Parent & Student Resources

2024 PK-12 Summer Activity/Learning Suggestions for Parents/Students

Learning happens all the time, not just during school. The intention of summer practice is to integrate school learning into home life. This can be done through playful activities that also reinforce academic skills, in a relaxed family environment. 

Wishing you a restful and restorative summer!

Scroll down or use the quick links below to locate your summer resources.

Early Childhood

Resources for Gecko through rising 2nd grade.

  • Enjoy Time in Nature
    Explore the wonderful wild spaces in our valley, enjoy nature walks, bike rides, morning hikes, trips to the beach, and time in your yard or neighborhood.
  • Real Work
    Children delight in real work. Include your child in cooking projects, sorting things, helping to set the table, washing dishes with warm soapy water, caring for a pet, working in your garden, washing windows, fixing something.
  • Open Ended Play
    Help create a space in your house for your child to explore materials that offer many possibilities. Allow time for your child to engage in deep imaginative play, drawing, painting, and creating.
  • Read
    Enjoy reading books with your child on a daily basis. Audible books are a great option too!
    5 Tips for Introducing Audio Books to Your Toddler or Preschooler
  • Cultivate Independence
    If you know that your child is capable of something, give them the space to do it for themselves. Let them manage their own shoes, or change clothes when possible. Create spaces in your house where your child can successfully access and put away their own belongings.
    Readiness for PK/K/1st grade
  • Read
    Enjoy reading books with your child on a daily basis. Audio books are a great option too!
    5 Tips for Introducing Audio Books to Your Toddler or Preschooler
  • Cultivate Independence
    Support your child with independence, allowing them to manage their own shoes or change clothes when possible. Create spaces in your house where your child can successfully access and put away their own belongings.
  • Play Simple Games Together
    Play cards, connect four, puzzles, pattern work, memory, guess who, I-spy, 20 questions, car bingo, and cooperative games.
    familypastimes.com
    coopboardgames.com
  • Encourage Your Child to Make Mistakes & Take Risks
    Emphasize that not knowing is the first step to learning. Let kids see you make mistakes.
  • Enjoy Time in Nature
    Explore the wonderful wild spaces in our valley, enjoy nature walks, bike rides, morning hikes, trips to the beach and time in your yard or neighborhood.
  • Real Work
    Children delight in real work. Include your child in cooking projects, sorting things, helping to set the table, washing dishes with warm soapy water, caring for a pet, working in your garden, washing windows, fixing something.
    Readiness for PK/K/1st grade
  • Read, Read, Read!
    Read to your child before bedtime, have books out and available, including early readers if they are ready. Repeat the same book that they love over and over until you and your child can recite it by heart. Then read it backwards, word by word! Listening to audio books can also be an enjoyable exposure to literature.
  • Play Letter & Number Games
    For example, ask your child to guess a letter that you draw on their back. Play Go-Fish with number cards and alphabet cards. Form letters with your bodies. Look for letters and numbers on signs or license plates, or search for shapes in nature, in the clouds, or anywhere you go!
  • Play with Sounds (Phonemic Awareness)
    Auditory games help children understand how language is made up of sounds and is an important pre-reading skill. You can play word games, “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with ____.” Have your child guess a word that you sound out slowly (“ssssssuuuuuunnnnnn”). Have a “Sound” scavenger hunt. Give children a bag and ask them to find as many things around the house that begin with a certain sound. Use your fingers to count the sounds they hear in words as you stretch them out: c-a-t = 1, 2, 3.
    Click here for more phonemic awareness games
  • Invite Your Child to Write
    Have blank journals and books available. Support them to sound out stories, grocery lists, recipes, and more. It’s important for children to be able to sound out words independently without worrying about “correct” spelling.
  • Math Is Everywhere if You Look For It!
    Patterning, counting, adding, subtracting, measuring, and sorting are all important concepts in math and can be practiced in daily activities such as setting the table, baking, cooking, building, and woodworking. Counting games, card games, and board games also allow your child to learn and practice these important math skills.
  • Cultivate Self-regulation & Self-care
    Help your children to help themselves. If you know that they are capable of something, give them the space to do it for themselves. Let them manage their own shoes and backpacks when possible. Create spaces in your house where your child can successfully access and put away their own belongings.
  • Foster the Ability to Be in a Group
    Being at school means that children are obliged to balance group needs with their own needs. At times they need to be able to move at someone else’s timetable, stay together with a group, listen to and follow instructions. You could practice moving through transitions such as leaving a store or a playdate at a certain time, or cleaning up all together after dinner.
  • Encourage Your Child to Make Mistakes & Take Risks
    Emphasize that not knowing is the first step to learning. Let kids see you make mistakes.
  • Family & Nature Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together! Readiness for PK/K/1st grade

