It is officially summer… but it’s a different summer than we’ve ever had before, with new unknowns about the upcoming school year.
I know one of the (many) constant worries we have about the upcoming school year is that our students are going to be behind on content because of the school closures.
But really, can you blame anyone for not keeping up? For example, in my family, we sure tried our best- but we did get a bit behind since we had to work so much more on top of teaching our kids. And that’s even as a teacher myself!
Now that we’ve settled into our new normal, I want to help my kids get caught up and ready for next school year.
But what I DON’T want is my kids feeling like they still have to do hours of school all summer long…. No kid wants that!
Any review or catch up I do with my kids this summer MUST be fun and engaging and pack a good punch in a short amount of time.
One thing I like to do is have my kids write stories, letters, poems, comic books, really there are so many writing possibilities! I have made a list of ideas to keep kids writing all summer long!
Start by talking with your kid(s) about storytelling. Some examples of narrative writing include stories, movies, jokes, and fairy tales.
Ask them what kind of things they read about in a story. Discuss that a story (specifically narratives) have five things:
- Plot: the events that happen
- Setting: where it takes place
- Character: who/what is it about
- Conflict: what is the problem that needs solved
- Theme: what are you supposed to learn from reading it
Now you can explain to them that those five things can all happen in different ways:
- The way a story is told can be different in each book (narrator style)
- The order in which things happen can be different (ex: chronological order)
- The person telling the story may be a character (1st person) or someone just telling a story (3rd person). This is called point of view.
After discussing these things with your kid(s), have them write their own narrative. There are so many fun summer topics that they could choose. Here are a few ideas from our Summer Learning Packets (there are tons more in the packets!):
- Favorite Summer Memory: Write a story about your favorite summer memory. Who was there? Where did it take place? How did it happen? How did things end?
- Summer Treats: Write a story that has to do with your favorite summer treat of all time!
- Summer Road Trip Flat Tire: Write a story about a family on a road trip- and their car gets a flat tire! What happens next?
- Or have your kids pick their own!
Start by asking your kid(s) if they can tell you what type of reading or writing teaches you something. Tell them it’s called informative (like information) and it can also be called “how-to” writing.
Ask them to think of something they would like to learn about. Have them think about WHAT they want to know about that topic. Let them share what they want to learn about and then together take the time to learn about it! A few summer related ideas you could consider:
- How to NOT get a sunburn
- How to build a sandcastle
- How to catch a fish
- How to run a lemonade stand
Afterwards, give them some paper and have them write their own “how-to.” Then, once they have learned and written about a new skill, you could try out their new knowledge for a fun summer adventure!
Ask your kid(s) to think of something they like that someone else may not like. Have them think about WHAT it is they like about it. Ask them their reasons for their opinion. Then, have your kid(s) give some examples of their reasons.
I suggest using an O.R.E.O graphic organizer for opinion writing. O.R.E.O. stands for:
- Opinion- share your opinion
- Reason- give reasons for your opinion
- Example- share examples to support your reasons and opinion
- Opinion- restate your opinion
Kids have lots of opinions. they will love writing about them! Here are a few topic ideas for opinion writing:
- What is your favorite board game to play?
- What do you like to do in the water when you go swimming?
- Who is your favorite sports player?
- Where is the best place to go for dessert?
Tell your kid(s) that they will be learning how to write an “Acrostic Poem”. Explain that an acrostic poem uses the letters of a word to write a poem. Each letter stands for another word or short phrase. Read the following example to them:
- Outside loving
- Good friend
Model how to write an acrostic poem by writing one with your kid(s). Then turn it over to your kid(s) to write their own poem. Have them choose the name of a person or animal, or their own name. Have them think of at least 2 possible words for each letter when they brainstorm. They will pick their favorite word and then write the main poem.
Start by talking to your kid(s) about some ways you can communicate with someone without being in the same place as them. (Ex: internet, phone, letter). Then explain that writing letters is another way to communicate and a great way to show someone we care.
Teach them 5 parts of formal letter format
- Date (in the top corner)
- Greeting (Ex. Dear Mom,)
- Body (Main text of letter)
- Closing (Love, Sincerely, From, etc.)
- Signature (Your name!)
Have your kid(s) write their own to someone of their choosing. As with all of these writing ideas, they should use their best grammar, punctuation and spelling. And be sure to use the proper letter writing format they just learned! Repeat as many times as they want.
Ask your kid(s) if they can think of their own summer stories that have lots of details. Then, ask your child what they know about the format of comics (such as in comic books or in the newspaper). Together, discuss things like:
- Picture and text
- Exclamatory words
- Conversational text
- Speech bubbles
Have them write their own summer stories….. comic book style! They will need to think of a story that has several things that happened during their story for their comic.
Our Summer Learning Packets have summer-themed comic book pages premade, they are so cute! Or you can simply have them design their own.
Keep Writing All Year With 36 Weeks of Writing Prompts
Our 36 Weeks of Writing Prompts Practice is great for parents and homeschoolers who want structured writing practice at home. This will help keep kids’ writing skills sharp by reviewing them each week! They should take no longer than a few minutes, so they are easy to fit into your schedule while packing a powerful punch.
This writing skills practice covers the four main types of writing, narrative, informative, opinion, and descriptive. Each type of writing contains 9 prompts that can last an entire week. However, you may choose to complete the prompt in one day depending on what works best for you and your family.
Want more summer learning ideas? Check out some of my other blog posts
- What’s In Our Summer Learning Packets?
- Why Engage Your Kids In Summer Learning?
- 2 Crucial Reasons to Send Home Summer Review Packets
Grab your own Summer Learning Packets or get started with our Summer Learning Freebie!
Summer Learning Freebie for Pre-K through 5th$0.00
5th Grade Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet$24.99
4th Grade Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet$24.99
3rd Grade Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet$24.99
2nd Grade Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet$24.99
1st Grade Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet$24.99
Kindergarten Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet$24.99
Pre-K Summer Learning: Summer Review Packet/ Kindergarten Prep$24.99