Setting Up a Summer Learning Schedule

The following post is from Jennifer, a lifelong educator:

Homework Helps {Make Learning Fun} |

See all of the Homework Helps posts here.

I can hear it now…“A schedule?!?  But, Mom, it’s summer!”  Most kids aren’t overjoyed about doing school work during vacation, but if you set up a routine that works around their anticipated play times, you’ll encourage cooperation and help your children fine tune their academics over the next couple of months.

Setting Up a Summer Learning Schedule
source: donkeycart

Doing just 30 minutes of math right after breakfast or lunch works for many people;  “tying” the work to a regular meal makes it less likely that you’ll forget.  You could break that time into two 15 minute slots, but most children are capable of focusing and working for a 30 minute period.  You can find lots of math sites on the internet, or education stores and bookstores can supply you with workbooks, if you prefer that approach.

Unless you are or know a teacher, it can be hard to determine what your child should be working on, so here are some suggestions, based on many states’ Common Core Standard:

If your child is going into 1st grade:

  • Sort objects into groups
  • Compare items based on length, weight, and size
  • Tell time to the nearest hour
  • Name the days of the week
  • Write and name numbers to 30
  • Add and subtract numbers to 10

If your child is going into 2nd grade:

  • Count, read, and write numbers to 100
  • Compare numbers using <, >, or =
  • Count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s
  • Add three one-digit numbers
  • Name and count coins
  • Tell time to the hour and half hour (analog and digital)
  • Read a calendar
  • Add and subtract numbers up to 20

If your child is going into 3rd grade:

  • Count, read, and write numbers to 1,000
  • Do mental addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers
  • Show multiplication with pictures, counting, and arrays
  • Recognize and name fractions of ¼, 1/3, and ½.
  • Measure to the nearest inch and centimeter
  • Know how many hours have passed from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Recognize, describe and predict patterns
  • Identify faces, edges and vertices on geometric shapes

If your child is going into 4th grade:

  • Count, read, write, and round numbers to 10,000
  • Add and subtract whole numbers to 10,000
  • Know multiplication tables to 10
  • Add and subtract simple fractions
  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide money using decimals
  • Identify, describe and classify common three-dimensional shapes
  • Tell whether common events are certain, likely, unlikely or impossible
  • Estimate to determine if an answer is reasonable

If your child is going into 5th grade:

  • Read and write number to millions
  • Order whole numbers and two place decimals
  • Write a fraction when looking at a divided drawing
  • Multiply multi-digits by two digit numbers
  • Divide multi-digits by a one digit number
  • Determine the area and perimeter of measured shapes
  • Draw points on a graph (y=3x)
  • Identify the radius and diameter of a circle
  • Apply strategies to complex problems

If your child is going into 6th grade:

  • Round very large and very small numbers
  • Determine prime factors of numbers to 50
  • Order decimals, fractions, and positive and negative numbers
  • Multiply and divide fractions
  • Evaluate simple algebraic equations
  • Compute mean, median and mode
  • Know when and how to break problems into parts
  • Identify and graph ordered pairs
  • Compare data sets with fractions and percentages

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  With our nation’s increased emphasis on math, the pressure is on for students to solidify their skills early.  Thirty minutes a day, five days a week for 10 weeks gives them twenty-five hours of math practice.  I believe it’s time well spent!

What do you do to encourage your children to stay sharp with their skills during the summer?

Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for almost 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.