Use the summer months to get kids caught up on social studies skills and have fun doing it.
Dr. Kevin Colleary is a former elementary, middle and high school teacher currently teaching elementary social studies courses at Fordham University. Here are some activities that he recommends for parents to do during vacation road trips:
1. If you are driving to your vacation destination and will pass through one or more new states, review each state's unique history and background as you travel. Quiz your kids on the state capital, state symbols (animal, bird, flower, etc.), and the state's flag. The colors, symbols and messages on each state's flag can tell a lot about a state's history. Also quiz the kids on who the current governor is and other cool facts about the state's economy, geography, culture and history.
2. Bring an atlas on the drive and discuss the different topography of states or the climate of the region in which you are visiting.
3. Pay a visit to the statehouse of the places you visit or to your own statehouse. Most statehouses have kid-friendly exhibits and offer tours. Pay special attention to the types of statues, pictures and plaques that you find throughout the statehouse. What people/events are remembered? What people/events might not be remembered?
4. If you are on a budget, take a day trip to some important historical landmarks in your state, or take the time to visit or re-visit one special place that you remember from your own childhood.