Summer Academics: Guest Blog by Senior Kindergarten Co-Lead Teachers, Katie Gertler and Julia DaSilva

Now that it’s summer, it’s important to ensure that your child is still receiving some type of academic consistency while on break. By no means does it need to be intensive or the main focus of the summer, but it is necessary to prevent what teachers call “The Summer Slide.”  This is when your child may lose important strategies and skills over the summer if they aren’t given opportunities to exercise their brains in preparation for the new academic year to come.

While these activities will be helpful, please be creative and organic. Don’t feel the need to force any academics, just focus on making sure your child is having an active and fun summer before returning to school. If you need suggestions, here are some ideas.


  • Have your child journal about their day or a fun event that has or is happening. 
  • Read with your child or have them read to you for 20 minutes a day. We know this can be tricky, but the exposure is important.  The time of day does not matter – as long as it gets done.
    • To check for comprehension ask your child the following questions:
      • Can you retell what happened? 
      • Do you remember where we left off? 
      • What is the setting and how do you know? 
      • Who are the characters and can you describe them for me? 
      • What do you think will happen next and why do you think that?”
  • Have a concept search: give your child a concept and then have them look for words with this concept in the book they are reading.

Reading literacy



  • Uno or Go Fish!: This helps with number identification
  • Addition War: each person picks two cards at the same time, you add your set together while the other adds their set together, and the player with the largest sum gets the cards.
  • Snakes and Ladders/Chutes and Ladders: Supports sequencing.
  • Use or play with money while you are at a restaurant, grocery store, shop, etc.
  • Measurement: when cooking or baking have your child help measure or identify the numbers in a recipe. (This can also be helpful with reading unknown words)




  • Nature walks (there are many forest preserves outside of the city worth visiting)
  • Visiting conservatories then journaling about what they saw, heard, felt, smelled or even tasted.
  • Sketching and journaling about their surroundings while outside
  • Go camping!
  • Get an easy pet to care for like, a fish. Have your child research and explain why they should get this pet. Ask them to make a list of materials with you and involve them in the purchasing process. Hold them accountable for feeding their pet.
  • Experiments at home: The students know that it’s important to follow steps and to ALWAYS clean up after experiments – especially washing our hands.  Ask students to make predictions before conducting any experiment. It’s important to discuss the results after an experiment is conducted in order to support their scientific knowledge and make important connections.
  • Visit museums like the Adler Planetarium, The Nature Museum, The Field Museum, The Aquarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry
  • Remember while traveling, this is always an opportunity to discuss topics like, habitats and weather.
  • Involve your child in preparing and packing for any type of excursion – whether it be for the day or vacation.




  • Multi-step directions throughout the day. (“First, ______, Next, _____, Then, _____, Last/Finally, ______”)
  • Allow your child to struggle and complete a challenge: maybe try a new game or give them a new task like, tying their shoes or untangling a knot.
  • Chess: this has been a class favorite and helps tremendously with game play and planning behaviors.
  • Hold them accountable to clean up/follow expectations. Logical consequences are key!
  • Playdates with new friends: this will support their social emotional growth as they interact with and make new friends.

Social emotional

Looking for ways to explore Chicago with your child this summer? Here’s our guide to Pilsen, a neighborhood rich in history, art and culture.