FOR THE LOVE OF
Summer is the BEST but summer academic regression is the WORST.
Summer academic regression is when children lose what they learned at school during the summer. When it comes to reading and writing studies show that the average kiddo loses 2 months. Yikes!
But before we turn to summer homework and 1st-grade workbooks remember these two rules:
Let’s tackle rule 2. How do we get our kids to write ALL SUMMER LONG?
Answer: Writing Centers!
Writing Centers are the teacher's secret weapon and they are so easy to set up in your home. Our July Writing Centers are the foolproof way to launch, but here are some easy ways to get started while you wait for your *Happy Mail*.
Make sure paper and writing instruments are ALWAYS available. This means making sure they are low enough, easy enough to open and never run out. The simplest way to do this is to create baskets of paper and writing instruments on a low shelf or in your child’s playroom.
Of course, this will take some very serious chats about the rules of writing (only on paper/not on walls), but these are important boundaries for your child to have both at home and schools so have the chat.
Want to make sure paper never runs out? Scrap is best! In my house and classroom every flyer, newspaper, used piece wrapping paper, and rough draft makes its way to our paper bin.
Keep these SIMPLE. We are talking pencils and for very special work felt tip markers.
When buying pencils consider your child’s grip work. For PreK-K golf pencils are best. The shorter the pencil the more instinctual it is to use the right grip. This concept has all but replaced the “fat” pencils and crayons of the past. Older kids should get used to using whatever tool they will need to use in school, so as soon as you get that supply list duplicate the writing tools for home.
Side note: These practical choices should not replace FUN. Each of our Monthly Writing Centers comes with an exciting writing tool. So keep taking cute pens from hotels and save them for a rainy day.
Once you have the paper and pencil, you need motivation!
In our Monthly Writing Centers our motivators include story disks, postcards, mini books, stickers, tracing paper, journal prompts and more.
At home, add labeled family photos, postcards from family trips and books about the *it* topic. Collect beautiful stationery, birthday cards, and notebooks. I get pretty notebooks as gifts A LOT. It makes sense, everyone around me knows I am a list maker and journal writer. Most of these make their way to my writing centers because kids LOVE THEM. Oh and post-its, they are beyond fun (we need a separate blog post about post-its).
Be creative here, cardboard, boxes, scrap wood, canvas...work with what you have.