by MamaTracey | Boogers, Bugs & Underpants

Summer slump. Summer slide. It has lots of different names, but it all means the same. Kids, particularly early readers, can lose some of what they learned over the summer vacation. A number of experts say children tend to score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation that at the end of the school year. And, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Summer Learning, “students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.”

With a soon-to-be first-grader and a pre-kindergartener, we’ve been trying to keep the “homework” streak going. The elementary school sent home an activity workbook for the summer, complete with a points system that can lead to a new lanyard pin when school starts in the fall. Easy to keep the kid motivated with that, but what to do for the younger one? We had several different workbooks that we picked up during the year, and Henry loved doing his “homework” right alongside Jack. His favorite now, though, is School Zone’s Get Ready Preschool activity kit that we found at Costco:

It comes with two workbooks, flash cards, crayons, a dry-erase marker and eraser and, my favorite, wipe-off cards to practice letters and numbers. There is also a clock with movable hands that he can use to tell time. He will sit for a long time and work, and I’ve noticed a big improvement in his letter recognition. We’ve already blown through the coloring road and sticker sheets, but he still loves to use the workbooks and cards. My favorite cards are the ones that ask him to trace the letters and numbers, which is what he really needs to work on. The best part is the handle, which makes it easy to pack up and take with us in the car.

School Zone makes lots of great workbooks and apps for iPhone and iPad, computer games, music. They even make kid-friendly tablets. They do a phenomenal job of matching the skill level to the age, and the fun activities don’t seem like work to the kids. Henry is very proud of himself when he is able to complete a maze or match the letters to the right picture. And he loves the hidden picture games. We’ll soon be ready to move on to the Kindergarten level books. We can’t wait!

You can purchase School Zone products directly from their website, and they are also available from a number of retailers including Walmart, Target and others.

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Beat the summer slide | Boogers, Bugs & Underpants