No more summer mush mind!
May 30, 2012 by Missy
Do you hate that your kids’ minds seem to go to mush over the summer?
Here is a FANTASTIC (oldie but goodie) IDEA to the rescue! With more ideas at the bottom!….
I thought my friend Julie was a little crazy when she first told me about an idea she got from her sister-in-law to have a little summer school with her kids. It is supposed to be our time off right? Then I realized time off just means cRaZiNeSs! Julie has implemented this idea and is loving the outcome! She takes the morning to spend with her kids learning and then they play all afternoon. Their minds don’t go to mush over the summer and they learn things they don’t learn in school. My favorite part is they have quality time with MOM. The idea seemed a bit overwhelming, but now that I’ve heard Julie’s plan, I am totally on board! Lucky for us, she is going to share it with us (I just had to twist her arm a little:) I am convinced that if I did this, my kids and I would have a sUmMeR to remember instead of just endure.
Taking care of ourselves
Julie breaks it down into 4 categories:
1. Taking care of our Spirits
This time for prayer, singing, meditation, reading scriptures, etc.
2. Taking Care of Our Bodies
Julie likes to get this in early while it it not too hot outside and everyone is fresh. This can be bike riding, jump roping, a long walk, playing ball, stretching, etc. One thing Julie did was to time her kids running/skipping/walking a certain distance with her stopwatch. She records the times and tries to get them to beat their record. The kids love this! Anything would work, just get their little hearts pumping!
This also includes the needed showers after exercise and things like brushing your teeth:)
3. Taking Care of Our Space
Time to clean up our rooms! Make our beds and do some extra chores, perhaps.
4. Taking Care of Our Minds
Time for school!
Each day you could learn about a different sta
Get books from the library on exploring art with kids. They have real classic paintings / sculptures and ask good questions to help the kids discover details in the art and come up with their own interpretations. Usually the book suggests a related art activity, which we enjoy doing.
Last year Julie taught her kids about the solar system. They made a mobil of the system by painting styrofoam balls to look like each planet. She also made up little worksheets for the kids to fill in about each planet as they learned about it.
You could do workbooks or practice whatever skills your kids have learned over
the year. I thought this was a fun idea: After reading a book about cookies and sharing, we made cookies and then divided them evenly among different #’s of people. We distributed chocolate chips on cookie grids to meet different criteria: Do we have enough for two chips per cookie? How many more do we need? Then we did a survey asking friends what their favorite kind of cookie was, graphing the results.
~ Field Trips
There are so many great places to go explore! Parks, museums, libraries, etc.
No matter where we are in the schedule, when lunch comes..we are done!
You could teach anything you want. This year Julie is also going to work on sewing and cooking skills. A fun project she wants to do involves photography, so of course I was intrigued. She found the idea from Family Fun: all summer you watch for letters in the landscape and take pictures of them. At the end of the summer you make an alphabet book fro
m your pictures. She also might use the letters to spell names and have them framed. Such a fun idea for a summer project! This would be a great project to take advantage of the FREE book we shared with you, here.
Here are a few of her references:
The library is GREAT resource for ideas
How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons (I have used this on all my kids and before they enter kindergarten they are reading! It is a GREAT book!)
Teaching physical science through children’s literature
Teaching art with books kids love
Thanks Julie for answering the question, “How Does She not let her kids’ minds turn to mush over the summer break?”
You have me inspired!! Bring it, summer – I will be ready!
Here is a little more about Julie:
Five Fun Facts:
1. I helped build a school in mexico with my own 2 hands!
2. I spent 36 hours straight in Disneyland, never leaving the premises……and it’s true, it is the happiest place on Earth.
3. I kayaked and swam in Halong Bay, Vietnam in the China sea….Beautiful and Salty.
4. I have probably paid more than any of you in library fines. $50? higher. $75? higher. $100? Nope. I rest my case.
5. I am 31 and just got stitches for the first time a couple months ago. So much for my perfect record.
Super Hero Power wanted:
“If I could have any super hero power it would be to snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and “snap the job is a game.” Things clean themselves up.”
Don’t forget to incorporate our FREE PRINTABLES to keep your kids motivated to read all summer.
And Cristi’s anti-boredom buster bucket list idea will help keep summer organized and FUN!