My grandson, who has been studying at home with his mother and me since mid-March, finishes kindergarten next week. His classroom teacher has been diligent about sending daily homework: writing journal entries and illustrating them, writing new sight words in sentences, completing pages in a math workbook, listening to someone read picture books and then filling in worksheets about how a character is like another character or identifying and drawing the setting. Then there is online work at a phonics site and a math site three times a week. Phew!
The question now is what kind of work to do during the summer months so my grandson enters first grade well prepared.
I went online to find out exactly what skills are required for a rising first grader. I made a list and of the ones my grandson has not accomplished. He needs practice holding a pencil properly, and he needs to consistently write his letters and numerals frontwards. In math he has more to perfect: counting to 100, counting backward from 10, displaying data in graphs and tables (really? in kindergarten?), and extending patterns.
That, plus reviewing and extending his reading skills, is our summer curriculum.
If you are wondering if your child is ready to start the next grade, go online to your state’s department of education and find the standards for the basic subjects of the grade he or she is completing. Make a list of the standards your child hasn’t met and let that list become his or her summer school work. Sometimes you can accomplish these goals by finishing up workbooks. Or you can order workbooks on particular skills for your child to master. Or you can create your own materials, but of course this takes time.
And if you don’t have time to do everything? If your child is in the primary grades, focus on two things: basic reading skills (phonics) and simple addition and subtraction. Keep reading to your child for enrichment but focus on the essential skills of reading and math.