McRae: End-of-Summer Learning Ideas for Kids

We are now just weeks away from the start of another school year. Summer vacations are wrapping up. Back-to-school sales have taken over retail stores. And the state is even offering a sales tax holiday on qualifying school supplies (including clothes, tablets, and more) on July 30-31.

For most kids, the summer break has been a time to relax and recharge. But with school bells about to ring again, now might be the time to start easing them back into the learning process. Here are a few ideas of the skills they can work on while still enjoying the parting days of summer.

Practice Writing Skills
Have your kids pick up a good, old-fashioned pencil and paper to write a letter to a grandparent or loved one. They’ll be practicing their writing skills without even knowing it.

Encourage Reading

It can be a battle to get some kids to keep up on summer reading, so consider turning it into a game. Rather than books, have them do research on an activity in your local community. Encourage them to use the internet and library books to plan the trip and write out an itinerary. Then, use their plans as the basis for some family time this weekend.

Exercise Real-World Math

Invite your kids to go through your monthly College Savings Mississippi account statement with you. Review any contributions you made and have them do the math to see what the account balance grew to. If you don’t currently have a college savings plan through the State Treasury, visit to learn more.

Brush up on the Scientific Method

Do you have a garden at home? Invite your kids to help. Have them observe and record any changes they see from day-to-day and week-to-week. Allow them to hypothesize what will happen under certain conditions, such as rain, sunshine, or heat.

Engage with Civics

Teach your child how to properly fold an American flag. As you do, talk about what our flag represents, what the stars and stripes mean, and why we hold it with such reverence. The American Legion has posted easy-to-follow instructions to help. Visit to learn more.

Learn Finances

When the Mississippi heat gets the best of your child, have them turn on an educational computer game, rather than a TV screen. At, you can find links to free and fun financial education games for kids ages 5-18.
We hope one or two of these ideas help ease your child back into learning while still being able to enjoy summer’s closing days.