I once read in an article that the average child loses 2 months of grade level skills over the summer months. This is commonly known as learning loss. I certainly didn’t want to see my children lose 2 months worth of effort and hard work, so I signed them up for the local summer reading program at our library. We read our hearts out over the summer and I felt pretty good about what we had accomplished. That was until I recently saw the my 8 year old’s standardized testing reports from the 1st and 2nd grade next to each other. Despite my efforts last summer she had lower scores by 10 points on both the reading and math tests. I realized that I needed to do more for her and my other children, so this summer I have a plan. A plan that I want to share with you in hopes that maybe working together we can help our children’s minds stay sharp!
My school age children are ages 5, 8, and 9. My youngest will be attending kindergarten in the fall and since we’ve skipped preschool with all of the kid’s, we’ve been diligently working at home with her. Most of the links I will share below will be for the younger crowd as that is what I am doing for my kids.
1. Print and Cursive Practice
Do you have a child that is learning to write letters, learning cursive, or maybe just writes like a doctor (no offense doctors) and could use a little slowed down, repetitive practice? This is my absolute favorite free website. You can create sentences, just a specific letter, the entire alphabet, and it converts them into trace-able worksheets. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s AWESOME! Check it out here: Handwriting worksheets just click on the type you want to create and follow the directions!
This website is great for printing of pre made math fact sheets or creating your own! Also free! Get started here: Math Fact Cafe
3. Word Search Fun
Have you ever been to Puzzlemaker.com? I first learned about this site from my daughter’s spelling homework. She had to use her spelling words and create a puzzle. I plan to take the list from last years spelling bee and create 2 puzzles a week for my kiddos to do. It will be fun and they will be getting ahead for next year! You can choose from several different types of puzzle to create! You can even make some for themed holidays or one for your family reunion this summer with all the cousin’s names on it. The sky is the limit! Plus, it’s free and they provide you an answer key!
4. Summer reading program at your local library
There is a really good chance that there is a librarian in your city working their tail off to prepare an epic summer reading program for your community! So head on over there and ask. I bet they will be delighted that you came! You guessed it, it’s free!If you don’t have one, then create your own with PBS kids’ help: PBS summer reading
5. Experiment FUN!
Did you know that you can test the freshness of an egg by putting in a bowl full of cold water. If it sinks and lays long ways it is fresh! If it stands upwards, it’s still edible, but not super fresh. If it floats, it’s rotten! Neat right? So how long does it take for an egg to go bad when sitting at room temperature? How about if it’s been frozen? What about in the fridge? I don’t know but we are going to find out this summer! Will an orange float in a bowl of water? What if you take the peel off, will it float then? Fill your days with inexpensive science projects. Form a guess first to see if you’re right. Did you know ant’s stomachs are transparent? Did you know that you can turn a lemon into a digital clock? WHAT? (I’m totally doing that one this summer!) There are TONS of science projects HERE!
LETS DO THIS! Let’s help our children retain their knowledge they worked hard to learn! I sat down with my kids and set up a schedule. They helped plan and we are all excited for these summer months! Here’s to summer with a purpose and less learning loss!