I can’t believe the school year is nearly over for the Princess. With one more week to go, it’s time for me to scramble as I try to figure out how to keep her busy and out of trouble this summer.
The fun stuff has already been set. She has drama camp for the first half of summer, and art camp for the second half. Then there will be private swimming lessons twice a week, piano lesson once a week, and speech once a week.
Although most parents would have their kids play all summer, I can’t allow her to do that. With the Princess’s challenges in language processing and reading comprehension, she can’t afford being any more behind than she is now. Somewhere in her fun-packed summer, I will need to make time for her core subjects of reading, writing, and math in order to get her up to speed with her peers, and maybe if I’m lucky, I can get her even slightly beyond.
I read a frightening statistic somewhere that children lose between 3 to 6 months of what they learned during the summer, so the first couple of months of the new school year usually ends up being serious catch-up time. I definitely don’t want this to happen to her. I want her to be ready to go when Fall comes.
So here’s Meanie Mommy’s summer learning plan:
1) Ask her teacher/librarian for recommended reading list appropriate for her grade and reading level.
2) Join library’s summer reading club (our library has a nice incentive system—prizes for kids for reading certain number of books).
3) Use reading comprehension tools from teacher’s store to help with skills such as summarizing, predicting, comparing/contrasting.
4) Have her do synthesis projects (e.g., book reviews, character analyses, drawings of favorite scenes, reports on people/characters she admires).
1) Find out what will be taught in 3rd grade; what will be tested on diagnostic tests.
2) Review math problems/concepts from previous year’s Everyday Math; note areas of weakness and review accordingly.
3) Practice basic skills a la Singapore Math (lots of drills—working on speed and accuracy for adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division).
4) Have her apply her math knowledge everyday in a fun way (e.g., games such as addition/multiplication war, top-it, lemonade stand, guesstimate cost of grocery, filling car with gas, cooking projects).
1) Write in her Tiny Topic notebook each morning to brainstorm a list of things she could write about; have her write about one of the ideas by the end of week.
2) Have her keep a Vocabulary Book where she writes down words that she encounters in her reading/day-to-day life that she doesn’t know, have her look up definition, work with her to write it in a sentence or put it in a context/explain how work is used appropriately; incorporate a bit of etymology wherever applicable.
3) Have her write a letter/email to relatives or friends.
4) Work with her to write an adventure story about the secret life of her stuff animals/toys, or fan-fiction based on her favorite movie characters, or maybe an adventure story about her and her friends.
And somehow I’ll have to figure out ways to incorporate some of the topics that will be covered in third grade science and social studies, which I need to find out before the end of the school year. Or maybe I’ll just take her to the Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Brookfield Zoo, Botanical Garden, Morton Arboretum, and/or the Art Institute, and see what areas seem to interest her and go from there.
So many things to do, and not enough time. We’ll play things by ear and make necessary adjustments depending on her energy level—and mine. Right now I feel so overwhelmed that I’d be thrilled to accomplish any of the points that I’ve listed in each category.