At the end of the school year, it always seems like summer will last forever as we start to implement our full color-coded schedule of activities to keep our six girls busy for 12 full weeks of summer.
Then all of a sudden it is mid-July and it feels like there isn’t enough time to get in all of the items on the bucket list. And, it’s about more than just summer-time fun. We have seen the summer slide happen with the girls in the past, and have learned we have to stay ahead of things to help keep their mental gears turning during the summer months. Here are a few tips from our house to yours on how to avoid the last-minute scramble, and ensure our kids are set up for success in the school year ahead.
Make Your Summer Activities Learning Experiences!
We really believe the girls learn so much by being exposed to travel and the world around them. The quints attend a STEM-oriented school and we try to consciously incorporate different activities in and around the house to keep their gears turning.
Our filming schedule keeps us busy, but in between and even during we set aside time to visit the Houston Children’s Museum, the butterfly exhibit, and take little arts & crafts activities wherever we go.
Some of the best lessons and learning come from an impromptu trip to the park or an enriching visit to the Houston Zoo or Aquarium. The key for us is to use the excursions as inspiration for learning-focused conversation back at home. “Riley, how many butterflies did you see?” “Hazel, what colors were the butterflies?” Simple questions help keep the fun of the trip alive and get them thinking.
Get back on schedule.
Summer can be great for the flexibility it provides but it can also take us completely off schedule. Two weeks before the beginning of the school year, we start getting the girls back on schedule by waking them up at “school time” and making sure we get to bed on time each evening. We love Tock the Learning Clock from Learning Resources because it makes it fun for the girls to get on a schedule and learn to tell time at the same time.
Purchase those required school supplies early!
With six kids in school, we do not want to be the last ones hitting the stores and finding the shelves bare. In addition to the required supplies, we sometimes treat the girls to a new educational toy that aligns with their interests and helps cultivate their individual passions. This year, the girls got Learning Resources’ new Coding Critters, which are amazing because they springboard from their love of animals and storybooks to give them an initial understanding of basic coding skills. And, Blake loves showing off her reading and playing teacher with the quints!
Revamp the playroom and set up homework stations.
The girls grow up quickly so whenever we find that they have completely outgrown a toy or game we donate it to a local charity or school so that others can benefit from it. Now that Blayke has homework, we will make sure her desk is ready for the first day of school and that all of her summer reading is complete!
Make room for fun!
School is around the corner, so we try to give the girls the time to relax, enjoy and just be kids before another pivotal year is upon us.
It’s amazing how much the girls grow, learn, and change every day and we try to embrace every moment of the journey!
Save it for later!