How Much Schoolwork Do Your Kids Do in the Summer??

Updated on March 19, 2013
L.O. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
36 answers

I have a kindergartener and a first grader. I will probably be home with them full time this summer. I might possibly work 2 days a week. On the days I am home, I plan on having them do 20-30 minutes of schoolwork per day. Maybe a bit of math, some writing... We always read before bedtime.. I read to them they read to me.

My kindergarteners teacher told me to challenge him at home as he was above grade level for reading and math. There is not much she can do (or has time to do) during the school day for him.

what do other moms do in the summer? I know some folks say that kids need to be kids and play and I am all for play.. but I dont think 30 minutes of school work per day in the summer will ruin the childs fun.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.L.

answers from Portland on

We will be doing 15 min or so of math facts and 15 min or typing skills, or keyboarding as they call it now. My daughter's teacher explained that in 2 years all of their testing will be on the computer. They will even have to type their math problems where they show their work. We need to catch up there, since the kids haven't done much typing at home. My son needs to work on writing, so I'll throw that in every few days too. Also, I read to them each night and they read to themselves. I'll have them both read out loud to me every few days too, to keep up their fluency. Outside of that there will be the usual play, explore, fun outings, etc. so they can learn through play.

Edit My Answer
3 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

my kids homeschooled so we did school year round.
but truth to tell, summer is lazy bliss for me, so we worked less hard when there were awesome outside things to do.
:) khairete
S.

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.F.

answers from Salinas on

I've got a 14 year old and 10 year old, both excellent students, honors classes etc. and honestly we rarely did any formal schoolwork over the summer. Summer here has shrunk to only 6-7 weeks so we just enjoy the time off. Both girls are huge readers and I read aloud to them, we'll read a book over the summer while we travel and take it easy. Doing stuff like visits to museums, camping, library, beach, hikes, vacations, cooking, movies, reading and bonding are all valuable "educational" activities.

Have fun and learn, there will be plenty of time for him to sit still in the coming school year.

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Tulsa on

My kids will not be doing any SCHOOLWORK! We will, however, be doing a ton of LEARNING. We will read a lot--just for the FUN of it. We will visit the library, zoos, aquariums, science museums and the beach. We will ask questions and go to the library if we don't know the answer. We will write letters to our grandparents and maybe a few creative stories. We will draw pictures of horses and dogs. And I have a 9 year old who just might get to learn how to make cookies all by herself. And hopefully the 2 year old will learn to use the potty.

And despite all of the wonderfulness above I am pretty sure that I will still hear the words "I am board" quite a few times. And so then, we will learn how to entertain ourselves because the other option will either be a chore or a math worksheet. :-)

8 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

None.
My son loves to read and does plenty of that year round.
We try to visit zoos, aquariums and museums - so we're always thinking and exploring - and there are some fun kits/experiments that are more like playing than learning.
There are bugs/birds to identify and plants to grow and marshmallows to cook over campfires and frogs/toads to catch (and release).
They are learning plenty in lot's of ways but we never did any workbooks or written homework during the summer.

7 moms found this helpful

T.N.

answers from Albany on

Zero, nil, notta, nothin. We put school down and do not pick up again til a week before the first day. We completely relax and either blob out or have a blast everyday.

I have two boys away at private colleges on large academic scholarships and the girl (15 and a sophomore this year) is aiming towards Ivy League med school.

Slacking off all summer has really worked for us! Not sure it would work for EVERYone. Least prior to hs. In hs they've had jobs and/or took summer courses to get ahead, but not because I made them.

:)

6 moms found this helpful

C.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

none. its vacation.

6 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.G.

answers from Chicago on

None. The world is the only "school" children need, worksheets are more about bureaucracy than learning.

5 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Eugene on

If you are determined to do schoolwork in summer, how about fun school rather than seatwork? Use math manipulatives, count grapes, count change, do fractions by cutting cookies or pizza. Do a library challenge. Browse the non-fiction shelves to find a subject you know nothing about. Or pick a section and just start looking at books and choose a few that look interesting. Get some craft books and science experiments you can do with things from your kitchen. Watch a favorite DVD in a foreign language, read the subtitles, see if you can recognize any of the words you hear. Jump rope and count by 2's 3's 5's 10's.

