Teachers work hard to keep our kindergarteners learning all year. When our kinders leave us for summer break, we often worry about all the learning that's going to potentially be lost from the previous school year. We wonder if our students will still be ready for 1st grade when the new school year starts or if they will go into the new year struggling because they didn’t retain everything they learned during the school year prior. To combat this problem, we need to make sure that students are still learning and applying their knowledge throughout their summer vacation. These are some of my favorite ways to keep kindergarteners learning over the summer:
Summer Learning Calendar
It's not feasible to think that students will be able to do the same type of learning over the summer as they were doing in our classrooms, and they don’t have to be! Students just need to be able to do simple activities every day that use the skills they learned in kindergarten. That is why summer learning calendars are so great!
Each summer learning calendar contains a short activity for students to do each day of the summer months. Some days address literacy skills with things like reading a book with a loved one or making a list of sight words they learned in kindergarten. Other days may be more math skills focused, with simple counting tasks. Calendars can even include other skills that we don’t want students to lose over the summer, such as tying shoes and making lists. This is a quick and simple way to help keep your young children learning—and it doesn't take a lot of printing or prep.
In my Kindergarten Summer Work bundle, I have included a pre-filled calendar for each month of the summer, and each includes simple activities like the ones mentioned above.
Another key component to my Summer Work bundle is the summer journal. Journals are a great way to keep students using their new skills over the summer through creative writing. Not only does it give them drawing practice, but it also gives students a fun way, and a great opportunity, to apply everything they have learned about letters and sounds in writing words for their stories.
Summer journals can include prompts for students to write about, free-write activities, or can be used for students to record what they are doing throughout the summer months. I have included a variety of templates in my Kindergarten Summer Work bundle so that you can choose effective ways that will work best for your students.
Another great way to keep your child's mind alert and learning over the summer months is by utilizing online learning games. Some of my favorite educational activities are through websites like www.ABCya.com and www.Starfall.com. While Starfall is mainly geared towards reading, ABCya has a variety of learning games that target both early math skills and early literacy skills. Students can choose their grade level and then choose which skills they would like to work on that day.
Curious about other similar sites? Good news! There are also a number of great free apps that families can download for kids of all ages, such as Hooked on Phonics and Phonics Monster. At the end of my bundle, I have a more comprehensive list of free apps and websites that you could share with parents so that students will have online games as another option for maintaining their learning from the last year in their free time.
Over the summer, it's important for kindergarten students to continue their learning so that they don’t lose what they have been working on all year. As you can see, there are a number of ways to help your younger children with their developing cognitive skills.They can do that through simple activities on a summer learning calendar, keeping a journal over the summer, and/or utilizing online resources. There are also so many hands-on activities that would have positive effects on your little learner. Other fun summer activities include visiting historic sites or going to public libraries. These fun activities are a good way to get in physical activity outside of the house but also help work towards retaining everything they learned in kindergarten, so they will continue to be prepared for first grade.
Make a positive impact and set aside time to help shape your child's mind into the studious student you hope to raise. And if your child takes a specific interest in one subject or another, don't be afraid to nourish that passion and encourage it. It's the perfect opportunity to show them that education can be fun and exciting (and not just daunting school work)!