It's officially Summer, so now what are we doing with the kids?!
Updated: Jul 8
A fellow mom and follower, Tatiana Esteban is sharing her "alternative" summer plans in a blog piece below called Sliding Into Summer. If you are looking for ideas of what to do with the kids this, read below. Plus, we have also included a round-up of local summer camps + virtual camps too!
Follow her @iamtati on Instagram!
Hi! My name is Tatiana and I am a mom to two beautiful girls. Carolina, 6 years old, and Camila who is 2 years old. I am also a teacher too.
For many of us moms, we can all agree that our plans over the past few months have completely changed and that definitely includes summer. When I picked up my oldest from school in March, I never thought that she wouldn't go back to school or that we couldn't continue our usual routine. So now that we are starting the beginning of June, I am caught myself asking, "what do I do for summer?"
Miami and Atlanta have been opening back up and residents are trying to get their lives back to normal but as a mom, my mind keeps spinning with questions. Things like, "what’s next for my kids and even for me?" With the exception of maternity leave, I have never stayed home with my girls for more than a couple of weeks at a time. My girls have always been in childcare and the weekends are the two days of the week where we tried to cram everything in. Of course, that was until COVID-19 hit and we all became homebound!
As a teacher, I would typically work camps in the summer, but this summer I am faced with spending the bulk of my time at home with the girls and while I see it as a blessing in disguise, I would be lying if I said part of me wasn't concerned, specifically about the dreaded “Summer Slide”.
What's the “Summer Slide” you must be wondering?
For those who don’t know this phrase, “Summer Slide” refers to kids sliding back in the learning they gained during the school year. It has been shown that when kids return to school after a summer break, they have “lost” some of the knowledge they gained. This is why most curriculums have a soft start or refresher course built-in for those first few weeks back. At this point, most of our kids have been out of school for almost 3 months, which means the Summer Slide could be even worse this year.
So Now What?
Here are some ideas that I will be using at home to try and help with the “Summer Slide” for my girls:
Online Programs: This may not be our first choice because let’s face it, these kids have probably had a lot more screen time (both educational and recreational) lately than we would like to admit. However, some school districts are still providing access to online learning programs, which is great because it picks up right where they left off. Plus the kids are already familiar with the format. There are also programs such as ABC Mouse that offers practice at different levels and websites such as Scholastic that have made educational content available to parents throughout the summer.
Review Books: Many educational companies like Carson Delosa with their Summer Bridge series and Workman Publishing have been producing workbooks for students to practice grade-level skills for years. They are generally easy to find on Amazon (isn't everything we need on Amazon anyway), through bookstores or from educational supply stores. I suggest looking through sample pages and finding what you think will appeal to your little one.
Everyday Learning: There is also so much that kids can practice by just being at home. Ideas below:
Find a family favorite recipe, then use math to increase or reduce the servings.
Have them read to younger siblings or they can even record themselves reading and send it to family members in different cities or states.
Who doesn’t have a resident expert at home because I know I do! He or she can use their expertise to write a step by step guide on how to do something, then mail it to a friend and have them test it out to see if it works.
Bring in some geography and map skills to your neighborhood walks or by finding a penpal.
Help write the weekly grocery list (practice spelling), then use an app like Instacart or ship to find out what the family’s weekly food budget is.
Pinterest is full of arts and crafts activities for every age and ability level that can help kids develop their creative intelligence.
Family workouts are also a great source of learning, not just for physical activity, but you can incorporate science topics as well.
And while we are talking about science, maybe this is the time to start a home garden and learn about plants.
Even card and board games can give kids a chance to practice basic reading and math skills.
Online Options for Kids - (You can use these when you Travel too!)
Ms. Monica's Circle Time Camp
Virtual Camps/Lessons: Some local camps are offering virtual options this summer. While this may not be how we want our kids to spend their time because of all the time they’ve already spent online for school during the COVID, it can provide a (different) option to a favorite activity or a chance to connect with kids outside their usual circle from school. Plus, let's be honest, no parent can run a twelve-hour summer camp, so this can be a nice break for the adult in charge.
Miami Dade County - https://www.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1540496326545854
Miami on the Cheap - https://miamionthecheap.com/cheap-summer-camp-options/
Miami Children's Museum - https://www.miamichildrensmuseum.org/camps/summer-camp/
In the City Camps - https://inthecitycamps.org/virtual-camp/
Atlanta Kids Out and About - https://atlanta.kidsoutandabout.com/content/guide-summer-camps-atlanta-ga-area
Subscription Boxes: These are becoming more popular and I can’t imagine why not. They deliver a box to your door that provides ideas and activities geared to your child’s age and interests. From exploring the world with Little Passports to inspiring innovation through Kiwi Co Crates, sparking the joy of reading with Literati, even aspiring chefs can try new recipes from America’s Test Kitchen’s Young Chefs Club without ever leaving home.
*For more ideas visit - > https://www.bambinadiaries.com/post/making-life-easier-with-subscription-boxes-for-kids
We can all agree that this summer will be quite different but adapting to the new norms and teaching our kids to be flexible throughout all of this is the best we can do. So to look on the bright side I hope the resources I shared with all of you will provide some sort of relief. Plus let's not forget that with a little creativity and some outsourcing we can probably make some great memories of our summer at home!