First shared in June, 2011, this series was sparked by an appearance on My Carolina Today where we had more content than time ~ sounds pretty typical for a busy Mom! Our lives are tied to the seasons and I hope this series gets your summer moving in the right direction now!
Today we are talking about ways to get organized for summer learning before your kids come home from school. Now is the time to set up a strategy for inside fun. While you wind down your school year, hopefully you’ve had an opportunity to communicate with teachers via email or in person. Of course you’ll have their report cards in hand to guide you as well. Use this as your road map to know where you need to focus as you take on summer learning at home. Here are my tips to help you get organized for learning that is nothing if not fun:
1. Reading Basket: Create a book basket that can travel with your kids anywhere in the house. Decorate it with some fun ribbons and stock it with fresh books at just the right reading level that your kids will enjoy. Educators often say your goal over the summer is to at minimum make sure to maintain the level your child ends their school year at. A break through is awesome but having fun reading is the prize. Keep up the habit of daily reading by choosing a natural down time and include a timer in the basket to make sure you get your minutes in. You’ll find that the freedom of the summer will make it second nature for your kids to curl up and spend some time reading for fun.
2. Play the Game: Create an educational games collection. There are so many great games out there for math and vocabulary, things that are strategy based taking concrete concepts and turning them into fun. Make sure that they can be carried anywhere in the house and outside for loads of laughter and learning. We actually set some time daily to play out on the deck. We play as a family and its always fun to team up and play outside. Games are a great way to bridge siblings different interests, age gaps, and an open invitation for family nights full of laughter.
3. Brain Booster Bin: This one is all about workbooks, crossword puzzles, and flashcards for those summer learning sessions you know you’ll want to support. Go there and make sure its all about working on key skills. This is where you’ll be honest where what you are pulling out will be designed for serious work on those summer skills. This bin is a great take along for siblings who may have some waiting time at a practice or event they’d rather not have to attend.
4. Wonderful Websites: Create a list of great websites that your kids can spend some time on. Think of sites that your school has already chosen as partners in education and your kids are familiar with. Then use it as a reward. Set the habit in place that after you spend 30 minutes on a site like Study Island for self paced Math practice, play time on the Wii is the prize. Its a tangible experience for hard work and its rewards where your kids might want them most.
5. Baking Buddies: I love to have a baking basket. We spend a lot of time in the summer baking brownies and cookies. If the kids are in the mood to bake, I love for them to be able to grab what they need independently from the pantry and have it ready to go. So set up some kits complete with supplies for baking or smores and you’ll be off and running for some summer fun in the kitchen.
I hope these tips help you get prepared for summer learning and inside fun that is both relaxing, secretly education, and creative. All of these tips are designed to help make your summer full of memories that are exactly what you hoped they will be. If you follow these steps at the end of the year before your kids get home, you’ll be amazed at how ready you are to celebrate your children’s arrival home and welcome in a summer of fun. So tell me…
How do you keep your kids learning through the summer?
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