“Summer slide,” is the term used for the loss of academic progress students suffer during summer break due to inactivity. To prevent the summer slide there are day camps, tutoring centers, and enrichment programs available for you to enroll your child in, though they come with a hefty price tag. The good news is that there are plenty of FREE and cheap resources available so that you can help your child at home. Below is what I do with my kids during their time off, including helpful links and resources.
Where to Buy: Did you know that most discount dollar stores have a school section with tons of great items? The Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Only, and Target’s Bullseye’s Playground are my three favorite spots to search.
What to Buy: Workbooks, flash cards, puzzles, and any school supplies you don’t have on hand (binders, pencils, crayons, etc). There are plenty of elementary school level items available. Parents of older kids, keep reading, I didn’t forget about you!
Favorite Finds: I keep all of my kids supplies in plastic bins (pictured) that I found at the 99 Cent Only store. Each day they pull it out of the cabinet and their supplies are neatly tucked inside. I’m determined for my house to not be a reflection of their backpacks! Also, page protectors (pictured) keep loose papers organized nicely. I tuck a week’s worth of each subject’s worksheets in one, then staple and file away after I have graded them.
Hourly Schedule: I designed an hourly schedule for my kids to use as a guide each day. Bedtime is flexible if we don’t have anything going on the next day, and I usually let them sleep in, but once they are awake this is what they go by. Not only does it communicate expectations, but it reduces the “I’m bored” whines and keeps them moving along while I work from home.
Goals: I’m currently obsessed with the FREE printables from Shining Mom, and if you subscribe to her newsletter you get monthly calendars sent straight to your inbox. I printed these colorful pages for my girls and wrote down some notes. Their goals are based off any projects their teachers may have assigned or comments that were made on their last report cards. I include “enrichment” activities throughout the month like baking, crafts, and outdoor activities for us to do.
Writing Prompts: I used to make my kids do one book report a week (excessive, maybe?) to improve their reading comprehension but that ended up being A LOT for me to grade, so I switched to writing prompts. Lakeshore Learning provides FREE monthly printables that are great for elementary aged children. For your younger children, read a book and have them draw a picture of their favorite part. For older tweens/teens I print a blank calendar and fill it with prompts I find on Pinterest!
More FREE Resources
Local Library – Books, eBooks, group classes, and camps! The library is my favorite place to take my kids for free fun
- Little Free Library – Already have a crazy collection of books at home? Click here to find your local LFL. Simply drop a book and get a new one! A great way for resources to be recycled and build a community of readers.
- Printables – Pinterest, Lakeshore Learning, Scholastic, and Education.com all offer free resources, as well as paid subscriptions if you would like additional help.
Keeping your child’s mind sharp during the summer can greatly help them begin the next school year successfully. It takes a lot of work to organize three months of curriculum and to motivate them, but once you get in the swing of things, it’s not that hard! Have other ways that you your child prevent the summer slide? Post your ideas and tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see!