If your child is already above grade level in reading and math, why do more reading and math in the summer? Your child will just be that much further ahead in September and be that much more bored waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. Instead, focus on the extra curricular stuff that gets pushed aside because there's not enough time during the regular school year. And, yes, have fun!

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

My daughter is still a toddler but I've thought about this already as I am a teacher. When she gets to school and if she has deficits in areas, I would work to reinforce those. Summer is killer for kids who are behind in reading, writing or math. However, if your children are just fine academically, I wouldn't worry about it. I would definitely institute a 20-30 minute quiet reading time (for pure enjoyment, no textbooks!) just to keep up good habits. If you want them to do academic things, have them play games that are a little more cerebral instead of silly. It's fun without having to sit down and open a workbook.

On a side note, and totally unrelated to your question, I really think you should question (in a totally respectful way) your son's teacher who can't challenge him during the school day because she doesn't have time. I am a teacher and I have the entire spectrum of abilities in my classroom. Every kid needs to be challenged everyday. You don't want your son to become bored with school and develop a negative impression. Too many times teachers overlook the bright kids... not out of any bad intention, just because the lower kids require so much remediation. Although it's hard to find the time, it's not impossible to reach every kid. You just simply have to structure your class time differently. If your son isn't challenged now, it's only going to become more difficult for him when he's older.

4 moms found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Austin on

We were always doing things to promote creativity and learning. Not just during the summer. It just did not seem like learning and teaching at the time.

While in the car, while playing outside at meal times.. It just felt like fun and our daughter did not realize what we were doing.

We LOVED the "Brain Quest" cards.. Kept them in the car as a treat.. I noticed they also have the work books available now.

We would go to the teacher supply store and she would pick up math games, writing journals.. all sorts of fun things. She loved "workbooks".. She is still geeky..

We had a huge collection of dress up.. She made up stories and plays. She had a camera where so that she could take photos of her Barbie Fashion shows. (promotes, fine motor skills to dress and undress those dolls.)

We also gave her a 60 drawer organizer form the hardware store. Usually used for screws, nuts, bolts, ect.. She kept it organized for Barbie and Kens casual shoes, high heels, sandals, crowns.. casual hand bags.. Sports access etc..
We could point to any drawer and she could tell you what was in it , without looking inside.

Sidewalk chalk, to use for writing, hopscotch or for making "Streets", traffic signs, on our drive way.. We would park the car across the bottom of the driveway and the kids would bring all of their driving toys. Trikes, cars, wagons, strollers and play traffic.

Of course our daughter favorite place was the local book store. We purchased arm loads of books for her to read and for us to read to her. Books on CD were always in the car.

Our daughter loved activity books, Word search, connect the dots, mazes..

We purchased the "10 minute mystery books". So we could try to solve the mysteries. Jokes and riddle books.

We played restaurant. She would come up with a menus based on what we had to eat. .. then be the waitress and take our order, then be the chef and prepare our plates.. The give us a bill..

We played store. Setting up foods from the kitchen. She had a cash register.. and a calculator. She made play money and check books.

Lots of these things could be done outside with giant Boxes from the appliance store. We let them paint them, we would cut holes in them to be houses, boats, airplanes..

We would go to tag sales or garage sales. She would take her own money to purchase things.

She made up her own stationary for Birthday cards to friends and relatives.

Look on Pinterest for fun children's activities or children's projects.

I loved what one of our neighbors had her boys do.. During the summer, they would come up with "science Projects".. Then they would document them, just like school (ask a teacher for the Science Project requirements).. Then they would place these in a Folder and during the school year, when it was time for Science Fair.. The kids had an idea of what they wanted to do and had 2 versions to show! Or I guess they could just turn in the one from summer.

My only regret? I did not take photos of lots of these things. I truly regret not having video of some of these events. She does not remember all of these amazing things she did while so young.. But we were having so much fun.. I just did not want to stop and take the time.. Now with cameras on phones and ipads.. I think I would have been more likely, to grab these moments.