Online Resources

Language Arts:

  • Download the Khan Academy Kids app. This is a free educational game that reviews PK-K language arts and math skills.
  • Readworks: Sign up for a free parent account so your child can access online digital passages to keep reading/listening over the summer:

Math (Khan Academy Math Review):

  • Read, Read, Read!
    Read by yourself, read to your teddy bear, read to your parents, read to your brothers and sisters.
  • Write, Write, Write!
    Write lists. Write letters to real people or to story characters. Write make-believe stories. Write secret messages. Write facts about your favorite animal and make a diagram with labels. Write descriptions of places or objects or even of your pet. Write about your hopes and dreams.
  • Sight Words
    Practice reading and writing sight words: Summer Sight Words
  • Summer Journal for Writing and Drawing Stories
    Keep a summer writing journal for trips, stories, poems, your feelings, etc.
  • Keep Adding to Your Nature Journal
  • Take nature walks and draw what you see. Copy animals and other natural images from books in your nature journal. Make sure each entry has numbers, words, pictures, and a date.
  • Talk about the books you are reading and share your writings with others. Remember that we writers and readers appreciate an audience!
  • Have regular family reading times.
  • Listen to audiobooks on car trips.
  • Look into student magazines like Ranger Rick, Cricket, Spiders, etc.
  • Practice counting coins, making change, telling time to hour and half hour (with an analog and digital clock).
  • Play number dice games (Snakes & Ladders, Sum Swamp, 4-Way, etc.).
  • Play number games with cards (Allowance, Monopoly, More (like War but flipping two cards to find the sum).
  • Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!

Online Resources

Language Arts:

  • Read Works: Sign up for a free parent account so your child can access online digital passages to keep reading/listening over the summer.
  • VC Library Online: https://www.vencolibrary.org/elibrary– Access the Ventura County Library eLibrary where you can download apps like Cloud Library to find free downloadable audiobooks and ebooks.The VC eLibrary page also provides links to numerous other free online  reading resources.

Math: 

Khan Academy Math Review

Family Math 

Elementary

Resources for Elementary Students, rising 3rd through 5th grade.

  • Read, Read, Read!
    Read by yourself, read to your stuffy, read to your parents, read to your siblings. Practice reading and writing your sight words.
  • Write, Write, Write!
    Write lists. Write letters to real people or to story characters. Write make- believe stories. Write secret messages. Write facts about your favorite animal and make a diagram with labels. Write descriptions of places or objects or even of your pet. Write about your hopes and dreams. Keep a summer writing journal for trips, stories, poems, nature observations, your feelings, etc.
  • Portable Word Wall
    Have your child use the provided portable word wall whenever they write (letter, in a journal, making a list, etc.)
  • Talk about the books you are reading and share your writings with others. Remember that we writers and readers appreciate an audience!
  • Have regular family reading times.
  • Listen to audio books.
  • Look into student magazines like Ranger Rick, Cricket, Spiders, etc.
  • Take nature walks. Record the sketches you draw and observations you make in a nature journal.
  • Practice counting coins, making change, telling time to hour and half hour (with an analog clock).
  • Play number dice games (Snakes & Ladders, etc.)
  • Play number games with cards (Allowance, Monopoly, More (like War but flipping two cards to find the sum)
  • Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Look at face clocks to continue learning time to the hour and half hour and in five-minute intervals.
  • Practice basic math facts (addition and subtraction to 20) in fun ways such as with playing cards and with dice.
  • Create opportunities to identify and count coins.
  • Play hangman (we call it, ‘put the baby to bed’ where you must guess the correct word or else the baby wakes up!) to sharpen your spelling skills. Have them think of a word while you guess and then switch roles.

