A Summer Routine for Third Graders
Taking a break from fretting about the Internet to write about something else; namely, our summer routine.
Know why I am writing this here? Because I wrote our routine on a piece of paper last year and have misplaced the piece of paper. Last night I looked through every file because I wanted to prepare a new routine sheet for the twins, and I couldn’t find the original piece of paper. I asked the ChickieNob how many Summer Bridge lessons I made them do last summer, and she gave me a somewhat gleeful smile as she said, “you don’t remember?” I thought she was trying to get out of doing more work when she informed me that they only did one lesson per day. But what did I know — I didn’t have the original paper to check. Until I remembered that I wrote a post about our routine last year. Oh, sweet blog, you’ve saved my ass too many times to count.
So I fine-tuned our routine from last summer based on what produced the best results as well as their age. This is what we’re doing as third graders rising to become fourth graders:
- One lesson in their Summer Bridge books.
- Self-checking their Summer Bridge books and circling what they got wrong so we can go over those things later.
- The Daily 20 on Mathboard (an app).
- 20 minutes on the educational app page on the iPad.
- Read alone for 30 minutes.*
- Wolvog: 20 minutes of guitar practice; ChickieNob: 20 minutes of working on her book.
It takes about two hours, total.
I went with Summer Bridge again because I’ve been continuously impressed with their workbooks. They feel like the elder statesman workbook lording over the newfangled workbooks. Listen, Summer Bridge started the torture of millions of children by dumping school work on them in the summer. Would I ever leave them for a new endeavour trying to cash in on the torturing children gig? Summer Bridge has got it on lock. Also, the workbooks are simple, straightforward, broken into nice bite-size pieces, and I trust it. That’s why we went with Summer Bridge.
Mathboard is an app that we ended up buying because it was in an Apple commercial, and the Wolvog begs us for any app that he sees as being close to Apple, which is the source of all things beautiful. It’s actually really a fantastic, straightforward app if you want to practice math skills. You can set the type of problem the app generates, the range of numbers, whether you want it timed or untimed, and then the kid chooses their name under the main menu and starts the test. Every day, the app spits out random quizzes based on my parameters, and I can go back and look at how they did on each quiz, increasing or decreasing the difficulty. Again, it’s work they can do on their own.
They get 20 minutes on the iPad to work their way through any of the apps on the educational page that I set up with their input. This summer, we have old favourites like Wonderopolis, Stack the States, and Aliens vs. Presidents. And we’re in the process of adding new ones: Marble Math, Crazy Machines, and Symmetry School. (Can’t vouch for any of these yet.) Plus they are allowed to play games that require logic or problem-solving, such as TwoDots, Monument Valley, or The Room.
They have to read by themselves for a bit, and then either practice guitar (Wolvog) or work on their book (ChickieNob). During this time, I am doing all of my work. And then we are free.
We’ll spend the rest of the time at the pool or beach or going on day trips or the library or hanging out with friends. We need the down time. We just need a few weeks where we have little scheduled, and we can island ourselves off and just breathe. Because it has been a hard winter and spring, and I think we just need to step away from everything for a bit — or maybe I just need to step away from everything for a bit, and I’m taking them with me.
So what are you doing this summer?
* The twins are still in the same weekly peer writing/reading group. We read one book together in the meeting, and one book at home (that we discuss at the meeting), and they’re working on a summer-long writing project with the other kids in the group. So… that’s all education too. But it’s mostly an excuse for me to make up the most obnoxious voices for the recurring characters in the books since I’m the one reading them aloud.