G.V. asks from Chicago, IL on May 12, 2009
Staying on Track During the Summer Months
I hope that everyone had a wonderful mothers day this past weekend.
Now that this school year is almost over, (approximately 5 weeks for my kids) I was wondering, what have you all done to keep your kids from falling behind in their studies during the summer months? For the next school year (2009-2010), I will have a 3rd grader, 2nd grader, plus I will have one in Pre-k 4. What books, resources, activities have you used to keep them up-to-date academically and better prepare them for their new challenges in the fall.
My son, 3rd grade, has been doing tons of book reports this year for his reading comprehension grade which I will encourage him to continue doing in the summer. My daughter, 2nd grade, has had straight A's this year and I am a little concerned that she is not being challenged enough (which may be the reason why she gets in trouble for talking... but thats for another posting :) My little one, Pre-k 4, has already started to write her name, rhyming, colors, shapes, alphabet, numbers. She has showed some interest in wanting to read on her own. I have tried getting her to read small words like cat, dog, etc. but she isn't quite there yet.
So my question again is: What have you moms done to keep your kids academically on track during the summer months to better prepare them for the up coming school year?
Thanks for taking the time to read (and hopefully respond)
Have a great day!!
1 mom found this helpful
A.R. answers from Chicago on May 12, 2009
I don't do anything formal in the summer months. My daughter will be in 4th grade next year and in the past couple of years we have allowed her to join a few weeklong camps of her choosing that are art, science, etc focused. She gets to explore and interest and also gets a little extra knowledge of those subjects in the summer.
Otherwise, we try to incorporate learning into our homelife. We do math as we cook- measurements are fractions, talk about freezing pt as we make icecream, etc. and do lots of wordplay. Anytime math comes up (grocery store- which is cheaper? the bigger box?) then we encourage her to help. When we do any traveling we talk about maps and distances and how the weather and landscape changes wherever we are going.
There are loads of opportunities in daily life to use as teaching opportunities. I generally follow her lead as well. If she gets really interested in why it is we have allergic reactions to bee stings for example, then we head to the internet and library, etc. and really dive into that. It's much easier to teach a child something they are interested and WILLING to learn, as I'm sure you know... use those as your starting points and branch out from there. They will provide you will themes without knowing it!
The libraries do a summer reading program that we always participate in as well. They offer coupons and prizes for things like swimming, skating, icecream etc as you read. We pick books she enjoys but also pull books from the suggested reading list for the summer. She makes lists all summer of the fun things she has done and journals about them, or writes/draws comics, and lists what she wants to do the next week, etc. We also have a mailbox set up to write notes back and forth. Long rides are good for simple writing and scrapbooking about a the road trip or vacation too.
Hope this gives you some ideas!!
S.E. answers from Chicago on May 13, 2009
It is nice to worry about your children and their education but sometimes you need to let your children have a break from school and just let them be children.
My son is almost 19 years old and in his younger years we had him at a private school Pre K through 6th grade, Home Schooled him for seventh and eighth grade and he went to public school for high school. He wanted to play football and wrestle. In all those years the only extras we did during the summer was the reading programs at our local library and some educational games on the computer. Computer games make learning fun.
I had a teacher tell me once that if you put to much pressure on your child to excel you could end up with the opposite effect. A child that rebels and does poorly in school.
If you really want you probably could enroll your child in summer school. There is usually programs at the public schools and I know many private schools offer year round programs.
I would just recommend some programs at your local library, computer educational games and visiting a few museums or the aquarium. If you want to continue through the summer make it FUN!!
D.B. answers from Chicago on May 13, 2009
I would definitely recommend the Summer Bridge workbooks. They are designed to help children retain what they learned during the previous school year with daily activities for them to do throughout the summer. They go from Pre K-K up to Gr. 7-8. My son used one every summer for years. (he's in high school now...and a high honors student) All the elementary schools in our town (Woodstock) order them from the store where I work, Knuth's School & Office Outfitters, and we carry them in the store too for $13.95. If you can't find one where you live give me a call and I can always ship them UPS to you. ###-###-#### They're definitely a valuable tool and fun to do too!
D.N. answers from Chicago on May 14, 2009
My kids follow a reading program with the library. They like it becaue it gives them rewards. I also give them one math page a day to complete so they are up to speed, especially for those things they tend to have the most difficulty with this year. An hour of reading--split up if they want--and one math page still give them lots of time to have fun. I encourage them to do it as soon as they have breakfast so they can do whatever chores need to be done and then have the rest of the day to have fun. Fun is the most important part of summer, after all. I get the math pages from www.tlsbooks.com and from workbooks available at Walmart and Borders/Walden Books.
V.L. answers from Chicago on May 13, 2009
The summer bridge books are excellent. They are geared by grade level and are appealing to younger students as they tend to have a coloring book feel. You can find them at numerous stores such as Borders, Barnes & Nobel, Sam's Club, etc. Some really good ones can be found at The Chalkboard which is a teachers store.
I highly recommend joining the summer reading program at your local library. They tend to have contests for the most books read in an age group as welll as having lots of activities in the library, which gives the perfect opportunity to pick up books to bring home.
Definitely make sure your children see you reading, too.
N.A. answers from Chicago on May 16, 2009
We have found a tutor who is absolutely amazing! I took my dyslexic 12 year old to her once a week for this past school year, and she gained more than 4 GRADE LEVELS in her spelling, decoding, reading comprehension and grammar. Best of all, my daughter now reads for fun and enjoyment, where before she would not even consider it. I know this tutor takes students for just the summer, or even just one session or two to help them prepare for tests, ACT or PSAT exams. Perhaps she could even give you an assessment of what your student could be stonger in, and just meet a couple of times over the summer to see how progress is going. She has truly been an answer to prayer for our family. I don't want to put her phone number out there on the internet, but if you interested, please contact me and I'll give you her number or e-mail address. She is located in the Libertyville/Grayslake/Gurnee area, but I know some of her students travel more than an hour to see her. By the way, her rates are $40.00 per hour, very reasonable if you've shopped around. Hope your summer is terrific!
C.M. answers from Chicago on May 13, 2009
Keep in mind that when the kids get back to school in the fall, the first couple months are spent getting everyone up to speed again, so it may increase the boredom in your kids if they are already ahead.
How about board games, a bird/leaf book to use on nature walks, sign up for the reading program at your library which usually includes prizes, build a bird house....things like that which aren't done at school.
If you are looking for work books and education games, there is a store at Spring Hill Mall called "Lets Learn". It's used by teachers and parents alike.
M.D. answers from Peoria on May 13, 2009
It is great you want to keep them on track during the summer but don't forget to let them be kids and enjoy the summer! Our kids join a summer reading program at our library and they really enjoy it. Even my 3 year old goes for the story hour and crafts. Keep learning fun, go to a local museum or zoo and quiz them on what they saw. I got straight A's in school too and I always spent my entire summer playing outside! I occasionally would crack a book, but those memories of summer I will remember forever.