All you need is 20 minutes! That’s it! Can you and your child commit to that this summer? YES You Can! This was written to encourage parents that learning can easily take place over the summer. Even though I’m an elementary teacher, I am the queen of overthinking / overcomplicating a subject. Take it from me and tell yourself, “I can do elementary school. I graduated from elementary school and I understand what to do. I do not need to make this too hard.”
2 options for DIY Summer School:
1. Follow a chart like the above and make up ideas as you go.
2. Purchase a workbook. (I’ve listed quite a few at the bottom)
M – Marvelous Math Monday
Ideas: flashcards, time, money, budgeting, timed math sheets, number recognition, touch math, recipes, multiplication
T – Terrific Tuesday
Project Time: create, collage, paint, duct tape, glue gun, play games
W – Writing Wednesday
Ideas: practice handwriting, keep a journal, spelling, write postcards and letters (people will write you back!)
TH – Thinking Thursday
Focus: Reading Comprehension – write about what you’re reading this week or research a favorite subject and write. Other activities: write your own treasure hunt, Mad Libs, journal, write riddles.
While “summer school” may not bring squeals of joy, it is essential for kid’s to keep their brains engaged and school skills sharp. If your child finished the school year successfully, this is the basic amount of work they need daily to be ready for school to start in the fall.
Why DIY Summer School? Here are the statistics (click here for infographic): The highest losses occur in math and spelling. Researchers have found that the average child loses 2.5 months of learning over the summer or about 30% of knowledge. By 9th grade, summer learning loss is could be blamed for 2/3 of achievement gap. Why is Busy Kids Happy Mom promoting this? According to research, 75% of parents wish teachers would tell them how to prevent summer learning loss. So here you go!
Parent note: DIY Summer School will help your child if they finished the school year at or above grade level. If you’ve been told that you’re child needs summer school, please consider it. Generally they are a few hours a day for a month. Then there’s still time to play!
Getting Started Tips and Tricks
2. Plan – Review the report card and talk to your child’s teacher. Use the skill list to figure out the most needed areas.
3. Work Hard, Play Hard. Get the work done early so you can start your day!
4. Take into consideration your child’s gifts and talents. Make sure you emphasize their interest in art, LEGOs, or nature on the fun days.
5. If your kids are not very excited, you can just blame me for it! 🙂 Say, “Miss Kristen said we need to do this over the summer!” I don’t mind! 🙂
|Click HERE to reach the board.|
1. How do I do DIY Summer School if I work outside the home and am my child is at daycare? Set an expectation with your child that you’ll work with them 3 mornings a week and then on the weekend. Many children can independently complete review workbooks at breakfast.
2. My child only wants to play, how do I get them to stop and learn? Play is a huge part of summer! The motto “Work Hard – Play Hard” fits this situation well. Get the work done and then you can play again.
3. What can I do if I don’t enjoy working with my child? Don’t feel guilty, it’s okay. Maybe a workbook is ideal for you. Set up a for completing tasks and touch base with your child to see how it’s going. Spend time reading together instead.
4. What about independent reading? Children should still be reading independently daily. They can read with you before bed or on their own. Take books with you when you’re out and listen to audio books in the car. Time in the car can be a great time to expose your children to new books.
5. My child only wants use technology, how do I get him to use a pencil and paper? There’s a time and place for technology; however, it is not included in the this 20 minute framework. You may want to check out the Technology Contract ****here.
6. What if my child only needs help in one area? Like math? It’s recommended that you hire a tutor to help monitor your child’s progress; however, with specific intervention and a plan, they should still see progress in 20 minutes each day.
7. What about play, exploration and time at the pool? You’re only spending 20 minutes a day on skills. There’s plenty of time left. Set the timer for 20 minutes and everyone will be happy!
More links to check out to prepare for summer fun and enrichment:
|If you’d like to motivate your child with points and prizes. Then you’ll want to check out our Summer Points page here and Pinterest board here.|
|Life Skills – the “skills they don’t teach at school” are great to teach in the summer here. Find the list here age by age, ideas for everything from getting yourself dressed to learning to cook.|
|Schedule your day! I wrote all about that here and how much your children will appreciate the structure.|
|Check out these School Skills here to see what your child should be working on.|
|Understanding Book Levels|
|Summer Bridge Activity Books and Review|
Math workbook ideas, click here for ideas from Pragmatic Mom.
Kristen is the writer and creator behind Busy Kids Happy Mom. The site started in 2011 as a way to share Summer learning and enrichment ideas. First it started with Summer Points, Life Skills were added and now DIY Summer School. All of these activities have similar characteristics, the main theme being to Make Summer Count! She is an Elementary Reading Specialist and the mother of 2 boys!