It is said that, on the average, during summer break, kids loose about 30% of what they learn through out the school year. That sounds like an awful lot but "they" should know. On Sun Kissed Boy #1, that's about what all he has in his long term memory from the school year! At any rate, these are some of tips to keep their little minds sharp during the summer.
Make books available.
During Christmastime, I fill my little childhood wagon with Christmas themed books. I realized that the boys were more apt to grab a book at any time of the day (instead of just before bed time) since they were more visible. Instead of keeping the books in the armoire, I took some out and filled up the wagon once again.
Use computers for more than just YouTube.
This is a computer generation. There's no fighting that. But instead of having the boys only play games or see Annoying Orange's latest escapade, I found some educational websites and apps for them to play. Some of their favorites are abcmouse.com (cost is subscription-based) and the Starfall app ($2.99).
From nail polishes to sandwich pieces. Coffee scoops to laundry socks. Seashells to baby duckies. Batteries to bubbles. Anything!
Write on more than just paper.
Encourage writing in any way, shape, or form. Even in foggy mirrors are fun and cheap. Also, try putting a thin layer of rice or sand on a cookie sheet, or the like, and have little ones write letters using their finger.
Help one another.
Studying is always funner with a buddy or a sibling. I asked Sun Kissed Boy #2 to help #3 do an online activity. #2 feels like a "big boy" helping his littlest brother and in doing so, he goes over material he needs to keep in mind for First Grade.
Kids are also sometimes more eager to learn from one another than they are from us grown ups.
Know your limitations.
You might have noticed by now that these are all good tips particularly geared towards small children. I know I don't have the patience to go over things with my 5th grader. Therefore, I hired a tutor. She is saving my (and #1's) sanity. The down side to this is that tutors can be pricey. During the summer we give our pocketbook a break by having the tutor come once a week instead of four. Even if it's only once a week, it's better than nothing at all.
Make it fun.
Whatever you decide to do, try to make it entertaining! Finding stick letters is something we started during the school year. It's a free way to keep the kids remembering the alphabet. It's an enjoyable activity, plus it gets kids outside in nature.
Do you have any tips to add? What things have you tried to keep your little geniuses' minds working?