May is ticking away, and that means that summer break is right around the corner. For me that means fun in the sun, bike rides to the park, building sand castles at the lake, and having all four of my kids home all day long. It also means that I have the big responsibility to not let what my kids have learned throughout the year go out the window. That can seem like a huge job and can be very time-consuming, so I thought I would share some of my tips and ideas to help your kids show up for school in August ready and prepared to expand their knowledge.
Come along, kids, it’s time for Mommy’s Summer School! Fellow moms, here are some easy ways to create a fun summer school routine at your home.
The first thing I suggest is talking to your child’s teacher. Find out where your child’s strengths and weaknesses are, and see if their teacher has any suggestions for ways to help them improve and prepare for the next grade. Teachers are a great resource. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they think about how to help your child.
Once you have an idea of what you should be working on this summer, it is time to gather your resources. There are lots of printable worksheets online and fun lesson plan ideas. I prefer to use workbooks. For me its easier to not have to print off worksheets every day, and I like that I can find a page for each major subject without having to search through websites. This year I expanded my collection and ordered a few workbooks that Amazon recommended. Even my preschoolers get to join in on the fun this year.
Our regular routine is that each day the kids get a folder with different worksheets that cover different subjects. I try to hit the main subjects–math, reading, spelling–and then throw in some fun subjects like science and social studies.
Reading Programs and Games
On top of doing our worksheets every day, reading is also important. Our local libraries have a great summer reading program for kids. They have realistic goals and fun prizes, and the best part: it’s free. There are some fun reading pages you can find online as well. I really liked this Bingo sheet from My Sister’s Suitcase. It has places where you can fill in time goals and what the prize will be for a bingo and for a blackout.
I am a bit of a book worm, so I look at summer reading as a time to beef up our family library. I try to find books for each child’s reading level with subjects that they enjoy. While having your child read is important, it’s also important to read to them. It helps them learn how to read using punctuation and voice inflections. This summer we decided that we are going to read the first Harry Potter book and then compare it to the movie. Depending on how fast we read, we may even make it into the second book.
Make a Schedule
Now the hard part of trying to fit this daily homework into your schedule. At our house, any given week we have at least two summer camps, I have classes to teach, plus soccer practice to attend, and fun to be had, on top of all of our regular chores to do around the house. It may be a bit crazy, but my favorite way to handle all the craziness is to create a schedule. We may not follow it exactly, but it gives me an idea of how to spend the day and get everything done.
How do you handle summers at your house? Do you work hard to avoid the summer knowledge loss?