Monday, May 23, 2016

Don't PANIC... It is Only Summer Vacation!

It has happened again... The school year is almost over and the summer is nearly upon us.  This year, there is no Brainiac Academy (a science program for incoming 5th and 6th graders) for James because he has aged out of it.  He isn't a kid who can get ESY (extended school year),  So, what is a mum to do?  PLAN.  HYPER PLAN and hope for the best.
While James has visions of restful days wearing only a Tshirt and undies and playing endless hours of Minecraft, I have visions of him going 10 weeks with little to no structure and possibly losing 70% of what his teachers have spent the last 10 months gently cramming into his head.  And so I choose not to panic and have been planning for this summer for the past 9 or so weeks.  First, I scoured classes through the community centers and rec programs. I looked for online activities that would catch his attention while focusing him on an agenda that isn't his. I know that he is good at math, but it's a subject that must be constantly reinforced, or his brain will turn into a sieve and all that knowledge will pour out like a giant waterfall. I also know that James will need to be active so fingers crossed, his Karate Dojo will have a summer camp program.   All I know is that we are racing towards the prize......... August 10th when 7th grade starts!!! (I am by no means trying to rush the summer fun away but 10 weeks is a really long time to be without the structure of school for...........parents)

Here are some ideas to help keep your child's brain active and ready for the next year~

Math: >>click here<<  15-20 problems a day in game form can keep their minds sharp and ready for the new year.  >>click here<< compete against another player or do the games privately.  >>click here<< very cute help Curious George find numbers, numbers in word form and number of items (find one lion). >>click here<< some really cute stuff here.

Language Arts: Really only one word is needed here, well really two,  READ and TALK to your kids. If your mouth isn't tired by the end of the day, and I don't mean from eating ice cream or watermelon, you probably haven't talked enough to your kids.

  1. Go to the library
  2. Attend story hours
  3. Read books together
  4. Have your kids read out loud to you and then tell you, in their own words, what they have just read.  After about an hour, have them tell you again, (helps reinforce longer term memory. No worries if they can't remember, you can give them clues.)
  5. Mess up favorite stories and have them fix your errors.  No need for tantrums by you changing out favorite part of the story.
  6. Reading comprehension can be difficult so help your kids understand what they have just read. 
  7. Hit YouTube, and frequent School House Rock.  I was a kid in the 70's and this stuff still makes me smile (all time favorites, "I'm Just a Bill" {I know that one is history but it is GREAT!} and "Interjections!") Both of my kids were brought up on this stuff and James still comes running when he hears the music start for "I'm Just a Bill" and "Interjections!"
I know that the summer is supposed to be relaxing but it is possible if you plan, the beginning of the new school year can go smoother if you lay a good foundation.  

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