3 moms found this helpful

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I always have really good intentions of having my kids read, write, and do some math.
Then it never happens. They are busy playing with friends, visiting family, doing sports, going to the lake, the pool, and the park.
The only thing they really do is read. I have them do it before bed so that it calms them.
Other than that...vacation is VACATION!
(my boys are 1st and 4th grade this year. Both extremely bright!)
Laura

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.D.

answers from Atlanta on

Don't do it at all. They don't need this kind of 'learning' which isn't really learning. Children will comply and appear to be gaining but they aren't gaining any real experience and it is experience that brings knowledge.

And IF you do use worksheets Be Sure they cover things they have already learned otherwise they are completely and totally useless. Worksheets are okay use now and then but ONLY when used as a type of practice for something they already know. This is fact not opinion.

If you want them to actually learn something - Instead make up a basic plan for your summer consisting of actual working/playing experiences. Let them help you garden, if you don't garden, plant some seeds in a pot. Have them rake, etc. Have them sweep, do dishes, help with cooking, etc.. These are not done in a chore like manner, but as part of a family happy particpating manner. Play is children's work, this is how they see it.

Let them have lots of free play. Be sure their getting lots of natural settings to play in and play with natural things. This is more cruical then expected - for one thing it helps develop eye sight to become more accute, to be able to make out distances more distinctly and such. There is so much more to all of this. Swimming is a great one because it uses the whole body and therefore develops the brain too, brings balance.
Remember you are raising a whole person, a child that is allowed to have a childhood will become a compendent adult. They are quite young for all that you do already. They aren't machines. They want mamma not a robot. You are talking about a 5 & 6 year old. They're so much younger than you know. And too much academics now will only prove to be dangerous later but can cause some pretty big problems. Think about what you're doing and why you're doing it. When the errorneous ideas are dispelled what is revealed is the fear of your child not accomplishing according to standards, standards that are false.

I know this is all too much for such a post like yours. And I know that more than likely you'll ignore this and this can be taken as opinion and only opinion. But Knowledge is knowledge. We are in this world together and each person, each child is a spark, let's be a part of causing that spark to ignite and grow. --with respect to you

Read some of your posts -- Laurie has the ticket -- but remember they're very young. We play all kinds of math games and such. Movement done with speaking verses or singing is very helpful too. Brain Gymnstics may interest you. Telling stories is actually far more intelligent for children than reading. When you learn to tell stories it not only makes you more creative and intelligent but it helps you to connect with your children in a way no book can do. You become the authority instead of the book. But of course we use books too. In fact I'm kind of a book junky. Sing with your children and have some fun. Give time for nothingness. Let life and learning seep in to them. Without the time to reflect there is no learning at all. This is the real reason you take time off from education. It'd be horrible not to have summer vacation. Have Fun

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is in first grade and is well above grade level in math and reading. We will be doing ZERO school work this summer. Of course we will be reading together and visiting the library for him to check out books that he will be reading. He will likely continue to write stories and illustrate them - he does this now completely unprompted. We will continue to do real world math as it comes up. He likes to know how to figure out real world problems and that often involves math well beyond what they are taught in first grade. But sitting down and 'working' - NOPE. Summer is for playing and remembering that learning is FUN - not work.

3 moms found this helpful

S.G.

answers from Grand Forks on

We don't do any. They go to the library and read, but no school work. They do lots of learning. Mostly they learn about nature. We spend most of our time outdoors, camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing etc. They go to the zoo, museums, art galleries, theatre, concerts and spoting events which are all valuable learning experiences as well. I'm sure a half hour of school work won't hurt, but for us the summer is too short to fit it in.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

We don't do anything. We did tutoring last summer and my granddaughter spent the first whole month redoing the same things she had done all summer. The schools don't expect parents to do school stuff with their kids over the summer and that's why the first month is reteaching them what they learned last year, to see where the kids are as individuals so the teacher will know where to start skill levels. If none of the kids got what they learned the year before that's where she has to focus reviewing over and over so she can get to the skills they are supposed to be working on in her class.

Also, if you teach your little one a different way than the teacher wants they have to undo what you spent all the time working on.

Kids need time to be kids and play and have fun. They need to spend time reading books if they want to, swimming, running amok, riding their bikes, playing with toys. They need these things to learn so many skills.

