Hey hey, Anyone else feeling like this week was the longest ever? Goodness gracious I am ready for the weekend.
Can you believe that summer break is (almost) here?! Well it is! And even though I have reduced my Instagram use A TON I plan on continuing sharing on this little space, because I really do find so much joy in doing it.
And since I am planning out our summer; trips, activities and learning, I thought I would start with sharing some tips on avoiding the summer slide. I know, I know, it sounds like a lot of work but honestly it doesn't have to be. Check out this Pinterest board that I will be adding to as I plan out our weeks.
You may ask why the heck I am doing all of this during summer break and it simply comes down to the fact that Zoe is finishing Kindergarten with so many skills and I want to avoid the regression. The summer slide is something that happens to every child when they take 2 months off of all things school. So why not follow a few tips that can help them do better come Fall. I also think it helps me as a stay at home mom (and can help any care taker) because it keeps some structure around my weeks and keeps the "I'm bored" to a minimum.
Here are three big tips I am sticking to.
1. Read for 20 minutes every single day. This is the obvious, something I have done since the girls were in my belly, reading out loud and now having Zoe read out loud every day. This BOB Book set is one of my favorite tools to reinforce learning at home.
I also read out loud from a chapter book (currently reading through this Amelia Bedelia set ) We also have read a lot of the Magic Tree House collection, and plan on digging into it more this summer. I plan on rounding up a variety of chapter books that we have read or plan on reading (some really funny ones that Zoe has been into) in the next week or so.
I read our chapter books during bedtime wind down, Ami usually plays with some blocks while I read and Zoe lays next to me. Or I read while they color/paint, eat a meal or play. Audible is also a great way to listen to books when I have to get dinner made or in the car. We have done this since Zoe was a toddler.
This summer I'll keep this 100 BOOK checklist up on our fridge for each girl to cross off as they read, and I also created this weeklyREADING GOALS chart where she can earn extra stars to add to her behavior chart.
2. Use work books. Some may laugh but these things are my favorite, you can easily bring it along on a road trip or in a suitcase (we took some on vacation) and you don't have to create your own work sheets or activities. I currently have this Kindergarten one that Zoe has gone through, and this Pre-K one that Ami "works on" while Zoe does her sheets. The rules are they have to complete 5 sheets on non-school days to get screen time. Best part is that Zoe really enjoys doing them!
For the summer I plan on ordering this Summer Brain 1-2 for Zoe & this Pre-K one for Ami. I find that they are not only fun for them to do but can be amazing as busy box work for rain days or when you simply need them to be occupied while you get work done or make dinner. Plus they actually learn something!
3. Make learning FUN. I have always let Zoe pick a subject that we then explore at the library and then with a "field trip". She asked to learn more about dinosaurs so we are heading to the library for some books later this month, I have some Netflix shows to explore on it and a trip to The Museum of Natural History before the end of the month. I feel like these things keep the learning going, and gets her engaged.
We also plan on working on a little website with her Godfather (my brother who's in Switzerland) he created the website/blog and I'll have her work on everything, from taking photos, uploading them and typing something about the photo to share with them. And he'll do the same! She has never worked on a computer so I think this will be fun, give her some exposure to it and connect with him!
I shared my recent Amazon buys that I purchased this lined paper, this sight word work book and this tracing packet to help with her writing skills. We may even have to start a pen pal with a friend from school that moved to Florida recently. Having a pen pal to write to and receive mail from will make writing even more fun!
Overall the best advice I have gotten from her teacher is to just keep her learning, reading and practicing the skills she has learned. And make it fun and interactive!
We are almost at the school year finish line people, ALMOST THERE!!!