Summer Learning For Preschoolers & Early Elementary Students

For reference my older kids are 6 and 4 and my two littles are under 3. This post contains affiliate links.

Two years ago I shared a very detailed post on how we do preschool at home in the summer. When our family started fostering last year I began looking for inexpensive summer learning activity books. I knew I wasn’t going to have time to put together binders for each child like I had the year before. What I purchased worked out so great and I am planning to use the same products again this summer.

Here is a roundup of what we are going to be using this year plus purchases from last year that we loved!

Workbooks & Reading Programs

These Summer Brain Quest Between Grades books are fantastic! Fun enough that your kids will ask to keep working through the book but still educational. We had to limit the number of pages done each day so we didn’t finish the book in the middle of summer.

We love Curious George in our house. So this Curious George Sight Words Reading Program was a no brainer to buy last summer. This program is under $15. It comes with flash cards, 10 reading books, and a sight word tracker chart that includes stickers to mark off which words have been mastered.

Keeping with the Curious George theme. I bought Curious George Math and Science Readers STEM Program to add to our collection this year. This boxed set includes ten fun stories and activity cards featuring Curious George designed to introduce young readers to science, technology, engineering, and math.

I plan on visiting our local library often over the summer with the kids to keep our reading material new and exciting. My goal is to read to them often and to cut back on the amount of television they watch. Wish us luck! Our plan right now is to let each kid pick a show 1 day a week. This will equal out to 30 minutes of television Monday-Thursday with Friday being a family movie day.

Our son’s school uses Spalding and he has learned the first 70 phonograms this year. It was a little challenging for me to learn these so I could help him with his homework and I don’t want him or myself to get out of practice over the summer so we will be reviewing these often ;).

Bible & Theology Resources

We are still working our way through Old Story New. I plan on using these 10 Minute Devotionals along with The Gospel Story Bible and The New City Catechism during our summer school time. We have been reading The Jesus Storybook Bible again in the mornings at breakfast and plan to continue this also.

FREE Resources

There are so many great resources also available for FREE! Here are a few that we have used in the past.

  • Spot and Dot Alphabet Pages These are excellent for helping your preschooler work on their hand-eye coordination, their fine motor skills, and so much more! We use the Do-A-Dot Markers for this activity.
  • Number Playdough Mats 
  • Create Your Own Handwriting Sheets I use this to generate sheets for the kids names. I finally got smart and instead of printing one out for each kid everyday I put the paper in a clear sheet protector. The kids now use a dry erase marker and once a week get to practice with a pencil.

I am just so excited to have all my kids home together this summer. We don’t have any huge plans, just good quality family time!

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Mother’s Day 2019

My two oldest had special mother’s day themed events at their schools last week. I loved getting to spend quality time with each of them. Their teachers did an amazing job and I left feeling so loved. I love looking back at their artwork over the years so I am posting this for my future self.

Mommy Spa & Mom Facts

My son had a pamper mom day spa in his classroom. He gave me a massage, applied my makeup, and painted my nails. It was super sweet. I loved seeing how focused he was on applying my makeup and enjoyed watching all his classmates do the same.

My oldest answered the following questions and fill in the blanks for his teacher and these were presented to me last week at his classrooms mother’s day event.

How old is your mom? My guess is she is her 60’s

What color is her hair? My hair

What’s her favorite drink and snack? Water and pizza

My mom deserves a hug.

What’s her favorite thing to do with you? Play

What does she like to do for fun? Go places with us

My mom smells as good as pizza.

What does she do during the day? Play with my brothers and sister

My mom is as pretty as a rainbow.

What is the one thing she says to you most often? I love you

I would like to tell my mom I love you.

Muffins with Mom

My daughter had a muffins with mom event at her school. It was outside and we even had a light rain but that didn’t stop us from having fun. We ate and I even had a super delicious iced coffee. It was so nice to be able to have sweet conversations with her. So so good!

The Weekend

Our weekend was spent at church and with family and overall I am feeling very thankful for the opportunity to spend so much time with people I love. We spent the morning with my parents at the park and my Dad grilled hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch. Our church provided each child a carnation to give their mom at the end of Sunday school and I left church with a small bouquet.

And that is a super brief recap of last week and how I celebrated Mother’s Day this year :).

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Our Adoption Story

Josh and I had the privilege this January to become licensed foster parents. This year has grown me in more ways then I can say. I have learned so much and I am so thankful for the amazing opportunity to be part of another child’s life. This week our family adopted the sweet little person we have been loving and caring for over the last six months.

Adopting our foster son has been an amazing and yet bittersweet experience. I have never felt such a deep loss for another person before. I think about and pray for our son’s biological parents, I pray for the future conversations we will have with our son regarding his adoption, and I pray for our family to be a safe and secure place for him to learn and know what love is, how much we love him, but more importantly how much God loves him.

We had the most amazing people from the Arizona Department of Child Safety advocating for our child. Words cannot fully express how honored our family has been to walk along side these individuals who will forever be part of our child’s story and we are so grateful for their diligent work. I would like to publicly thank these individuals who came into our child’s life because of tragic circumstances. I wanted to say so much more to you all at the adoption and express my deepest heartfelt appreciation for what you did for our son and the work that you do everyday for so many kids. My eyes are so blurred right now I can barely see the keys on the keyboard to type but I hope you know how much you mean to our family.

We have heard many similar responses from others when they learned we were going to be foster parents. Ranging from “I could never do that” to “You are a really wonderful person”. Josh and I would like everyone to know that we don’t think of ourselves as wonderful but we do think of ourselves as forgiven. We are grateful for the Lord and how he continues to gradually grow us more into the likeness of Christ and we are so glad that we made ourselves available for God to use our family.

The adoption of our son has been the opportunity to see something beautiful come from something broken. And in seeing this we can see how God views us, his children.

Our hope and prayer was to be able to bless another family by allowing them the opportunity and time to reunify with their child. While we are sadden that this wasn’t able to happen for our son we know that for him we are his best chance for a happy childhood. One that will be filled with love, joy, kindness, safety, and security. The blessing has been ours to enjoy and cherish and we will continue to do so as a forever family.

Out of respect for our children and their privacy Josh and I have chosen to not share pictures of them on social media or this website. If you have been a longtime reader of The Workout Mama you might have noticed a change over the last few years of what I have shared and I have also removed older posts for this reason. In light of the adoption of our son we are even more committed now to keep their faces off the internet for their privacy and safety. We are asking if we have shared details with you about our son to refrain from commenting online with any information that we have not shared publicly.

Over the next several weeks I will be sharing more posts on our foster care experience. While I will not be sharing details of our child’s story I do want to share what we have learned in hopes that it might encourage others to look into this ministry and also provide any resources that we have found useful. Feel free to leave any questions you have and I will try and answer them to the best of my ability in an upcoming post.

To the doctors, nurses, therapists, the court, our church, WIC, our foster care agency, the Arizona Department of Child Safety, and especially our friends and family thank you for supporting us and caring for our son.

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