Google kids learn when they play and you'll likely be surprised at the different things they learn. It amazed me so much that I took out a lot of our sit down table time and did more play time in my child care center. They were some of the smartest kids in their classes too.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Dallas on

None. My kids are 12 & 15 and are excellent students and very well rounded due to the activities and adventures we have during the summer. I advise to be careful about how much school that is pushed on them, it could backfire.

Go to museums, aquariums, parks etc for their schooling during the summer. You can do math during the visit to the grocery store or while you are cooking or have them read billboards and discuss that type of genre, advertisement, and all that goes along with it (age appropriate, of course) - that is what the teacher is talking about. I don't think she means doing worksheets or sitting at a table working on math problems. Reading comprehension is the goal with reading - have the read all kids of stuff you see in daily life and talk about what it means, i.e, street signs, traffic signs, sales signs (for math too) etc.

A parents role is to teach by exposure, experience and modeling. Have fun and explore this summer!

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.W.

answers from Portland on

This summer, I plan on finding extensions to Kiddo's interests and going from there.

Writing? He can work on his comic books. This will help with his spelling, writing skills, and composition.

Math? I plan on letting him help me with gardening/planting tasks, which we can incorporate measuring and math into.

Reading. We LOVE to read. I've got a few chapter books I want to read to him plus he's loving the Magic Treehouse books. We do extensions on these too (recently finished "A Good Night for Ghosts" and then did more reading on Louis Armstrong. What an amazing role model!)

Geography: we always have a world map handy on the fridge. We can find out where in the world a nature documentary (we watch these a lot) was filmed; find out where our toys were made; discover where some of the Magic Treehouse adventures take place.

Plenty of science opportunities, thanks to those awesome, simple Usborne books. And cooking-- math+science=deliciousness.

And we can chart the weather, too, recording thermometer readings. Too many great opportunities to learn.:) And they are natural, fun progressions from things he already likes to do. We'll still have plenty of time for the park, learning soccer and bike rides.

2 moms found this helpful

R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Reading your question made me stop and re-read something - "There is not much she can do (or has time to do) during the school day for him."

What? SHE'S his teacher, regardless of time constraints, it is her job to find or know (which would require she make the time to find out) ways to challenge him, even if it's just suggesting or recommending to you ways to do that in your time with him. She is, after all, the education professional. Teachers are overwhelmed, it's a given, too many students, not enough time, but that's no excuse to pass her job on to you instead of providing ways and suggestions to you to find ways to challenge him.

That said, you want to challenge a child in all areas, not just the ones he's above, at or below grade level in. But for me that's never meant schoolwork during summer, unless my child was actually in summer school. Summer should be fun, so I bought workbooks or printed them off the internet to color and fill in as part of coloring/play time, books we check out of the library and I use life as learning experiences...counting, adding and subtracting things around the house as we cook, bake or clean, noting differences in things when we're out and asking the kids to elaborate on what they see, etc. Going to library story/craft time, stores offering free things for children to do, free or $1 movies at a theater, grocery shopping and couponing (teaches budgeting and math skills), reading to each other, movie night at the park, impromptu picnics, a visit to a zoo, all offer learning experiences they may not get during the school year so we take advantage. Children love to play and they learn by playing, so to me summer is a time to encourage it.

And journaling, writing in an inexpensive composition book each afternoon or evening about the day, improves creative thinking, organizing thoughts and writing skills, while giving a child a place to store their thoughts, dreams, memories, feelings and so forth. At his age it could be a sentence or two a day, and he can add a drawing to it. My daughter enjoyed it so much she kept it up until adulthood, so it proved to be a worthwhile practice. She enjoyed reading them years later, too, and seeing how she'd changed and grown.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Jacksonville on

My upcoming 4th grader will read around 20 minutes everyday. We might do multiplication and division facts during morning car rides to camp, but that's about it.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.N.

answers from Denver on

We do none (nothing purposely, that is. I'm sure there are hidden lessons everywhere that we experience.)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

I agree with you...when we are home we study sight words or do math during the commercials. As well, reading is a great pass time, even if you have to sit with them and help out.

1 mom found this helpful

C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

we do not do any. My kids are in K and 2nd this year and all we do is read. We do not do any other school work. It's summer! It's supposed to be fun :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Seattle on

I am constantly supplementing my children's education. Learning does not end because school is over, nor did it begin when school started. I don't have a set amount of time they spend learning but rather we just work sporadically throughout the day. My children inhale books on their own and I am always giving them tons of ways to explore new concepts. I'm thankful for the fact that they have an intrinsic desire to learn.

