Summer here in Georgia is crazy. Not only is it humid as all get out, but it is also now only two months long…or at least that’s the case if your kids are in school. Our county’s school schedule has us end a few days after Memorial Day and then we start back by August 1st. So, we have to fit in all of our family traveling in just two months. It’s crazy.
But, I also don’t want my kids falling behind with schooling and I love having a routine for how our days go in the summer. The routine keeps things flowing and makes the transition back into school life in the “fall” (because August is Georgia’s hottest month, it’s not really fall) easier.
So, today I’m going to share with you everything that we’re going to be using/doing for our kids this summer to keep them “educated”.
We love ABC Mouse! We’ve been using it since my boys were little and it really does help your kids master many of the academic skills they are expected to know in school. You can sign up for a free trial of ABC Mouse here.
Okay, so we’re obviously using ABC Mouse as part of our curriculum this summer, but we’re also using Summer Solutions. We started using these last year and it really helped our boys prepare for their upcoming grade levels. The great thing about these workbooks is that each lesson is only 6-10 problems so you can do them super quick! This is perfect since one of my kiddos has ADHD and struggles with sitting still for a long period of time.
Free Forest School is another resource we’re using. This is a free nature program for kids in our area where we all meet up at a local park and allow our kids to discover nature for themselves. It’s super fun and a great way to meet new folks from your area!
Let them get creative!
I got my kids these draw and write journals and they LOVE them! They’re just like the ones they use at school and instead of making them mandatory, I give them to them during long car trips and while we’re on vacation. This allows them to color, write, and freely let their imaginations flow. I literally do not control any part of what they put in their books, I just allow them to put whatever they want. I do, however only give them to them at specific times. They aren’t allowed to just keep them, because then they would be destroyed.
Make sure you have things on hand for your children to get creative with. Trust me, I hate messes just as much as the next mom, but allowing them to be creative helps them problem solve and engages them in such an amazing way. Just save up some of that junk mail you receive and when it is time to paint, or glue, or whatever, just lay down all those pieces of junk and viola! Problem solved!
And if you’re like me and need help in being creative (for real, I’m not a crafty or creative mom), then grab this summer calendar from The Confident Mom. I buy this every year and LOVE it! She has every day of summer planned out for you – you don’t have to think of any of it!
I grew up camping and lucky for me, I married a boy from Oregon that loves the outdoors even more than I do. I fully believe in allowing my kids all the time in the world to play outside. I want them to discover as much as they can about the natural world that they live in. If you haven’t read the book, Last Child in the Woods, I highly encourage you to – it’ll motivate you to spend more time outdoors this summer!
This is also why, at the start of summer vacation, I head over to Walmart and buy my kids clothes they can destroy. I literally just buy a couple of packs of cheap t-shirts, some athletic shorts, and that’s pretty much it. The great thing is, my kids can destroy these clothes without destroying their still good school clothes. These summer clothes will become their play clothes during the school year.
Okay, so I don’t follow a super regimented curriculum in the summer. I believe summer is for exploring so I try not to make it just like school. But I do know that we have to have a structure to our days or else everything will be crazy. So, here’s a sample of what our typical summer day looks like:
6 am: Mom gets up
7 am: Kids get up
7-7:30 am: Kids eat breakfast and clean up breakfast dishes.
7:30-8 am: Mom gets ready for the day.
7:30-9:30 am: Kids play in the playroom.
8 – 10:30 am: Mom’s work time
9:30 – 11:00 am: Mom kicks kids out of the house to play in the backyard.
11:30 am: Lunchtime
1 pm: Schoolwork time (this is where we’ll do our more structured school lessons – usually 15 – 30 mins).
1:30 pm: take turns on ABC Mouse
2 pm: Nap/Quiet time
3 pm: Snack time
3:30 pm: Mom kicks kids out of the house to play in the backyard.
5 pm: Dinner
6 pm: Whole house tidy up (where we all tidy up a portion of the house)
6-8pm: Free time (they can watch TV here)
8 pm: Storytime (I read a story and each one of my boys reads me a short story from our BOB collection)
9 pm: Mom bedtime
As you can see, on a typical day we don’t do a bunch of school work. I’m a firm believer in doing just enough to keep the information fresh in my kiddos minds.
And don’t forget, before school is out, ask their current teacher what areas your child needs to work on over the summer. And see if your child’s teachers have any recommendations to help you better facilitate their learning at home. I have found that all of my kid’s teachers have been way more than willing to help me help my child.
Okay, so you tell me, what do you do with your kids over the summer break?
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