Here we go again. Another controversy. As parents these days, we’re being fed so many things that we’re supposed to be doing. Then we get sick of it and decide we’re going to do the opposite of what’s being crammed down our throats. We each have to decide which way is better for our kids and our family.
No. We don’t. This is just one more case of ridiculousness that parents think they have to pick one side or the other. I’m definitely getting the side of letting kids be kids. They’ve got the summer off, give them a break and let them play. But am I doing my kid a disservice by saying no work, just play, for 3 whole months? I mean, summer slide isn’t just a “thing” made up by teachers so they could worm there way into controlling our summer. It’s a real thing. What is it? Summer slide is a child’s loss of academic skills, specifically reading and math, over the summer months. When they have worked so hard to learn all year, it’s a shame to have them show up for the next grade having fallen a couple of reading levels, right? Oh, and that’s not an exagerration. This is something teachers see every year. Is this preventable when we just want our kids to play?
This is totally preventable! A little of (fun) work over the summer months is all it takes. I’ll even give you a tip on how I easily address a few of the following subjects all at breakfast. Just read through to the bottom! There is only one thing here that resembles school work, and you’ll see how I feel about it when you get there.
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Of course! It’s almost too simple to be true, but if your child continues to read over break, they won’t lose the knowledge they’ve gained.
Regular trips to the library, where they can pick out books that really interest them, is a great way to keep them excited about reading. Most libraries have many programs and activities to keep the kids entertained over the summer months as well. Look into what your local library has to offer.
Read aloud time is a big hit in our house. There are plenty of books that will keep a fairly wide age range interested, as you set aside time to read to them. Then they can take turns reading something to you.See? It’s just an activity. Not homework. HERE is my list of Must-Read Books For Kids.
Okay, here’s the one that is actually school work. These Summer Bridge Activities workbooks are geared toward specific grade levels. So your chid leaving 3rd grade would use one for 3-4, reviewing what they’ve learned over the past year, and being introduced to lessons for the grade to come. It is filled with worksheets and fun activities that will take you through the whole summer. You can find them HERE. We used them last year and here is my honest opinion: It was too much. We couldn’t do them every day, feeling more stressed to get them done (at least for me), than even in the regular school year. We decided to do them the way we’ve always done workbooks in our house (which I think is why my kids don’t mind these at all). We picked out the fun activities, and whenever they felt like it during down time – which we have a lot of because we don’t spend the whole summer running around – they would do whatever they wanted in it, and could ask me for help if they wanted. One of my children in particular, has to keep his mind stimulated as much as his body active or we start having serious behavioral problems. This is why we always have workbooks on hand. So these work well if your child finds this kind of thing fun. If not, seriously, skip it!
They’ve worked so hard all year to become great spellers. But, they can easily forget what they’ve learned over the next few months. Reviewing them is a great idea. But, we certainly don’t want to have tests during the summer. Let me correct that. Sometimes mine do, because when it’s on their terms it can be fun to show off what they know, and get the sticker. Other than that,though, this is something we address on our morning board.
Games! There are so many fun math games that won’t feel like “school time”. Some need no equipment! “Start counting by 5’s. How far can you go?” We give our 8 yr old word problems out loud, just to work with in his brain, no paper, and see where he gets. For the younger ones, any board game that has them counting the spaces to move back and forth is a great start, and certainly not work. HERE are some others to check out.
I don’t know how much sliding is going on when it comes to science, but I do know a few fun ways to keep their brains active. Experiments! Nature walks/scavenger hunts! Museums! Our favorite experiment kit for beginners is HERE and HERE are some more. HERE is a Free Printable Nature Scavenger Hunt. I’ve included some detailed items that may need an explanation so they’ll learn something new!
A friend shared a new experiment book by a friend of hers, so I had to check it out and share it with you. It’s on my Amazon Wish List for my next order!
So here’s the tip I was talking about. It’s my learning board hanging up next to our kitchen table. Just a few minutes over breakfast covers a lot, and they enjoy taking turns reading off the board. You can find all the details about it in this post HERE.
There you go. Another instance when you don’t have to jump on one bandwagon or the other. Give your kids a break, but don’t put them in a position to have fallen behind when they return to school. The impact that could have on their confidence in school will have a longer lasting effect then getting 3 months of doing nothing.
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