Online Resources

Language Arts:

  • Read Works
    Sign up for a free parent account so your child can access online digital passages to keep reading/listening over the summer.
  • VC Library Online
    Access the Ventura County Library eLibrary where you can download apps like Cloud Library to find free downloadable audiobooks and ebooks.The VC eLibrary page also provides links to numerous other free online reading resources.

Math (Khan Academy Math Review):

  • Read, Read, Read!
    Daily reading fiction and nonfiction/discuss what you read with a family member. You may want to practice reading on Raz-Kids, your account will be accessible all summer (contact Serra, if you want to level up!).
  • Write, Write, Write!
    Weekly writing such as a story, report, letter, persuasive paragraph, poem, song, play, comic, journal entry, etc. Write a review of a restaurant, book, game, movie, etc. Practice typing on your school Typing Club account.
  • Math
    Practice with real life math problems such as measuring, money, time, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. Do your Math Box card activities. Play a card game with a regular deck of cards, players each lay a card down at the same time & multiply the #s using mental math, the 1st person to say the answer gets both cards. Khan Academy math practice online such as Get Ready for 4th Grade. Math activities from YouCubed or Struggly.
  • Create
    Freebuild with Legos, create a Junk Trunk project, design something, do an art project, etc.
  • Connect
    Stay connected with peers in person or by phone, video calls, writing letters, etc.
  • Family & Nature Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Organization
    When you buy classroom materials for fourth grade, have your child involved in the process, and familiar with the materials they bring in on the first day of school. Now is the time to think about your best working environment at home and set that space up with all the tools you need.
  • Read, Read, Read!
    Daily, with a few visits to the bookstore or local library (online or in person) to retain reading skills and a love of reading. Join a kids’ book club (some of you already have one). Keep a log of your reading to show next year’s teacher. You may want to practice reading on  Raz-Kids.  Your account will be accessible all summer (message me, Louise,  if you want to level up!)
  • Write, Write, Write!
    Keep a journal, write letters to friends and family, write stories, poems and songs. Become a pen pal with a cousin or friend who lives far away. Work in your cursive journal until it is complete. Keep practicing your keyboarding skills on Typing Club (https://oakgroveschool220.typingclub.com, class code: 8NXALN7). You’ll need to login using your OGS email domain and the same password (salamander etc.) you use to log into your iPads. This means logging in via Google.
  • Math
    Practice multiplication facts through the twelves. Practice telling time in context and as needed. Practice using money in real-life situations. The Khan Academy review listed below is very useful for keeping math skills sharp and introducing some new concepts found in 5th grade.

Go to Khan Academy for math review:

  • Organization
    Be involved when your classroom materials are being purchased for fifth grade, and get familiar with the materials you will bring in on the first day of school. Now is the time to think about your best working environment at home and set that space up with all the tools you need. A tidy and organized space is best set up before the school year begins.
  • Social Studies & Science
    Take some time to visit museums. One suggestion of a field trip: Santa Barbara Mission to see where Karana (The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island) is buried. Have your child try to identify primary and secondary sources during museum visits.  Another suggestion: Use the fourth grade junior ranger badge for free family admission to all national parks.  It’s valid through August of 2024.
  • Social Skills
    Have play dates with different OGS students over the summer, especially next year’s fifth graders, (kids your child doesn’t usually play with).
  • Joy
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!

