I was recently in a library here in central Ohio working with a student. As the student completed some practice problems I was watching the other folks coming and going from the library and saw a dad with his daughter come in to check out some books. The girl was maybe in 7th or 8th grade and I was excited to see her in the library- more kids should be reading over summer break! However, then I saw what the dad was checking out: every test prep book in the building.
Now, I’m the first to admit that the summer is a great time to get ready for the ACT and SAT tests, but students (especially students that young) should also have time to be themselves, explore their interests, relax, and do things they wouldn’t have time for during the school year. They need to recharge their batteries! That doesn’t mean they can’t learn- but the learning doesn’t have to be as structured as multiple hours of test prep every day! Many parents enrich summers by paying for lots of camps and activities, but parents whose budgets don’t allow for that may find enrichment more difficult. Here is a list of summer activities in the Columbus area where are free (or mostly free) to enrich your students’ summers.
1. Park of Roses
2. Franklin Park conservatory (Free the first Sunday of each month)
3. Educational Programs through Columbus Metro Parks
1. Find as many historical markers as possible
2. Visit the Shrum mound
3. Visit historical cemeteries
4. Tour the Ohio Statehouse/ Ohio Supreme court (you may have to pay for parking)
5. Attend Cultural Events (Asian Festival, Greek festival etc)
1. Columbus Museum of Art (free on Sundays)
2. Grandview Art Hop
3. High Street Art Hop
4. Tour the Thurber House (free on weekdays)
5. Shakespeare in the Park (at Schiller park)
1. Check out programs at local libraries and community centers
2. Ask an adult friend if you can shadow them for a day
Outside Columbus day trips:
1. Great Seal state park (find the great seal)
2. Hocking Hills nature hike
3. Air Force Museum (Dayton)
4. Great Serpent Mound (you pay for parking)
What free activities are you doing with your kids this summer? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list!