Weekly family rail, with summer vacation tips, a review of “Gold Rush” and more.
Tip of the Week
Summer is often associated with learning loss, and parents also express difficulty finding productive activities for their children to do during the summer months. So rather than allow this break from learning, turn this time into a learning opportunity to broaden your child's global mindset. Utilize summer to immerse kids in cultural, educational activities at home without the pressure of grades or busy after school activities.
"Exposing kids to different regions, traditions and wildlife around the world is so important because children hold the future of our planet in their hands," says Mireya Mayor, a mother of four and an explorer and wildlife correspondent for National Geographic. "As a mom, I want to encourage children to respect different cultures, love the planet and protect its wonderful attributes so it can be enjoyed for many generations to come, and the only way to love something is to know it."
Making learning fun and exciting is the best way to inspire kids and teach them to appreciate all the world has to offer, recommends Mayor. She has several easy tips for parents to "travel the world" from home with their families:
1. Incorporate travel into playtime: Travel-themed toys and games are a great way to pique kids' interests in different regions around the world. One example is the Barbie Collector Dolls of the World collection. With dolls from Ireland, China, Argentina, Australia, India, Mexico, Chile and Holland, and correlating activities available at Barbie.com/dolls-of-the-world, girls can be easily transported to almost every part of the world. While girls are having fun and enjoying playtime, they are also learning about each distinct destination.
2. Host a monthly family "international dinner" night: Serve traditional dishes from other countries one night a month, selecting a new country each time. Have each member of the family read a note card to share a "fun fact" about the region and translate a word from the local language.
3. Tell stories: In Mayor's book "Pink Boots and a Machete," she shares stories of her adventures, scientific discovery and world travel. By sharing photos and mementos of their own personal travel stories, parents can expose their children to the idea of new places and spur an interest in experiencing all the world has to offer.
4. Map it out: Mayor suggests displaying a wall map or globe in the main living area of the home so that kids are continually exposed to world geography and that travel is a continued topic of conversation. Parents can mark places the family has visited, as well as places they want to visit. This will help kids understand that there are never-ending opportunities to learn and explore new places.
Summer is the perfect time to inspire your child and expose them to the world beyond their backyard. Just by having fun "traveling" with your family, you will not only be combating detrimental learning loss but also creating long-lasting memories. Applying Mireya Mayor's easy at-home tips can give your child knowledge of the world they will have for life.
Family Movie Night
“The Gold Rush,” re-released by Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated, but would be PG
Length: 95 minutes
Synopsis: Charlie Chaplin’s lovable Tramp goes the Klondike in search of gold in this silent film classic. He finds gold and much more.
Violence/scary rating: 2
Sexual-content rating: 2
Profanity rating: 1
Drugs/alcohol rating: 2
Family Time rating: 2. If you’d like to introduce your kids to silent films, this is a good one. It’s family friendly and entertaining.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Perfect,” by Ellen Hopkins
Synopsis: Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body — no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run — on the field and off — Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood. Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect? - Margaret K. McElderry Books
Did You Know
According to new nationwide research, type 2 diabetes is up 20 percent since 2001 among children.
GateHouse News Service