Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Learning

My 5 year old is transitioning from preschool to kindergarten this August. He was enrolled in a paid daycare/preschool for over a year. Thanks to the attention of the teachers at his daycare, he is not only ready for kindergarten, but he is ready for a combination class. This fall he will be in a class with kindergartners and 1st graders. I was very proud of him when I heard this, then I panicked.

During the summer children can lose up to three months of what they've learned in school. This could be especially detrimental to my son as he is going to a combination class. I went to GW School Supply to see what they had for him. The clerk suggested workbooks. The workbooks that you buy in the store are the same workbooks that the worksheets come from that teachers use in class. There were many different types of workbooks. Some were subject specific and others were grade specific. One in particular stood out for me as it went beyond the written pages of learning.

Summer Fit Learning focuses on reading, writing , math, fitness, nutrition, and values. My son was used to learning through play all day in a daycare/preschool. Now he was going into a system that regulated recess and learning throughout the day. This workbook made it easy for a stay at home mom like me to simulate the learning and recess schedule at home so it won't be a shock for him at school. In my son's school district, kindergarten isn't from 9am to noon like many kindergarten schools. Instead, he will be in school from 8am to 3pm, learning the entire time minus lunch and recess.

The Summer Fit Learning workbook comes with free online games and physical goals for your child. For example, on day 1 he can choose his exercise, tree sprints, jumping jacks, or cross country skier. He can watch videos online to see how each exercise is done. In this same section there is an Incentive Contract. This is where the parent writes in the incentive for the child and signs her name. As mind and body exercises are completed the parent marks off the progress. Then the child or the parent is to write down three things the child did that week to show his weekly value. This was a great feature of the workbook because it holds both parent and child responsible. The worksheets cover everything from colors to people in history that exhibit a specific value like honesty.

Of all the workbooks I bought my son this summer, The Summer Fit Learning K-1 workbook is my favorite.

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