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children's literacy, our latest obsession, summer reading

Our Latest Obsession: Summer Bridge Activity Books!

I never gave the “summer slide” much thought until I became a parent.  It’s one of those new buzz word phrases that has become more popular over the past few years.  When I was growing up, I don’t recall much learning taking place – we simply had fun playing outside with our friends.  Since we couldn’t afford to go to summer camp or take elaborate family trips to Europe or elsewhere, we just used our imagination and spent our summers playing things like dodgeball, double dutch and kick the can sometimes until the wee hours of the night.  Those were the days!  Now looking back, I’m sure we definitely rode the “summer slide” just about every summer.  Yet, it didn’t prevent me from excelling in school, making the honor roll every year and graduating second in my class from high school.  Yes, I’m tooting my own horn!

Ok, back to the topic at hand – the summer slide.  What is it?  The summer slide is a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session.  Numerous studies show that kids who don’t read during summer vacation actually slip in reading ability by the time fall rolls around.

But as parents, we don’t need studies to tell us this, do we? It’s evident in all sorts of situations. For example, if your child plays the piano but stops practicing for three months, he/she isn’t going to be as good as his/her friend who continued to practice and play the piano over the summer, right?

The secret to preventing the summer slide is to keep learning all summer long. Now, don’t panic: I’m not talking about year-round schooling, although for some homeschool families, year-round schooling may be a good solution.  What I am talking about is providing learning opportunities throughout the summer that keep kids’ academic skills sharp.

I’m not usually a big fan of workbooks, flash cards or activity books.  However, on my quest for different resources to use with my kids over the summer break I stumbled upon this series of activity books called Summer Bridge Activities.  Have you heard of these gems before?

Prevent the Summer SlidewithSummer Bridge Activity Books!

With daily, 15-20 minute exercises kids can learn a variety of different skills ranging from letters to fractions and everything in between.  This workbook series prevents summer learning loss and paves the way to a successful new school year.  And this is no average workbook—Summer Bridge Activities keeps the fun and the sun in summer break!

Designed to prevent a summer learning gap and keep kids mentally and physically active, the hands-on exercises can be done anywhere. These standards-based activities help kids set goals, develop character, practice fitness, and explore the outdoors. With 12 weeks of creative learning, Summer Bridge Activities keeps skills sharp all summer long!

After researching these books, using them with my own kids and reading the rave reviews they’ve received online I was completely sold!  I ordered the Summer Bridge Activities Grades PK – K book and we’ve been working through it in just 15 – 20 minutes each day – it’s great!  These workbooks aren’t too easy either – they incorporate some challenges too which is exactly what I was looking for.  The book we purchased covers topics like: patterns, shapes, colors, numbers, phonics, writing and letters.

Following the introductory pages is a “Summer Reading List” that suggests 34 different fiction titles and 12 nonfiction titles.  It’s divided into three sections of increasing difficulty; each 20-day section can be completed in a month.  Every section begins with a list of Monthly Goals and a Word List, followed by the 20 days of activity pages, and they conclude with a few “Bonus” pages.

Section 1 features shape recognition, fine motor skill development, and numbers and counting activities provide a good variety of potential learning opportunities. Its bonus sections seem to focus on physical activity and character development. Section 2 highlights numbers and counting, handwriting and phonics, and colors. The bonus section following this section had a science activity, outdoor extension activities, and character development exercises. Section 3 focused on classification and phonics, handwriting and phonics, visual discrimination, grammar and language arts, numbers and counting, and the alphabet.

63 flash cards complete the final “learning” portions of the activity book. There is also a certificate of completion you can remove from the book and fill in with your child’s name once they complete all of the exercises. For those who like a visible affirmation of “great job”, a page of 264 star stickers has been included to use as well.

You can find the complete Summer Bridge Activity Series listed below.  Now that I’ve started using these workbooks with my kids, I’m excited to complete the entire series in the summers ahead!

Summer Bridge Activities Grades PK – K
Summer Bridge Activities Grades K – 1
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 1 – 2
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 2 – 3
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 3 – 4
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 4 – 5
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 5 – 6
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 6 – 7
Summer Bridge Activities Grades 7 – 8

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated to write it.  I purchased the workbook with my own money.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Your turn:  What do you plan to do with your children to beat the summer slide? Have you used these workbooks with your kids before?  Share in the comments below!

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5 Comments

  • Reply Brenda

    My son is using this book right now; the one from 3rd to 4th. I really like the book and all the activities in it. It’s not an overwhelming amount to do every day, and it teaches math and language arts.

    June 20, 2016 at 3:23 am
    • Reply Mrs. G

      That’s great to hear! I’ve heard others say the same thing so I’m excited to continue with the rest of the books in the summers ahead. Thanks for stopping by, Brenda!

      June 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Kate M

    The best thing my mother did for my brothers and I growing up was summer activity books and tutoring. I hated it at the time but looking back I would have been so lost without it!

    June 22, 2016 at 12:04 am
    • Reply Mrs. G

      That’s so great, Kate! Thanks for stopping by!

      June 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    Reading was mandatory in my home growing up. But it was never told to us that we needed to keep reading to be better in school. Just the expectation that we read and we keep reading. It was something that I loved (and still love) to do.

    June 22, 2016 at 11:15 am
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