I promised when I started this blog that I would eschew the complicated and involved parenting advice and techniques found on other blogs. My goal is to provide you with easy, fun ways to be a great parent. So if you’re expecting today’s post to resemble a homeschool curriculum complete with crafts, reading assignments, and charts of some kind, you’re out of luck (and if you’re like me, also grateful).
Here are 4 simple things I do that help my kids keep learning reading, science, writing, and math during the summer without me even being all that involved:
1. Library Rules- Each week we take a trip to the library, and each child is allowed to choose 5 books for the week. But there are rules: 1 book must be nonfiction, 1 must be a “challenge book” (be at or slightly above their reading level) and the other 3 can be whatever they choose. For my rising kindergartener, her challenge books have been early reader phonics books. For my rising 3rd grader, thicker chapter books with fewer pictures. For my rising 5th grader, even longer chapter books with no pictures. They have all found nonfiction books that have piqued their interest, like the “Girls’ Guide to Glamour” or “Spies” or “All About Puppies”.
2. Journal Rewards- At the start of the summer I let my kids go to the dollar store and choose their own journals. I don’t make them write in their journals- it’s entirely up to them if and when they write. BUT there are sweet rewards for writing. For the older two, I place a Skittle or M&M on every correct capitalization and punctuation. My oldest loses 1 for every misspelling, and my second-oldest loses one for every reversal (she’s still struggling with those!). My littlest receives one for every letter she writes, with no deductions. We have had some very long and involved journal entries thanks to this motivation- and I did have to put a limit on just 1 journal entry per day. The best part? My kids are recording memories that will last a lifetime.
3. Summer Budget- Learn more about this here.
4. Math Games- My kids’ school has an account with the online math learning program called Dreambox. Their school is doing an incentive for kids to play during the summer, but my kids love it enough that they would want to play even without an incentive! It’s a great way to spend some down time and keep their math skills sharp at the same time. If your school doesn’t have a similar program, there are plenty of free apps & websites out there with fun math games for kids.
That’s it! Easy peasy, kids will be able to head back to school in the fall without missing a beat and you can pat yourself on the back for being an awesome parent. ;-)