. How? There are even birds that can fly backwards. Structurally, a bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly but it does. How? Can man fly? What are the considerations to lift the weight of a man? How high could he go? Did you ever dream you were flying? What would it feel like to fly? Draw a picture. Make a collage. Write a poem.

Pick up any useful object and ask some questions. How can we drink out of a glass when its main ingredient is sand? Why is glass transparent? Which then leads to questions like, What is a chemical reaction? How does chemistry work?
Pick a topic. Any topic. WWII submarines. Roller Coasters. The Ecosystem. India. Your student could be in 1st grade or 12th but could follow one idea down the rabbit hole and come out an expert. I mean, why IS the sky blue? How do you make the color blue? You get the idea! Yes, it will take some guidance and patience on your part. Or you can hire a tutor, teacher, or educational specialist. However you help them, the results can be memorable!

Janis Adams is the founder of http://www.academicachievers.com