- Back to School
Only three weeks left of summer before it’s back to school! Has your child been keeping up with the summer reading? I didn’t even make it to my local library’s summer reading program sign-ups! I did check out books, though. And renewed them several times … and dusted them off several times too!
This is the part where you nod in agreement … I hope!
Why not get your kids prepped for back to school with imaginative play? You’ll have your kids’ school skills back up without them realizing they are “working” and not just playing!
Time for school
Set up a play area in your home (or backyard) to create a school setting. Here are some easy additions that have worked for us:
- Table and chairs, or school desks
- Chalkboards or dry erase boards
- Your “hooked on school” art display
You can add to your child’s make-believe school setting by taking advantage of the local dollar stores or dollar bins at Target. They have many affordable tools for teachers that help create the perfect school setting, even down to stickers and reward certificates! I remember vividly playing school as a child, and how much I loved playing make-believe using the same tools and supplies as my “real” teachers.
Let the School Day Begin!
Set the schedule. Ours looked like this:
- Journal writing. Draw a picture of a favorite memory of summer and write a sentence about the picture. Not writing yet? No problem. Make the assignment fit your child’s skill level.
- Show and Tell!
- Skills. Think of what your child should brush up on before going back to school. Sight words? Spelling? Addition? Letter sounds? Cutting? Sharing? Pick an area and do a quick review.
- Lunch. Pack a brown bag lunch and let your kids eat in the “classroom.” Don’t forget to write them a note to put in their lunch bag!
- Recess. The best part of school! Take a break from the “school day” and run loose on the playground! Jump rope, play four square, hop scotch or kickball …
- Quiet reading time. Bring the day to a close with some silent reading time. Make sure to have plenty of books to choose from, with all different skill levels.
Role reversal is a great way to give your child a sense of empowerment as they teach you, siblings or stuffed animals. We set up our “school” in our swing set’s “tree” house. As night fell, I moved our school to the basement. The kids enjoyed it so much, they suggested playing school again as we were getting ready for bed. To them, it’s a new fun “play,” yet it gives them the review the real teachers were hoping I was doing all summer long! With any luck, the next three weeks will be filled with many days of “school” and the library books will no longer need to be renewed!