Mercedes completed 1st grade last spring. To keep her brain fresh over the summer, we have been checking out Level 1 readers from the library for her to read to me each day. Sometimes she flies through a whole book in one sitting, other times she just reads a few pages a day and the book takes us a week to complete, depending on the difficulty level. Even though they are all Level 1, some are super easy with a single short sentence on each page, simple words that repeat and rhyme, and some are very challenging with full paragraphs of difficult words on each page. I try not to push Mercedes to the point of frustration. I encourage her to read as much as she can handle but not so much that she gets discouraged. We usually end up reading about 15-20 minutes a day. Her favorites are Splat the Cat books and My Little Pony books.
After she reads to me, I reward her by reading a few books of her choice. Ben has started reading the girls chapter books in the evenings before bed, too. Their favorite books of the summer are from the Magic Tree House series.
The other subject that doesn't get a summer break is Bible. Ben does Bible with the girls after dinner every night. He chooses a Bible story from one of our 4 Bible story books (Biblically accurate Bible stories told at a level a child can understand). He uses "My Good Night Bible by Bean Sprouts, Big Ideas in the Bible by Charles R. Swindoll, The Children's Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor and Egermeier's Bible Story Book by Elsie E.Egermeier, revised by Arlene S. Hall. He reads a devotional every night out of The One Year's My Princess Devotions, the preschool addition by Karen Whitings,and helps the girls memorize one Bible verse a week from the book I Can Learn the Bible (52 scriptures every kid should know) by Holly Hawkins Shivers. Whenever there are Bible verses to look up in any of these books, Ben uses Mercedes' NIV version Precious Princess Bible by Zonderkidz.
We have also been spending lots of time this summer playing outside, coloring (we are really getting into adult coloring pages lately), painting and doing other crafts, and playing games. The girls' current favorites are Slamwich and Ruckus. We have a pool pass so more often than not we go to the public swimming pool at night when Ben gets off work, and in the afternoons on his days off. The girls are both taking a gymnastics class this summer and love to practice their tricks and make up dance routines every day. This summer is a beautiful balance between physical activities, unstructured play time, arts and crafts and school review.