My 5 year old boy is on the verge of reading – exciting!! This is always a fun time for me as a mama, and one of the many stages of learning that I enjoy. My hunch is that he will be reading CVC words by the time our homeschool starts back in early August.
Because he is asking to read, I want to continue a bit of phonics work with him through our (short!) summer break. I am definitely a proponent of kids having academic time off, because we all need a break from the usual routine of school.
However, this period of time just before reading is a bit different in that it needs to be nurtured and fed, unlike, say Algebra, which can certainly wait to restart after a summer break.
You will find our Summer Before Kindergarten plans below. Our plans are simple on purpose, with only three steps to work on each day: craft, read, and (maybe) write.
I won’t comment on how very bittersweet it is for my last child to start Kindergarten in the fall. ::sniff sniff:: That’s a post for another day. ❤
Uppercase Letter Crafts
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My son and I will start out our learning time each day with Uppercase Letter Crafts from All About Reading. While this is an add-on book to their Pre-Reading Program, you can also use it as a stand-alone activity.
We used All About Reading’s Pre-Reading program in the past and loved it! I knew I would like the crafts in this book because that was my girls’ favorite part of the original Pre-Reading program.
Plus, those crafts are super mom-friendly and not messy. Win-win.
We will choose one letter each day from the Uppercase Letter Crafts book and do the craft just as suggested. They only require scissors and a glue stick, however, there are easy suggestions if you want to add just a bit more to it.
The suggestions include things like adding googly eyes, cutting out clouds or a sky or fish bubbles from construction paper, or adding tinfoil or glitter to make something shimmer. I already gathered the “extras” altogether and pulled everything from our craft bins. I do keep well-stocked craft bins, so I realize not everyone will have the extra materials on hand.
Read a Bit
After we work on our craft, my son and will read a book or poem or in an A to Z book about our day’s letter. The Uppercase Letter Crafts book has a book suggestion for every letter, which is really helpful! I have a few of those on hold at the library.
You can certainly choose any method of introducing letters to your young ones – the Handwriting Without Tears Way, the Memoria Press Way, the All About Reading Way, simply going from A to Z.
For this particular summer activity, I am going to go in the order that Classical Phonics advises. My son knows all of the letters and most of the letter sounds, so the Letter Order decision isn’t a deal breaker in this particular case.
Most days we will choose from one or two of the following:
- Read from our All About Reading Pre-Reading books, which features a cute “letter story” just like the craft pages contain. There is also a book with letter-themed poems.
- Read the day’s letter in Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth Taylor. This book was included in our Jr. Kindergarten package this year and we have loved it!
- Read from one of the many A to Z books that we have on our shelf. The Dr. Seuss and Animals from A to Z tend to be favorites.
- Read about the day’s animal in our Animal Encyclopedia. The non-fiction will be a nice change of pace.
- Read the Letter Book from My First Steps to Reading set. This set is old and out of print, but I found them at a neighboring library. They are excellent if you can find them! Too bad they’re so expensive and I would purchase the whole set.
- Read the day’s letter from the Alphabet Beginning Sounds Posters.
Read and Write a Few Words
I often write a few words on paper for my son to read. These are easy words or sight words that we see in the story we’re reading.
Each day, I will brainstorm a few words that start with the day’s letter and write those for him to read. I read the words and he repeats them after me. We talk about what each sound of the letter makes and run a finger under the word as it is said.
All of those “beginning reader” things we know to do. 🙂
I will have him write 1 or maybe 2 of the words if they are short. My 5 year old still has very little writing stamina, as to be expected at this age! Our goal is to hold the pencil correctly each time it is picked up and to use a helping hand.
That is plenty for this age and this particular child to work on this summer!
What are your young ones working on this summer? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!
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