Start the name calling and pouty faces. I'm giving summer an unwanted guest... school work.
Yes, I know it's going to be 80 plus degrees out and there are sand castles to be built and bikes to ride.
My girls will get to do all that and then some. But, they're also going to be reading and brushing up on their skills. Yes, even in the summer.
See, I don't really consider my little plan "homework." It's more like "Let's stay smart so we don't fall back in September." I don't think that makes me a mean mom. I think that makes me a mom who cares about her children's success and is taking a hands on approach to help them get ahead. Why let them fall victim to the so-called "summer slide" and waste all the progress made over the school year? It just doesn't make sense to me. I can't understand why so many parents are still anti-school work over the summer.
What kind of horrid learning activities am I going to subject my children to this summer? For my soon-to-be Kindergartener, we'll be practicing writing letters and numbers as well as her name. Her new school actually sent home a packet of practice sheets to help with the process. While some parents scoffed at it during orientation, I wanted to give the packet a big old bear hug! At least now I don't have to go looking for sheets to help her. We'll also be practicing counting and shapes.
For my soon-to-be second grader, we'll be reading books to keep her skills up to par. We'll also start working on more reading comprehension so she understands the storyline of what she's reading. I'm also going to have her brush up on her math so she doesn't forget the skills and tricks she's learned over the year.
Before you think I'll be chaining my kids to the kitchen table for hours on end over the summer, think again. We'll do these little exercises ten to fifteen minutes a day or every other day. Reading will be done for at least another ten minutes every day. On average, my kids will spend 20 minutes a day doing dreaded school work. I'm going to try to bang it out in the morning so the rest of the day is free. That leaves 23 hours and forty minutes a day to do whatever else they want. I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?
Here's the alternative. I can have them not do any kind of school work all summer. They can go back to school in September and not remember anything they learned. They'll waste time re-learning things they knew so well. They may even run the risk of falling behind if everyone else is on the express train and they're stuck making all the local stops. All for what? All in the name of 24/7 summer fun?
There needs to be a balance. The earlier we teach our kids this coping skill, the better. They need to learn just as there's time to play over the summer, there's also time to learn. It's just like fitting in play time during the school year. It all gets done.
No child ever suffered from reading or practicing some letters over the summer. So, yes, my kids will be doing school work over the summer and I'm not sorry.