Middle School

Resources for Middle School, rising 6th through 8th

  • Read, Read, Read! (Required Reading)
    We recommend students read 2-5 (or more) books over the summer. Please use this link to choose at least ONE of these chapter books to read and be ready to work on a Book Talk in class the first week of school (so the book needs to be read!)
  • Summer Bridge
    We would highly suggest a summer curriculum such as Summer Bridge to keep up with academic skills.
  • Summer Journal
    Keep a journal and record your summer experiences, write poetry, jot down life questions, reflect on what you are grateful for.
  • Learning Ally
    is available to any student over the summer who wishes to find books of interest and to access potentially higher text complexity. Each student has been sent home with their Learning Ally password and parents have been sent student passwords via Parent Square.
    Access Learning Ally here.
  • Excel and Fraction Packet
    Complete the packet of Excel math sheets. The kids are familiar with Excel. Parents, the kids are coming home with the answer sheets so that you can better support them in their learning. Additionally, the kids are coming home with a fraction packet that covers all the key fraction concepts required for a confidence and success filled entry to the middle school math curriculum.

    If your child is wanting more math practice, feel free to direct them to the Khan Academy unit, Get Ready for 6th Grade.
  • Create a Study Spot!
    Create a space in your house to work on home-school connections (your study spot! – this can be fun!)
  • Build a Tree House, a Fort, or Tend a Garden!
    Be in nature as much as possible as a means to develop your sensitivity and awareness of the world around you!
  • Typing Club
    Practice keyboarding on Typing Club
  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Read, Read, Read! (Required Reading)
    We recommend students read 2-5 books over the summer, and are required to read AT LEAST one novel by a non – American author, as our historical focus will be Medieval World History. You may read any novel written by a world author, but here is a Link to World Novels  with some suggestions but please use your own discretion when reviewing books! Please have completed your book and be ready to do a book talk on your novel when we return to school in the fall (the instructions for the talk will be given during our first week).
  • Summer Bridge
    We highly suggest a summer curriculum such as Summer Bridge 6-7th grade to keep up with academic skills.
  • Grammar Skills
    Students have a Quill.org account for grammar specific skills.
  • Math
    Khan Academy Math UNIT: Get Ready for 7th Grade or a review of 6th grade math concepts using a Summer Bridge Program.
  • Science
    Encourage your child’s curiosity and love for science this summer by spending time together observing nature, fostering hands-on learning and discovery in the great outdoors. In addition, review of
    Metric Units of Measurement and Converting Metric Units.
  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Read, Read, Read! (Required Reading)
    We recommend students read 2-5 books over the summer, and are required to read AT LEAST one novel by a non – American author, as our historical focus will be Medieval World History. Here is a Link to World Novels  with some suggestions but please use your own discretion when reviewing books! Please have completed your book and be ready to do a book talk on your novel when we return to school in the fall (the instructions for the talk will be given during our first week).
  • Summer Bridge
    We would highly suggest a summer curriculum such as Summer Bridge 7th-8th grade to keep up with academic skills.
  • Grammar Skills
    Students have a Quill.org account for grammar specific skills.
  • Math
    Khan Academy Math UNIT: Get Ready for 8th Grade or a review of 7th grade math concepts using a Summer Bridge Program.
  • Science
    Encourage your child’s curiosity and love for science this summer by spending time together observing nature, fostering hands-on learning and discovery in the great outdoors. In addition, review the
    Metric Units of Measurement and Converting Metric Units.
  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!

High School

Resources for High School, rising 9th through 12th

  • English: Read, Annotate, Write!
    Here is a list of the required summer reading and assignments. You are encouraged to read books of your own choice as well!  Go to bookstores and libraries; read books as a whole family; talk about books with one another and with friends; swap your favorite book with family and friends.
  • Math
    Use this link for specific Summer Math Review in preparation for high school.
  • History
    Explore current topics in history or listen to various podcasts. Here are some recommended resources. Look for topics in World History:

  • Science
    Read about current events related to science and technology or listen to Podcasts. Here are some suggested news sources, or download their associated apps!

