Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer School

At the beginning of the summer, I made it one of my goals want-to's, to spend a few minutes of Will's morning nap time doing school activities with my girls. We have been doing this for three weeks now and it has been going surprisingly well. The girls are enjoying it and we have been able to do this at least 3-4 mornings each week. My nephew Luke even joins us a couple of mornings each week.

Some of you might think that because I'm a teacher, working with my girls comes naturally. Well, working on kindergarten and pre-kindergarten skills is far different than third grade skills. And its just a fact that your own personal children act like completely different children in the presence of a not-mommy teacher. With that being said, I've tried to plan activities that each of my girls need. Although they are only 17 months apart, they are completely different children, with different learning styles, needs, goals, and interests. Now, take that scenario and multiply it by 48 and you will see why teachers need a summer break.

Lyla is getting ready to enter Pre-K, so below are my goals for her as we work in the summer:
-Letter sounds and beginning blends
-Writing uppercase and lowercase letters correctly
-Spelling her last name
-Identifying and drawing shapes
-Writing numbers through 10, counting to 30.
-Phone Number and Address

Lily is entering Kindergarten this fall, so we are focusing primarily on the following:
-Dolch word sight list 
-Adding to 12
-Reading simple sentences
-Beginning/Ending Sounds
-Simple Story Comprehension
-Counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's.

I have pulled from several resources for their activities and I am linking those below.

1. - You can type in anything you wish, and it makes a handwriting worksheet.
2. Summer Review for Kinder Kids by A Teeny Tiny Teacher
3. Sight Word Sentences by Common Core Connection
5. Number Writing Practice by I Heart Teaching
6. Number Line Addition by Kindergarten Pals
8. Kindergarten Reading Comprehension Passages by Kaitlynn Albani

These are the resources I am using now, but you can check out my pinterest board for several other great ideas that I wish I could take credit for. :)

If you are planning on doing some summer schoolin' with your personal children I do have a few recommendations:

1. Keep it light and easy. School days can be long and taxing, so when you are working in the summer, keep it short and sweet. At this point in the girls' lives, learning is fresh, new, fun, and exciting. I want to keep it that way as long as possible.

2. Reiterate what you're learning throughout the day. Look for sight words at stores and in books. Have your child count items in the buggy or in their room. Let them help you with cooking. Once they learn something new and then make it tangible with a hands-on activity, that is when the magic happens in their little brains.

3. Be done when they are done. There have been a few mornings when Lyla has said, "I'm tired of writing my letters." When that happens, we end for the day, or we switch activities. At this point in their development, learning takes place everywhere they go. Don't force them to sit and work on an activity - children learn through PLAY!

If you have any other ideas for "summer school" please feel free to share!

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