Looking for ways to keep your kids busy learning new life skills and reading good books this summer? Here’s our kid summer chart!
Every summer I try to plan for success. I want to make sure that we have fun, but also that the kids are learning life skills and still getting some educational learning in. As my kids get older, my plans have to change and adapt to accommodate and appeal to all the different needs and expectations from so many different age groups! Our kid summer charts have changed and adapted over the years. Check out what we are doing over the summer this year!
Our Kid Summer Charts in the Past
In years past I have done kid summer charts with themed days, planned an activity for each day of the summer, and used workbooks to ensure the kids don’t forget the things they learned over the school year. Each year we participate in summer reading programs, and have some sort of accountability for the kids with an incentive of something that they can work toward for completing all of these various tasks. Even on years where I have lower energy or it’s more difficult to make plans, we try to make a summer bucket list with fun ideas to get us outside and having fun together as a family.
This year I am approaching our summer a little bit differently than in the past. I realized that I don’t want to be spending hours upon hours correcting workbook pages, or even having the kids fill out workbooks since their school days were full of that, and I want summer to feel different. We will be focusing this summer on these areas: gospel study, math, reading, life skills, and a project of their choice. As I’ve been putting together their charts for this summer, I have been super excited to get going on all that I have planned!
We have family scripture study every morning. This is a tradition that we have had for years. Some of our kids are really good at doing their own personal scripture study and prayers, while others need a little extra motivation. My husband and I decided that it was important that we really reiterate the importance of a personal study to gain a personal testimony and wanted to give it a place on the summer chart as well.
As a family we are studying the Come Follow Me program which studies a different book of scripture each year. We have encouraged our kids to study The Book of Mormon each day in their personal study. I found these cute bookmarks that we are going to pass out and have them keep track of what they read over the summer.
Where in The Book of Mormon they read and how much they read is up to them. Maybe they want to start the book over at the beginning, set a timer for 5 minutes, read a chapter, study a topic and look up scriptures on that topic. However they do it is up to them. Some of my kids keep a scripture journal about what they read, some like to mark certain words or themes that they discover, and others just simply read. I don’t want to tell them how they have to study their scriptures, Instead, I want them to discover a meaningful way to study that will create a daily habit for them!
In the past on our kid summer charts, we have used workbooks during the summer and I would correct them once a week. with so many kids now, and bigger kids still needing a little push, it was easier for me to streamline and have everyone doing the same thing rather than have a few kids doing workbooks, and a few kids doing an online program. Plus, then I don’t have to correct any workbook pages this way!
I have grown to really love using Khan academy math. I usually will have my kids work on the level of math for the grade they will be going into, or take the “preparing for grade…” with the grade they will be entering in the fall. I love that Khan academy is free, it doesn’t have a ton of wasted time with extra games or other things on the side, but it still has sound effects that make the kids feel like it is more of a “game”.
One of the things that I noticed slowly slipping away as my kids started back to public school, was their return to reading all sorts of books just for entertainment, rather than to enrich their minds and hearts. Because of that, I decided that I would give them some required reading this summer. The books I have chosen are either books that I feel every child should read because the stories and characters are just so great, or books that will help their mind, empathy, or knowledge grow. Each kids will have a book stack of required books, and then will be able to choose more books off of the book lists that I provide for them so they aren’t just filling their time reading comic books all summer!
I have written book lists in the past, but this year I am doing a big update to include higher reading levels, and to encourage more uplifting reading, rather than just reading for entertainment. My kids each have the independent goal of winning the summer reading program through our library in their age group each year, so I am not feeling bad one bit by requiring a bit of extra reading and know full well that they will get their fill of “fun” reading as well!
This is perhaps one of the more crucial parts of summer for me. With so many people at home making messes, I take that as an opportunity for so many people at home to help clean those messes. Summer is the time where I train each of the kids in their new slew of chores. If you have come of age, you now have the opportunity to learn to clean the bathroom, or cook, or do laundry! Because our schedule is more flexible in the summertime, I feel like kids can really focus in and master new skills.
We have checklists of life skills that kids need to master at each age, and I will use this list to pull ideas from. My kids usually get pretty excited about some of these skills that can help them feel more grown up, so as we set goals, I usually let the kids choose which skills they want to work on first.
Project of their Choice
As my kids are getting older and we are slowly starting to have more kids in the teen and tween years than not, I am realizing that I have a huge responsibility to teach my kids to find out who they really are. I feel that we have all come to this earth with a specific purpose and talents to help us achieve that. As a mom, I can help tap into that potential, but I want my kids to discover their purpose and have the joy and excitement that comes along with that discovery! That
I watched this BYU Speech by Carrie Roberts and was blown away by the power of the message that “if you don’t like something, then change it!”
Some of my other favorite quotes from this speech are: “Through your agency and through learning to think and act for yourself, you can create the life that you want.”
“Your journey is to know and understand your why so that you can live your life and not someone else’s. You are to progress in the way that you need, not in the way that someone else thinks you should.”
“When you understand your why and are thinking and acting for yourself, you approach life with the attitude of “Why not me?” Someone is going to get what they want, so why not me? It is similar to my attitude toward the lottery: someone is going to win, so why not me? You continuously seek to improve yourself and your circumstances. You look for reasons why you can instead of why you can’t. You focus on what you can control and center your day on what it will take to inch closer to what you want. You work as if you cannot and will not fail. You are totally committed to your purpose. You become unwavering and unbending on your journey.”
“When you understand your why and you think and act for yourself, you can then preserve your identity amid outside pressure to be someone or something you are not. That way, when the pressures of the world and the doubters and the naysayers beat upon you, you are unmoved because you know and understand your purpose and why you do what you do. “
“I want to encourage you today to begin to think and act for yourself. Find your passions. Figure out what you truly want in life. Discover your why. Then go to work acting for yourself to create the life you want. Knowing, understanding, and discovering your why is powerful. Acting on it is life changing.”
If you can’t tell, I REALLY was motivated by this talk! I want my kids to find their purpose, or even something that they are interested in achieving or accomplishing over the summer and set a goal to do just that! I have a tracker to make sure that they realize the importance of working hard to achieve goals rather than just hoping that they will magically become better at a skill. I’m excited to see what ideas they come up with!
Summer Success with Kid Summer Charts
Although it may seem like a lot of work up front, the pay off in the end is so worth it! I have loved having our summers be more organized and know that my kids are learning and growing rather than sitting around complaining about being bored. These summer charts help the kids stay on track with gaining both new book knowledge and new life skills which I feel is very important to do! Get your free printable Summer Plan 2022 here!