  • Spanish
    Start getting your ear accustomed to the sounds of Spanish by listening to Spanish music and watching series and movies on Netflix and other stations in their original Spanish (with English subtitles).
  • Post OGS Planning –
    • If you are on vacation or visiting family and there happens to be a college or university nearby, take a casual visit. 
    • Think about activities that you like best. Are there some you enjoy more than others? Any new ones you would like to try?
  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Current Events
    Keep up with current events by reading the newspaper (online or on paper), listening to NPR, or using the news source of your choice.
  • English: Read, Annotate, Write! (Required Reading) Here is a list of the required summer reading and assignments. You are encouraged to read books of your own choice as well!  Go to bookstores and libraries; read books as a whole family; talk about books with one another and with friends; swap your favorite book with family and friends.
  • Spanish
    See and hear what you’ve learned come to life by watching movies and series in the original Spanish such as “The Taco Chronicles” or “Street Food Latin America,” or “Chupa” and “Where the Tracks End” on Netflix. Visit www.remezcla.com for news stories and current headlines related to Spanish speaking cultures.  Listen to the podcasts “Cuéntame,” “Spanish Unlimited,” or “Español Automático.” Listen to your favorite Spanish speaking musical artists and practice songs you’ve sung in class. Practice Quizlet sets from chapters 1 through 5.
  • Math Khan academy for math review (Algebra 1 concepts)
  • History
    Explore current topics in history or listen to various podcasts. Here are some recommended resources. Look for topics in World History.

  • Science
    Read about current events related to science and technology or listen to Podcasts. Here are some suggested news sources, or download their associated apps!

  • Post OGS Planning 
    • If you are on vacation or visiting family and there happens to be a college or university nearby, take a casual visit. 
    • Think about activities that you like best. Are there some you enjoy more than others? Any new ones you would like to try?
    • Keep an eye out for jobs that you are interested in. Explore career possibilities by asking your parents, friends and family what they do for a living.
    • Check out the Big Future website, which offers resources for students and parents considering college after high school.
  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Current Events
    Keep up with current events by reading the newspaper (online or on paper), listening to NPR, or using the news source of your choice.
  • English: Read, Annotate, Write! (Required Reading)
    Here is a list of the required summer reading and assignments. You are encouraged to read books of your own choice as well!  Go to bookstores and libraries; read books as a whole family; talk about books with one another and with friends; swap your favorite book with family and friends.
  • Spanish
    See and hear what you’ve learned come to life by watching movies and series in the original Spanish such as “The Taco Chronicles” or “Street Food Latin America,” or “Chupa” and “Where the Tracks End” on Netflix. Visit www.remezcla.com for news stories and current headlines related to Spanish speaking cultures.  Listen to the podcasts “Cuéntame,” “Spanish Unlimited,” or “Español Automático.” Listen to your favorite Spanish speaking musical artists and practice songs you’ve sung in class. Practice Quizlet sets from chapters 1-10.
  • Math
    Khan Academy for math review (Algebra 2 concepts)
  • History
    Explore current topics in history or listen to various podcasts. Here are some recommended resources. Look for topics in US History:

  • Science
    Read about current events related to science and technology or listen to Podcasts. Here are some suggested news sources, or download their associated apps!

