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Make a Teacher Happy: Prevent Summer Brain (Part 2)
Yay for summer! The kids get to wake up early, do chores, and read for hours. Then they have time to work on their science fair projects for the upcoming school year. After that they read some more, and then they help with dinner, laundry, and yard work without complaint. Hmmmm……maybe in a fairy tale land! If your family is like most families, this isn’t even close! Many kids don’t pick up a book the whole summer (gasp!). By the time school rolls around, they have forgotten much of what they worked so hard on the previous school year. This is called SUMMER BRAIN. Let’s prevent summer brain this summer!
How do we prevent summer brain?
Yep, simple as that. Kids need to read at least 20 min each day. My kids read 30 min each day. Go to the library and get lots of books. Or go to the bookstore and let them pick out one new book. Have them pick a book from each genre. Try out an audio book. Have a neighborhood book swap (more on this coming soon…). Or start a neighborhood Book Club! Make reading fun! Read outside, inside, at the park, or in a tent. And for sure, download my monthly summer Reading Challenge! Click here to download June’s BINGO challenge!
2. Daily Homework
I know, I’m the meanest mom because I make my kids do homework throughout the summer! I’ve had my kids doing summer homework since preschool, so they just expect it now. It might be a hard adjustment if you’re starting in 4th or 5th grade, but it’s ok, they’ll get used to it. I’ve tried a bunch of different things. I’ve used workbooks, I’ve printed off my own weekly packets, and I’ve tried online programs.
- The Summer Fit Workbooks are a great way to go, and no prep work! They have a page of math and a page of reading every day, along with an exercise. I’ve used them for many years and like them a lot.
- For online learning, you can’t beat the Khan Academy. I have had my kids do their math programs throughout the summer, and it works great! They also have lessons for many other subjects.
- If you want to print out your own more tailored packets, which I have also done in years past, check out these great resources:
- Math-Drills.com is the best place to print math practice sheets.
- Super Teacher Worksheets has some fun printable worksheets for math, social studies, language arts, and science. The only problem is that only a few of the resources are free. I’ve used most of the free ones, I think.
- Spelling Words Well is great for printing all things spelling.
- Mr. Nussbaum is one of my favorite places to find reading comprehension worksheets. You print out the story and the comprehension questions that go along with it. This is also one of my favorite sites for online educational practice. He has so many resources!! I love his site and use it all the time.
- If you are looking for online educational games and activities, there are so many great resources!
- Wilderness Classroom
- Interactive Sites for Education (Language Arts)
- Fun Brain
- Kids Reads
- AIMS Center Puzzle Corner with math and science puzzles
- Learning Planet
- Jefferson Lab games and puzzles
- Enchanted Learning games
- UEN Interactive Games for K-12
- Kids Math Games
- Chemistry Quizes and Games for junior high students
- Syvum Online Activities
- Free Typing Game for practicing those typing skills
- Typing Games Zone
- ENSE-Lang also has typing games
- Bedtime Math
- PBS Kids is always fun!
- Scholastic Parents has some good resources
- ABC Mouse.com is a good resource, but it is a paid subscription
- IXL Learning
- E-Learning for Kids
- Education.com games
3. Limit Screen Time
I know this one is difficult! My rule is no more than one hour per day. It’s rough sometimes, but it’s doable. And I do fudge it sometimes. If they don’t use any screen time for a couple of days, and want an extra hour the next day, I’m fine with that. I’ve seen examples of parents not giving out the wi-fi password until reading, homework, and daily chore is done for the day. I think that’s a great idea! Or, if they have friends over and have been outside for hours then want to watch a movie, I’m fine with that too. Of course, the online games I just posted count as screen time; the Khan academy would not count as screen time for me because it’s their math homework.
Haha! This one is a mom’s best friend! My kids also need to do their daily chore before they can play. (I know! I’m so mean!) Divide up the chores however you want. Some days are super quick and other days I make them work harder.
4. Fun Activities
Even just getting out and having fun is better for the brain than watching tv or playing video games! This Summer Calendar is so cute and is a great way to organize fun activities.
Click here for this fun Freebie Summer Bucket List!
I hope this helps!!! Let’s prevent summer brain this year and send our kids back to school prepared and on track to learn! Do you have any resources that I missed? Or have questions on how I get my kids to do all this? Email me!