Every school year, teachers send out little forms to fill out about the kids. They usually have questions about nicknames, who the kids live with and any anxieties they might be having about the new school year. It’s always a great way for the new teacher to get to know their incoming students.
One question on these forms always sticks out to me, and that’s about the parent’s goals for their child for that school year. I have answered this question the same way every single year: “For my child to continue to love learning and be excited about discovering new facts.”
Almost anyone can teach a child facts, but it takes a special kind of teacher to nurture a love of learning in a child. We’ve been pretty lucky with incredible teachers from preschool and through Elementary school with our kids, and each of them continues to LOVE to learn.
Summer is no different.
It’s important to my husband and I both that our kids don’t see Summer as a “break” from education. We want them to know that learning is something you do your whole life (mommy and daddy are constantly learning too!) and it can be done in fun ways!
We do a lot of learning on the go – kids ask the craziest questions in the car, so we make sure we’re ready for that as much as we can. This week we talked about the purpose of humans and if there are limits to what a black hole can suck up. Our 7 year old can really stump us sometimes, but it’s always been important to us that we do our best to answer him OR find an answer to his questions.
Ever since our kids were toddlers we’ve done this. We try to keep the “just because!” type of answers off limits as much as we possibly can. This can be exhausting at times, (The “but why” stage was intense!) but it’s been wonderful to see how much this simple commitment to answering every question they throw at us, has inspired their creativity and nurtured a love of learning in both of our kids.
Our favorite app for Summer learning
The screen time balance is always a debate for families, but we’ve found that if we can keep our screen time mainly educational, everybody wins! This means watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix, or good educational YouTube shows like Smarter Every Day.
I have been on the hunt for a good app or computer game to keep the kids learning this Summer. We have tested out about 6 different ones and FINALLY settled on our favorite. Reading Eggs!
Reading Eggs was kind enough to sponsor this post AND give me a special affiliate link to get you FOUR weeks FREE so you can try it out as well! Check it out here —–> Reading Eggs Free Trial
The Reading Eggs starts with first steps for preschoolers and toddlers age 2-4. They’ll learn pre-reading skills through fun games, videos and books!
The next level is for kids “ready for school” (4-5 years old) and works on phonics, sight words and other essentials for Kindergarten. My daughter is using this level to stay up to date on all the skills she learned in Kinder this year. Since the program grows with you, she’s found it challenging and SO FUN.
The next level of Reading Eggs is for 6-7 year olds (I expect my daughter to be using this area of the program by the end of the Summer). This level focuses on spelling and comprehension through fun games and activities!
The top level is the Reading Eggspress! This is for kids age 7-13 and where my son has been spending his time on Reading Eggs. This level helps hone all the skills from the previous ones and has a huge focus on structured comprehension.
My son is in the Spanish Immersion program at his school, which means most of his educational focus in Elementary school is in the Spanish language and we work with him at home so he stays up to level on his English skills.
I’ve found Reading Eggs to be an awesome resource to help him! Spelling has been his biggest challenge, since Spanish and English use the same letters but English spelling and pronunciation is more difficult and requires a lot of practice. I loved that there are tests, where he can go over English Spelling and grammar and lots of games that help him practice too!
He loves getting to compete against himself in all the games and is always super excited to tell me he’s earned another golden egg or beat his previous score in a certain subject.
In all of our testing of different programs to find the best program to use for Summer learning, I found it was difficult to find a program that strikes the balance between fun for the kids and actually educational.
Either the games are “so fun” that they aren’t really teaching much of anything, or they are “so educational” that they aren’t engaging or enjoyable for the kids. We found that Reading Eggs struck the perfect balance. They are both really challenged by the activities at their level so they feel proud and excited at what they are able to accomplish.
Even the “games” section of the Reading Eggs program, is helping the kids learn. I was really impressed with how they were able to find a balance for the program that works for moms AND kids.
Reading Eggs also has a math section called Mathseeds. We haven’t tried it out yet, because we have been enjoying the reading section so much and working on hitting a few milestones before we move on to math!
Have you ever tried the Reading Eggs program? Try it for free FOR 4 WEEKS here! (no credit card required)
What are you doing to make learning fun this Summer? Share with us in the comments!