In your case I don't think 30 mins of work is going to be a cause for concern. My daughter was/is very much like your son in that she's at a level beyond what is being taught in school so I give her what she can handle and even some things she can't just to challenge her more. Always do what you think is best and challenge your son. Children will always surprise and amaze us with not only what they know, but and more importantly with what they can learn.

Yes, I realize my grammar is atrocious. :)

1 mom found this helpful

X.O.

answers from Chicago on

My kindergarten son likes doing workbook pages, so I will stick with that, and I think your 30 minute baseline is very reasonable and realistic. You're right, there's plenty of time left in the day for active play.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

My kids have always loved to read so I would not include that as part of HW it is just something they do before bed. In elementary school I had them do about 5 minutes or less of math per day practicing math facts. My kids did continue piano lessons during the summer so there was also daily practice. Other than that they were at camp in the morning and at the pool in the afternoon so they were fairly busy.
My youngest though loved Kahn Academy (google it if you are not familiar with it) and would often do it for fun. My youngest also started blogging in 2nd or 3rd grade about American Girl Dolls so she practices her writing there but I don't do anything formal.
My girls also test above grade level and do not have a problem mastering new skills (although my oldest has a math tutor now that she is in HS) so I really don't see the need to get them too far ahead since they will just be really bored in school.

1 mom found this helpful

P.W.

answers from Dallas on

Neither of my kids ever did school work in the summer, except reading for fun, until high school when they took some summer school to lighten the load during the year. Both my kids are college grads. So it worked for us.

I am not saying it couldn't benefit to review things in the summer but I wouldn't make too big of a deal. They need down time and some kids will tank if they don't get it.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

We do school work every day in the summer (M-F). The kids have the potential to lose a lot of knowledge during the summer, so it is important to do review and enrichment. My oldest will be going into 3rd, so he will do 30-40 minutes of reading comprehension and math. My middle son will be going into Kinder, so he will do 15-20 minutes of sight words, counting, etc. Barnes and Noble has a great section of workbooks. We also read at night--every night. It's amazing how much 10-15 minutes can do!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Boston on

I don't think 30 minutes is too much per day in the summer. Children get rusty over the summer and this will positively reinforce stuff learned over the school year. You may find on some days it's more difficult than others to get anything accomplished. They'll be busy playing outside. I wouldn't push too hard, but if it's possible, go ahead.

K.I.

answers from Los Angeles on

We don't do any...besides reading of course.

My kids have consistently completed their grade level plus the next one up (that is all our school district allows until 4th grade) each year and by the parent/teacher conference after Christmas we are told they have completed and maxed out requirements for the year....so they spend from Jan-June doing busy work....sure as heck am not gonna make them do it during summer time too!

~So wish I had the $$ for private school! So disappointed in our districts inability to challenge students. We had to force the issue and now both my boys have their own 'cubbies' filled with advanced ditto sheets to work on...but it's still busy work and we all know it!

Sorry to get off on my own rant..I am just SO frustrated with this! You are absolutely right though, that 30 minutes of school work to keep them learning and retaining information is not going to hurt!!!

B.S.

answers from Lansing on

Since you're in Michigan I wanted to suggest the GRASP program. My sister told me about it last year as someone at her work knew about it.

Its basically a summer program for reading and math. It does have a fee. But here is what they provide. A math book with tests and the answer sheets. Envelopes to mail the answered sheets in for grading. The goal is to take one test a week...but you can adjust to your own needs. At the end of the summer once you turn them all in and your child receives a required percentage right they earn a medal and certificate for completion. My daughter did just the math portion last year as we usually do the summer reading program too. I wasn't sure it would help, but low and behold she was on top of her game in the beginning of year for math for 2nd grade. She also loved the fact that she earned a medal. So that was a bonus too!

I plan on signing her up again this year and put my youngest daughter in the reading one.

Its worth a look at, if you do a search fro GRASP and Grand Rapids, you should be able to find it.

