It’s all summer fun until we realize it’s time for back to school……
Where did all of the time go with the kids being out of school this summer? With the COVID-19 Pandemic we had to all come to a place where adapting to the kids Zoom and online learning was a must and took some adjustment for the large part of their school year. I am still in a state of haze thinking of the first few weeks and trying to get in a rhythm. I don’t know about you but I was all over the place trying to figure out the right balance of keeping my son on track with what he was assigned and how to balance the time he had to complete his work. We survived and Zoomed our way to 2nd grade all while being in Zoom class daily, explaining why he couldn’t go back to school, Zoom birthday parties and participating in online classroom sessions. I am blessed and fortunate that I had resigned a few years ago to be a stay at home mom so I did not have to balance a career along with homeschooling my son.
Can you believe that in about 6 weeks the kids will be back in school in some form or another? Whether it’s a full classroom setting, half days on rotation, eLearning through local schools or a full virtual school year I feel that there will be challenges no matter what route is selected. The loss of in classroom instruction and interactions can negatively impact kids ability to learn and have social interactions that are vital to their growth and development. Whatever the decision will be for school in your area and whatever you and your family decide to do for the upcoming school year, what we were used to as normal will not be the case. The new normal or options will each have their ups and downs but at the end of the day whatever the decision, there will be a new normal that we have to get used to for our kids going back to school.
A part of our summer includes supplemental learning materials that I use to keep my son ready for the upcoming school year. These resources are easy for the kids to use and take about 15-30 minutes sessions daily. One of the books Summer Bridge Activities includes a reward system and even has exercise activities that are tied in at the end of each day’s assignment. Some of them are include all subjects depending on their grade level and others are specific to each subject. I break up the sessions into two or three areas during the day so that it’s more fun than work. I also make a challenge out of who can finish their work first. I usually sit with him and mimic the work and answer the questions on a sheet of paper or copy the sheet and do it with him. One of the advice I received from my sister who is an educator and his teachers is to avoid the summer brain drain and slump. I have seen that these quick reviews and sessions can help keep our little kiddos ahead and ready for the upcoming school year.
Summer Learning Resources
One of the ways we keep him ready is by utilizing workbooks, packets that we create from his next grade level and above work, apps that are relevant to his upcoming grade and specific learning videos. I use the Apps and online resources as a reward for completing his bridge activities and usually have him rotate between them during the week. Sometimes he will only use two or three of the apps one week and sometimes he will go through all of them in one week and complete at least one or two learning games and activities all while having fun.
I believe in using the workbooks and exposure over the summer as a bridge to get him ready and hopefully ahead of the school year. Especially with COVID-19 and the loss of in classroom time that he had at the end of the last school year. The resource and learning books I use are linked on my Amazon Store where you can link to directly. There are also some S.T.E.M. resources available on the link as well.
Here are a few of the sites and apps we use.
ABCYya App – https://www.abcya.com/
ABC Mouse – https://www.abcmouse.com/
Starfall ABC’s App – http://more.starfall.com/
IXL – https://www.ixl.com/
Moose Math – http://www.duckduckmoose.com/
Fabian Jr – http://www.funbrainjr.com/
Fish School – http://www.duckduckmoose.com/
PBS Kids – https://www.pbs.org/anywhere/home/
Khan Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/
No matter what the upcoming school year holds or the decision you make, I hope that you and your kiddos have a safe, successful and adventurous school year with lots of learning and new experiences. I can only imagine what we have ahead of us but know that we will get through whatever comes our way and safeguard our kids long the way.
What are some of the ways you bridge your kids learning between the end of the school year, summer break and the start of school for the next year especially now with COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the upcoming school year?