Hi friends! It’s my very first day of vacation, and I wanted to stop by and share some tips for sending our little ones off for a succcesful summer.
Those last few days are so bittersweet…we are so excited to spend time with our own families and relax, but it’s also scary! We have worked so hard all year long to pour into them and help them learn and grow…we want to make sure they don’t forget all we have taught them over the break!
For so many kiddos, school offers them consistentcy and stability. Of course we can’t offer that to them every single day, but sending activities to keep their minds busy will make them feel a little more comfortable! Of course, not every child will do anything we send. Some will leave papers in their backpack all summer, haha! But, we have to at least try…you never know which kiddos miss school just enough to work for a few minutes!
Before I share tips, I wanted to share a little research about the “summer slide.” Like so many things, our kiddos in poverty are even more at risk to regress during the summer.
There is a TON of research about the importance of summer reading. I don’t believe that our kiddos need piles of worksheets to have a successful summer, but I do think they need to have BOOKS, opportunities to write, and opportunities for problem solving.
Of course, I want my kiddos to have FUN and relax and eat popsicles, and go to the pool, and stay up late and all the things that summer means for them. But I think that a few minutes each day offers opportunity for structure, and even time with their parents. I believe that every parent wants the best for their child, and even when circumstances make it difficult, I believe parents will always TRY. Giving them the opportunity just ensures that we have done all we could! We can’t control what they do, but we can make sure they have ideas and resources.
Every year, I send home a reading log with my kiddos and practice pages that review what we have learned all year. Truly, a lot of my kiddos ENJOY them. They like working and learning. This is the packet that I have always sent home, and I still love it!
But this year, I wanted to try something new. Many of my families have lots of technology available to them and parents who want to work with them. I decided to send home checklists and ideas that they could do over and over. Instead of sending home a page a day, it allowed me to just send home a few pages that they could use all summer long.
I actually chose to send it through email and my parents loved it. I’m fortunate that they mosty have printers, but for the ones that don’t, they can access it on their smart phones or computer. 🙂 In my summer packet, I included a digital version for parents in case you think this works for your classroom! 🙂
So far I’ve had great responses, but if I was at a school where parents didn’t have as much access to technology, I would absolutely have printed, copied, and sent them home! 🙂
Here’s an example of the nonfiction page I sent home. It is really similiar to what I send home in their student binders so parents are already super familiar with the activities.
Here are some otherp agse I sent out ot parents. The writing checklist allows their child to write about whatever they want, in whatever tools they have! They could type it, write it in a spiral (which you could totally send home as an EOY gift) or whatever works for their family.
Some parents have resources to purchase books for their child, but I think it’s so important to give families information on the public library. I chose to send call numbers of some of our favorite series but you could even just send the link out! In my community, we have lots of families without cars but we do have public transportation. The bus goes right by hte library and I always remind my parents of that. 🙂
My families are always asking for books on their child’s level. I made these pages to give them some ideas! 🙂
I know that my kiddos get really lonely during the summer…even with these ideas, some of them don’t have close friends or siblings to play with. So, I try to offer ways for my families to stay connected. This year I made a Google doc and parents have loved it! It’s our first day of summer and they’re already setting up play dates. The best part is, once I set it up and email it out, I don’t have to do anything else!
I know this idea isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect summer, but I love to see my kiddos during the break a few times. Not every day, or even week…1 or 2 times during the summer is just perfect. 🙂 Here are some ideas of meet ups that have proven successful in the past! 🙂 My advice would be make it a FAMILY event and not a drop off event! I always tell my families if they want to come meet me and stay with me then here’s the place and time.
I hope this post is helpful to you, and I’d love to hear ideas that you have for making sure your students have a great summer! If you like the pages I’ve included in this blog post, you can find them all in my Summer Learning Packet.