Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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Keeping Up and Keeping Busy

You’ve worked too hard this year to let all the great things your kids learned slip during the hazy, lazy days of summer.

So when Kacy, a friend of mine, suggested creating a binder for each child with activities and worksheets, I thought it was a great idea. I hit a teacher/education supply store in my area so I could browse through their offerings. I picked up a couple workbooks and some lined newsprint. The other place I found workbooks? Costco! And their prices were cheaper!

Here’s how it works:

I bought a binder for each of my children to customize (you might even have extra binders around the house or office.)

Think about the subjects they needed a little help with during the year, or areas you think they’d enjoy learning about during the summer. Bigger kids can have more diverse binders, tabbed with a range of subjects or activities.

Since my kids are little, they’ll be practicing a lot of writing. I got two packages of lined newsprint: the little one got the Kindergarten big spaced type so he can write his letters; the big one gets smaller lined newsprint so he can practice making smaller, more evenly spaced words.


My 1st to 2nd grader has two workbooks along with his handwriting practice: an addition and subtraction math game book, and a general knowledge book.  If he needs it, we’ll make more tabs for him with different subjects for concentration. For now, I think the above is enough to keep him happily working for an hour or so during the day.

My preschooler did a great job learning how to write his own name this year and loves to ask how to spell words letter-by-letter. I don’t expect him to really stay inside the lines, but he likes how grown up it seems to have lined paper. His work book is a hodge podge of activities, games, and light learning.

I’m not interested in creating a genius, I just want him to feel a sense of accomplishment when he “works” on his pages. Keep it FUN for little ones. I’m not going to force him to do work every day unless he wants to. (Of course he wants to because his brother is doing his work.)

My soon to be 2nd grader doesn’t have a choice, haha. He has math, reading, and writing to work on daily. We’re also keeping his summer reading pass book from our local library in one of the pockets. I don’t want to hear about how bored he is, ever.

Our plan is that after breakfast they’ll have their chores to do, then their school work, before they’re allowed to go outside to play or watch a show.

What are your tips for keeping the brain drain at bay and keeping your kids busy not bored?


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Comments (6)

  1. e 06/17/2011 at 10:52 pm

    I built mine during the year for my now 3rd grader. I had an old binder with sheet protectors ready to go for the spelling and math info sheets that we get weekly. My son knew at the end of the week to just slide the two in the sheet protector. I slipped in the page of activity ideas his teacher gave for the spelling words. The math sheets are basically what skill your kiddo will be learning and ways to practice it at home for each week. So perfectly easy age appropriate and since it is all in sync with what he does all year very easy to execute without busy mom having to hover.

  2. Brooke Dunford 06/13/2011 at 1:00 pm

    I love this idea! I will be making a binder for my kids!

  3. Heather Sands 06/11/2011 at 12:10 am


  4. Likely 06/08/2011 at 6:42 pm

    Love it carina. love it.

  5. allisonrandall 06/08/2011 at 3:23 pm

    When I was growing up, we always did lots of reading during the summer, and went to museums and National Parks. It wasn’t ‘school’ for sure, but my parents did a great job of continuing the learning outside of school by asking us about what we’d seen, playing trivia games on road trips, etc. I think it’s such a great idea to keep all this stuff together, too, because they’ll have a sense of personal achievement. Great idea!

  6. Raejean Roberts 06/08/2011 at 12:38 pm

    We always do some kind of workbook or school work through the summer. We also try to keep learning fun with our stay-at-home summer camp and our family book club.

    I like the idea of using a binder, or a folder, to keep everything together.