Winding Down the Last Weeks of School + Summer Learning Resources for Elementary Grades
It's officially the last few days of school for my kiddos! I think I've asked the good Lord above if we could please just be finished with school for the year a total of (no less than) 5,000 times since we were told we would have to spend the remainder of the school year learning at home. The first two or three weeks of it were rough, no doubt. There was a huge disruption to our typical day, and we had to quickly adjust and figure out how to make the new situation work for our family.
Now we're into mid-May, and we have three days left of classwork and assignments. All of my son's assignments are due by this Friday, and no new tasks will be assigned after the end of this week. Already, we're receiving 'goodbye' letters from teachers, and the emotional side of all of this is starting to set in. Wow- the school year is over, and teachers, parents, caregivers- WE MADE IT!
Learning 3rd grade Latin at home!
I have to say a huge word of thanks to the teachers who have worked so hard to make this work. While I sat at home and complained about having to work AND 'teach,' I realized that the teachers had it so much harder than I did. Not only were they working from home, they were teaching their students from home, helping to teach their own children at home, managing countless complaints and high praises from parents in the form of emotion-fueled e-mails, still working with administrators to make this new learning at home thing work, while running their households.
Have they had time to process the emotional aspect of not being able to see their students each day? I doubt it. I can only imagine they have been going through the motions. For us, the reality of this all will hit when we return to the school pick up/drop off line next week to pick up our children's belongings that teachers have lovingly packed up for them from their classrooms. I know my kids just want to be able to hug their teachers one more time before summer break begins.
The Upside? I'm More Prepared for Summer Learning
Teacher Mommy- working from home and teaching daily lessons to kids, ages 9 & 4.
Usually when we hit this point in the year, I am making plans on how our summer schedules will work. The upside of having to stay at home these past two months, has been that we've been able to get into a routine that works for our family. I know that my kids will not fight me on our summer learning ventures. We can all work side by side for one or two hours a day, and everyone will have good attitudes.
This summer, my focus will be teaching my four-year-old to read. She's off to a great start! We've found wonderful games for reading and math through education.com. There are lots of cool games for kids of all ages. You can select games by grade level and have your kiddos work through the games and lessons. I think educational games are a great way to keep info fresh in children's minds through the summer. You can also make your own fun worksheets- they have everything from word searches and scrambles to crossword puzzles, and much more!
We'll also be enrolling in summer reading programs with our local library, and Barnes & Noble, one of our favorite bookstores. Grab the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Journal Printable here. Just download and print the journal and record 8 books read by your child this summer. Return the journal to B & N, and your child will be rewarded with their choice of 1 free book from the books listed for their grade level. Child may choose 1 book from the books listed by Barnes & Noble.
My rising 4th grader will also have a big focus on reading this summer.
I'll be following any guidelines for summer reading set by his school. but he'll also take part in summer reading programs through the library and book store. I'll also issue my own challenge of reading one book per week, and we'll stick to chapter books.
Kids A to Z is a fantastic resource for reading, spelling, and vocabulary.
Another big goal for us this summer, will be learning how to type. I realized that my 3rd grader doesn't know how to type, and it's going to be my responsibility to make sure he is comfortable with typing and will using a computer rather than just a tablet or phone. Typing games for kids are a fun way for them to learn how to type.
We also love to find cool science experiments and craft ideas for projects. Pinterest is a go-to, of course, but you can find even more cool ideas by checking out our DIY tab here on Mommy's Block Party!
I don't know what summer vacation will look like for us this year, but I know that we'll have plenty to do at home to keep us busy and to keep us learning together. We'll have a leg up on preparedness for getting back into the groove when the new school year rolls around- whatever that will look like... we'll be ready!
How much longer do your kiddos or grands have before summer break begins?
What are your plans for summer learning?
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Wishing you a strong finish to the school year!