  • Post OGS Planning 
    • Think about visiting colleges. The summer after 10th grade can be a great time for low-pressure visits to colleges and universities. Attend a College Fair such as Colleges That Change Lives in Los Angeles on July 28, 2024.
    • Explore careers. Think about what you enjoy. If any of your parents’ friends work in fields of interest to you, see if you can tag along with them over summer break. You’ll find videos and information galore at roadtripnation.com, including resources to connect your interests to dozens of careers.
    • Check out the Big Future website, which offers resources for students and parents considering college after high school.
    • If you are looking for summer activities: consider a pre-college summer program (a great way to sample college), teach yourself a new skill, complete an internship, get a summer job, earn a certification, go on an adventure, create an art portfolio, complete a passion project, engage in sports training, build something, volunteer for a non-profit, and have fun. 
    • The SAT and ACT exams are optional – should students prepare/study for and still take them? 
      • College entrance exam requirements have been changing. Many schools have gone test optional. The University of California and California State school systems have gone test blind. It is important to confirm test requirements at schools you are thinking about applying to.
      • When possible it does not hurt for students to take the SAT or ACT. If they do well they can submit their scores. Finding a way to stand out can still provide an advantage. For anyone with a lower GPA than their true ability, a strong test score shows them in a much better light. If they do not score well, they don’t have to show their scores.
      • Some scholarships are tied to standardized test scores, either formally or informally, so a high score can give you a leg up for both merit and need-based aid.
  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Current Events
    Keep up with current events by reading the newspaper (online or on paper), listening to NPR, or using the news source of your choice.
  • English: Read, Annotate, Write! (Required Reading) Here is a list of the required summer reading and assignments. You are encouraged to read books of your own choice as well! Go on family trips to bookstores and libraries; read books as a whole family; talk about books with one another and with friends; swap your favorite book with family and friends.
  • Math
    Khan Academy for math review (Precalculus concepts)
  • Post OGS Planning – Life After High School
    • Talk about life after high school. Explore options and possibilities by visiting colleges, universities, trade schools, workplaces and researching gap year programs, etc.
    • Make the most of your summer: consider a pre-college summer program (a great way to sample college), teach yourself a new skill, complete an internship, get a summer job, earn a certification, go on an adventure, create an art portfolio, complete a passion project, engage in sports training, build something, volunteer for a non-profit, and have fun.
    • Learn about majors. At bigfuture.collegeboard.org, you can explore possible careers, search hundreds of majors, learn about necessary high school preparation, and review a sample undergraduate curriculum. From there, you can surf to colleges and universities that offer the major.
  • College Applications:
    • Reference College Application Year Timeline Tips
    • The Common Application and University of California 2023-2024 applications open for applicants on August 1, 2024.  
    • Review the Common App Essay Prompts and UC Personal Insight Questions, and support your student in writing their essay drafts over the summer.
    • Consider providing your student with this college admission essentials guide.
    • Consider signing your student up for college essay/application workshops over the summer.
    • Encourage your student to explore different colleges that they might be interested in attending. Students can explore:
      • Majors & minors that different colleges offer
      • Application requirements for each college
      • Class sizes
      • Location (city vs. rural)
      • Study abroad opportunities
      • Language offerings
      • Graduation requirements
    • The SAT and ACT exams are optional – should students prepare/study for and still take them? 
      • College entrance exam requirements have been changing. Many schools have gone test optional. The University of California and California State school systems have gone test blind. It is important to confirm test requirements at schools you are thinking about applying to.
      • When possible it does not hurt for students to take the SAT or ACT. If they do well they can submit their scores. Finding a way to stand out can still provide an advantage. For anyone with a lower GPA than their true ability, a strong test score shows them in a much better light. If they do not score well, they don’t have to show their scores.
      • Some scholarships are tied to standardized test scores, either formally or informally, so a high score may possibly give you a leg up for both merit and need-based aid.
    • Start thinking about paying for college (and scholarshipping strategically). The College Essay Guy offers a free “tutorial” on his website. Net price calculators are available on a college or university’s website and allow prospective students/families to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.
  • Spanish
    See and hear what you’ve learned come to life by watching movies and series in the original Spanish such as “The Taco Chronicles” or “Street Food Latin America,” or “Chupa” and “Where the Tracks End” on Netflix. Visit www.remezcla.com for news stories and current headlines related to Spanish speaking cultures. Listen to the podcasts “Cuéntame,” “Spanish Unlimited,” “Español Automático,” or “Radio Ambulante.” Listen to your favorite Spanish speaking musical artists and practice songs you’ve sung in class. Practice Quizlet sets from chapters 1-12.
  • History:
    Explore current topics in history or listen to various podcasts. Here are some recommended resources. Look for topics about Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and India’s history.

  • Science
    Read about current events related to science and technology or listen to Podcasts. Here are some suggested news sources, or download their associated apps!

  • “Needs-Nothing” Time
    Schedule lots of “needs-nothing” time, with open space and no agenda. The summer is a time to connect as a family in a relaxed environment, enjoying being together!
  • Current Events
    Keep up with current events by reading the newspaper (online or on paper), listening to NPR, or using the news source of your choice.

