As a teacher who also tutors in the summer, I know how important it is for kids to keep up some level of academics when school is out. Summer slide is real and as kids get older, it gets harder to snap back to school in the Fall.
Luckily, my 8 year old son doesn’t fight me too much about doing his reading and some math. We have always had “homeschool” summers. Part of how we make this work at our house is by making a plan for the summer. When my son ended kindergarten, his teacher recommended some books. We also started doing the Summer Reading program at our local library.
The other key to our success has been a schedule. The agreement is that every day there is some sort of academic work for 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s reading together, other times it’s an app the school provides. In the car, there’s a stack of audio books for all of us to read/listen/discuss. We also do real-world learning to keep it interesting. When we are at the grocery store my son loves to practice his estimation and money knowledge.
My boys are lucky that I’m home during the summer and they only go to camp for six weeks. When we are at camp reading happens in the morning before we leave and at night before bed. Since we drive to camp, sometimes math flashcards happen on the way to camp. We aren’t hardcore about our schedule, but we do find creative ways to get our 30 minutes of learning a day in!
For my 4 year old son, it’s easier in a way, because he just wants to do anything his brother does. My favorite is when the boys read together. Just like his mama, my older son loves teaching. He also loves the incentive of the end-of-summer prizes from the reading program (and me). When he finishes whatever agreed upon long term assignment, he gets to pick a $10 toy. #whateverittakes