Parent Dilemma: Summer Off or Summer School for Kids?

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I love the summer. It’s sunny. The ocean heats up. And we spend most of our days at the beach. I have the tans lines to prove it. My kids just love swimming and boogie boarding in the ocean.

In the mornings, my older kids go to summer camp at their school for a few hours so I can work and spend a little one-on-one time with the baby. Their camps are fun-filled activities like water play, painting rocks, making Dr. Seuess-inspired art, engineering their own creations made out of toothpicks and marshmallows, and so on. I do a little reading practice with both of them at the end of the day to keep up our skills.

And here’s what my kids would rather do – build marble runs or Bionicle Lego sets.

But lately I’m wondering if that’s enough. The Asian Tiger mom in me wants to do Kumon books to bridge them through the summer so they ease into kindergarten and 2nd grade without any problems. And I have a few neighbors who are doing homework with their kids over the summer, and know someone who’s sending her kid to full-time summer school.

My head hurts just thinking about it. I want to give my kids an opportunity to keep up their skills and transition easier into their new grades. But on the other hand, I want my kids to enjoy being kids. I never took summer classes as a kid (nor did I crack open a workbook) and spent most of my time climbing trees and running around the neighborhood with my friends.

So while I’m tempted to add workbooks and homework for my kids this summer, I think I’m going to stick to reading, journaling, and maybe Ninja Math (an app that combines math addition and a video game with killer tomatoes – weird, I know but my son loves it).

What are you doing with your kids this summer?

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  1. I am flipping going crazy bc I wanted them to be able to relax and not go crazy with activities this summer. Sadly, it is not working out so well as I really need to work and they are very bored and are tearing up the house. You know I think we do the best we can and the grass is always greener you know??

    • Hi Shane, so true. I have my kids in summer camp half days so I can get a little work done at home – and frankly, they need the separate from each other. Sometimes I feel like I could be doing more with reading, math, etc. but I kind of want them to experience a summer off too. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. My kids are in various 1/2 day summer camps–arboretum camp, art camp, camp invention, etc. They love exploring new things, and the rest of the time, they do tae kwon do, tennis, swimming, piano, Chinese, travel, & playdates. There’s no time for workbooks! :)

  3. As a long-time tutor, I think the downtime is a good thing, as far as scheduling goes. Kids absolutely need time to imagine, play, and explore. But I do feel parents should try to prevent the “summer slide” and make sure they are doing the basics, even if it’s casual…your reading and journaling plan is perfect. You definitely don’t want to create a power struggle/negative attitude. Keeping it light and fun is key…maybe they can write a letter to a relative or friend, or do more cooking projects and measure ingredients.

    • Thanks, Christine. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more – keeping up with the Joneses homeschool edition. But I think you’re right. My kids are so happy to have the downtime and I should look for covert ways to incorporate reading and math. Thanks!

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