JustaBXgirl had her last day of school on June 22nd (my birthday). Yesterday, June 26th (her godsister’s birthday) I asked her what her daily routine at school was so we could implement a similar one at home. Her answer??? “I forgot.” Yup, my darling child who brought home a perfect report card from Pre-K could not recall how she spent her day less than a week out of school. The Summer Slide is real my people.
And this mama is looking for ways to fight it! What is the summer slide you ask? No, it’s not what they’re calling the latest version of the Slip N Slide. It is something that we must stay on top of to avoid. Summer Slide is a cute way to say our littles lose a lot of the information they have spent the school year attaining. This seems to be even truer in low-income communities. source
That is just not okay for me. And I don’t think you will think it is okay either! I get it. we send our littles to school because we don’t want to homeschool. We send our littles to school and think they deserve a break after working hard and bringing home good grades all year.
The thing is we need to help our littles (and sometimes ourselves) think about learning differently. Learning doesn’t and shouldn’t stop just because school is out. We need to take life moments to not only learn life lessons but to solidify what our littles are learning in school.
Here are a few ways this summer we will continue reinforcing what JustaBXgirl learned in Pre-K as well as getting her ready for Kindergarten.
Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab – The tagline for Beaker Creatures is Science Meets Collectibles! These are a perfect way to get your littles interested in science. Everyone loves surprise toys. Everyone loves collectibles. Everyone loves fizzy stuff. Everyone will love these aliens. And as a parent, you will love watching your littles become mad scientists since this lab comes with not only two Reactor Pods but also real-world science experiments your scientists can conduct. They’re going to have so much fun they won’t even realize that they’re learning!
Puzoodles – I remember doing puzzles with my dad as a small child. The fun was in finding what piece went where. It felt triumphant when the last piece was placed and the picture finally came together. Puzoodles are a new generation’s way of bringing puzzles to life. Each piece comes individually wrapped an once put together creates a toy your little can play with for bonus fun. What’s even more fun is that some of the pieces are interchangeable so you can come up with your own characters.
Guided Lessons – Education.com has been one of my go-to sites since JustaBXgirl was just a little bit. I’ve been printing worksheets from their site since she was around 2. Last year, I joined the site as a premium member and with that, we were introduced to Guided Lessons. These things are AMAZING. They have lessons from pre-k through eighth grade. JustaBXgirl is on first grade for some of the lessons. Littles are lead through different activities, stories, and songs to teach them lessons on reading and math. I love that you can always go back and work on what hasn’t been mastered yet or even redo a board that has been already been mastered. No room for the slide there! There’s an app that can be downloaded or your little can use the website to “play.”
MyOn by Renaissance – We actually haven’t had the chance to try this out yet but I think it is a FABULOUS opportunity for children to get to read books this summer. Through this site, littles are given access to online titles in their grade and reading group. In the K-2 section, there are nearly 5,000 books to read!!! I’m not sure if this is true in every state but in NYC you can access the site using the log-in information found below. Shoutout to JustaBXgrandpa for the 411 on this resource!
Enter school name: NYC Summer (it should come up once you’ve begun typing).
Grade: Preschool (birth to age 4) Username: nyca password: myon
Grade: K – 2 Username: nycb password: myon
Grade: 3 – 5 Username: nycc password: myon
Grade 6+ Username: nycd password: myon
Bug Lab For Kids – If you rather get your reading done offline here’s a great title to check out. This is a wonderful way to combine the fun of being outside with the science of bugs. You might even awaken a hidden desire to study entomology in your little. I also love that this book begins with safety basics for looking for bugs!
Go West – If you have a little interested in history or trains this book is a true winner. You learn about different destinations as you learn about how the railroad helped shape our country’s history. It is a wonderful way to get some reading in and work on history and engineering as it can lead to research on the railroads. My godson was excited to receive it as a graduation present.
Paint Sation – And while we talk about holding onto lessons learned, let us not forget how important expression and art is to our littles developments. Paint Sation is a wonderful way to take art on the go. Since the paint won’t spill you can use it pretty much everywhere! JustaBXgirl leaves her easel set at her Abuela’s so that she can paint whenever the mood touches her. At home, she usually uses acrylic paint and canvases from Michael’s. I can definitely share the cleanup process at Abuela’s is A LOT easier!
Kids Know Best – Family game night is a must have around our house. I know, I know. Game time is supposed to be just fun BUT if you can sneak a little learning in then why not?! This is a fun way for both parents and littles to get some learning in. There are questions for parents and littles to answer. The parents are faced with questions such as, “In The Wiggles what type of animal is Henry,” while our littles have to answer questions like, “Which Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt has the most famous tomb.” Who do you think will win at your home? Games are a brilliant way to keep littles learning while having fun.
Singing Machine Kids Wise Ol’ Owl – Who didn’t love playing with a calculator as a little? This is a great way to get your littles familiar with how to use one. It’s fun and speaks mutliple languages! What? You thought the Wise Ol’ Owl would only chirp? The big buttons are perfect for the little fingers. And this is so cute it looks great sitting on a desk. I’ve been allowing JustaBXgirl to check her homework using this but she rather just press numbers if I’m honest.
These are the few of the tools we are or will be using this summer but please remember that every day you will have a gazillion opportunities to bring learning to your little. Have them help you write shopping lists. Have them count how many (insert random item) you or they have. Ask them how many steps it takes to get to the bathroom from their bed. Have them help count money. Play Alphabet I Spy in the car. Have them sort the laundry.
Help them see the magic and learning in everyday moments and they will never lose them later.