S.L.

answers from New York on

I did about 10 minutes of math five days a week over the summer and my son is now doing great in math. I also read to him most nights for about 10 minutes. This summer, since he is on grade level for math I will mostly just take him to the library and used book stores to keep him reading.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi
I have my son attend one month of Summer School and then he can do what he wants. However, he does have to read a book.. which is easy because he already enjoys doing as such..
Although, I may have him log on to Khanacademy.Org so that he can review math.. We'll see how it goes.

and no, I don't think 30 mins a day is too much.. that sounds like a good idea to me.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.G.

answers from Houston on

Last summer, we did 2 hours a day, around 7-9a. But then again, my son and I are early birds.

My son didn't mind it. I never had to push it. I bought that book "what every 1st grader needs to know" and worked through that all summer, and supplemented with workbooks from the teacher supply store. We did all the basic reading, writing, math, spelling and telling time. We also learned how to write, count and how to say hello in 13 different languages (a language a week), did science projects and experiements, as well as did Bible devotions and art/music lessons (different artist/instrument or composer a week, sort of like my own Little Einsteins). He read over 100 books over the summer, mostly chapter books like Stink, Flat Stanley, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Junie B Jones, Magic Tree House, Arthur and A-Z mysteries.

Since all his friends didn't even wake up until after 9a and/or stores and entertainment venues didn't start until 10am, it fit our schedule, and he had plenty of time to go to day camp, play sports, go to and host playdates and even sleepovers. As a matter of fact, none of his friends or even their moms had any clue how much school we did. He was always available to play and had one of the best summers ever. So did I.

K.H.

answers from Detroit on

I could have written this about my kindergartener. Her teacher says the same thing about her. I also plan on being home during the summer (and from now on) during the day and will work 2-3 nights a week to keep some income on my end. I have been pinning things on Pinterest like crazy with links to educational stuff - for both inside and outside. There is TONS of info out there and I agree that 30 minutes (or even more since my daughter thinks workbooks and such are great fun LOL) is not going to keep them from being "kids". She has been in daycare her whole life so far and they keep them on a program with learning involved even through the summer but are just a little more lenient and have more "fun" activities planned than during the school year. I will keep a watch out for the answers you get as I too would love to compile more info! :) Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Washington DC on

We have a saying at our house: Math is a muscle; you have to exercise it for it to be strong.

And exercise can't stop for three solid months. So I would definitely get both kids to do math and reading over the summer but as others say -- disguise it as fun. You've gotten good ideas already about how to do that. Cook a lot with them and have them measure; take them to the store and have them total up prices for you; get some fun math games and manipulatives; go online for math computer games ( there are even free ones for kids online--ask the school computer specialist and the math teachers, not just your child's one classroom teacher!).

The red flag here for me: Your child's teacher tells you to challenge your K student at home because he's bright and not getting enough challenge in school. Right now I'd start looking at whether your school system is going to be able to challenge him-- see if there is an "advanced academics" program through the schools (often also called "gifted and talented" and usually starting later than K; in our system it begins in third grade after testing etc. in second). KNOW what the system does or does not offer.

Meanwhile for summer, have you looked at half-day camps in your area that offer, say, a week-long, half-day "fun math" activity camp for kids this age? There are also camps with names like "Mad Science" very much geared toward kids and making learning fun. These are not dry, sit-in-your-seat things but hands-on, kid-appropriate classes/camps. Research them and see if your kids would be interested.

As for reading, ensure they read to YOU as much as possible. Get them to the library very frequently. Have you checked your library system's summer reading program for kids? Have you seen if the libraries have summer story times for this age group? (Most will.) Be sure to look at offerings in the entire library system, not just your one nearest library branch, and be willing to take your kids to another library for an event or class. Have them write your shopping lists, write a list of the things you want to do on your vacation, etc. -- useful writing whenever the opportunity presents itself.

As they get older, you can expect them to do more summer math and reading. It really is essential to keeping up skills they need from school year to school year. I know the "let kids be kids and just play" folks will not like this, but as kids advance in grades, they have to keep up skills like math over the summer or they spend the start of the school year brushing up so much that they can get frustrated. I am not saying to shove Kumon worksheets down their throats all summer, but keep those skills up through practice -- and find out, before school ends, what specific skills you should keep up over the summer!

Next question: Do You Make Your Child "Study" During Summer Break?