Pastoral Care

  • What I am reading this summer:
  • Dinner Table Talk: Connecting
    Eating dinner can be one of the most bonding times for a family, especially when you’re 
    involved in conversation. However, this can be difficult sometimes so here are some starters to get it flowing and to connect with one another.
  • Claim Growth and Development
    Let yourself exhale, individually and as a family. Acknowledge, in specifics, some of the ways that you really showed up for yourself and those you love this year. Take a moment to reflect and share something that you’re proud of yourself for. Life is filled with moments of stretch, and we so often pay more attention to the discomfort when we are within the moment, rather than remembering to pause and acknowledge the process that we’ve been through. Celebrate yourself and those around you.
  • Journal Writing (remember you can express your thoughts and feelings in several ways such as writing, doodling, drawing, scrapbooking…):Process and Release Feelings:
  • Process and Release Feelings
    Take time individually and as a family to process feelings from the past year. The key components of releasing pent up emotion are naming experiences or feelings, and then releasing them in some intentional way. Reflect on struggles and accomplishments and try to be explicit. Share if comfortable, and/or have a bonfire to release reflections. Reflecting on growth and effort can help boost feelings of self esteem, self compassion, connectedness, and more. Let those emotions or experiences dissolve from your body and mind.  
  • Daily gratitude: this practice offers a simple way to recognize and celebrate what we are grateful for on a regular basis by reflecting on what you’re thankful for. Writing these things out can be surprising in appreciating the abundance in our lives. Starting or ending your day with gratitude helps to take control of your mind and to focus on the good and helps counterbalance our negativity bias. 
  • First Ten Minutes: How do I want to start my day? The importance of connecting to myself FIRST
  • Art: Creativity
    “Art gives us meaning and helps us understand our world. Art appreciation improves our quality of life and makes us feel good. When we create art, we elevate our mood, we improve our ability to problem solve, and open our minds to new ideas.” – Samantha Kamplan

  • Goal Setting: Define a goal for the summer, individually and as a family
    Think of something that you want to grow for yourself over the summer. Maybe it’s an explicit goal of learning a new game or building a new hobby, or maybe it’s creating a mantra for internal peace or ease. This can be a great way to connect as a family and settle into the summer plan. Depending on what your goal is, you can micro-step your way there. Micro-stepping is choosing small, easily accomplished size steps to achieving something. Modeling this process of goal setting, self reflection, and self compassion is so powerful for our young people. Letting them hear and see us in action as grown ups sense the strongest possible message.
  • How is my “Self Care”? A Test and Reflection (PDF)
  • Digital Detox (PDF)
    Reflection & Challenge Why it’s Hard, Setting Goals & How to Follow Through Media Usage Ideas for Children
  • First Ten Minutes (PDF)
    How do I want to start my day? The importance of connecting to myself FIRST
  • Gratitude Workouts 
    • Gratitude Workout (PDF)
    • Take a walk, noticing all that is around you
    • How is my “Self Care”? A Test and Reflection
    • Digital Detox Reflection & Challenge : Why it’s Hard, Setting Goals & How to Follow Through. Media Usage Ideas for Children
    • 10 Minute Mood-Boosters
      • Take a walk, noticing all that is around you
      • Conscious act of kindness for a stranger
      • Do something for a friend
      • Write a quick message or send a video to a loved one
      • Mindfulness exercise (Apps that are great: Headspace, Calm, Smiling Mind)
      • Toe to head stretches, sending love to tense areas
      • Jump and shake it out
      • Dance and sing (like no one is watching!)
  • Enjoy time to yourself, time with others and time in nature!

Parent Ed 

Books we recommend

Download the PDF

  • Good Inside, by Dr. Becky Kennedy
  • Talk To Me First, by Deborah Roffman
  • The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
  • Brainstorm: The Power and the Purpose of the Teenage Brain, by Daniel J. Siegel
  • The Self Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, by Ned Johnson and William Stixrud, PhD
  • How to Raise an Adult, by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, by Jessica Lahey
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  • No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
  • The Blessing of a B Minus, by Wendy Mogel
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth
  • The Emotional Lives of Teenagers, by Lisa Damour
  • How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years, by Julie Ross
  • Hidden Potential, by Adam Grant

Podcasts

Online Media Making Us Think: Articles, Videos and Interviews