Summer Fit

I know you didn’t think I was about to write about exercising, for crying out loud. :-)

Here’s my big *whomp whomp* of the summer… I’m making the boys do a little daily school work using these Summer Fit books I picked up right before school let out for the year. 

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I am far from expert on the new curriculum rolled out in Georgia elementary schools this past year (and I certainly don’t want to start a debate on that), but these books are fantastic!!  Academic exercises are based on Common Core standards for math, reading, writing, language arts and science.  There are fitness exercises and character building lessons to boot.  And it’s all set up to last for the ten weeks of summer. 

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Lest you think this is cruel and unusual punishment, let me assure you that THEY LOVE IT!  There have been a few days that they had to remind me to pull out their workbooks.  (Who put a pen in the baby’s pencil box???)

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We also picked up the summer reading booklets from our local library and have finally found another good  series for John – The Bailey School Kids (prior to this he really only like Magic Tree House books).  I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see him doing this (especially when there is Pac Man and a tv in the adjacent room)…

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If you have any favorite reads for second grade boys, send them my way!  He’s a strong reader – we just have trouble finding books he wants to read.

Happy summer, y’all!

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30 thoughts on “Summer Fit

  1. My girls actually loved workbooks during the summer months. I think it is a great idea to give them a little structure over the summer months. And, you can't go wrong with reading. I can't remember the appropriate age, but the Boxcar Children was always a series I remember along with the two you mentioned. Might be a bit older however.

  2. We did the Summer Fit books last year. Belle enjoyed them, but they were a little easy so we went a up a grade level. I just had her do 2 sheets everyday. This year we are focusing on phonics & math drills using A Beka books.

  3. I've taught second grade for five years, and my boys LOVED Dragon Slayer's Academy. It's a great introduction to the fantasy genre. It ranges from 2-4 grade reading levels, but it's a fun series!

  4. Have you tried Junie B. Jones, Geronimo Stilton, Diary of a Wimpy Kid? All were big hits here. But his FAVE series at that year was Ballpark Mysteries.

  5. My son loved the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. I enjoined them too, so mostly they were read out loud in the evening as family time.

  6. I think what you're doing is wonderful! It's so important to instill a love for reading in your kids. :) When my boys were younger, they loved the "A-Z Mystery" books by Ron Roy, The "Choose Your Own Adventure" books by R.A. Montgomery, and the "Shadow Children" books by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The oldest is in college now and still loves to read. :)I think the key is finding something they WANT to read.

  7. How about the A to Z Mystery series by Rob Roy? I know I have a few lists pinned on my Pin board titled kids books too.
    Hope that helps! Anything to help keep them interested in reading.

  8. Those workbooks look great. We tried a different set last year – I think they were called Summer Bridge or something like that. My kids were pretty good about working on them but lost interest maybe half way through. I should have pushed them a little more. Maybe I will try these this summer. I like the way they combine fitness with the academics. That might keep them interested! We still have a couple weeks left of school in NJ. Keep us posted how the boys like them!

  9. You're lucky that he enjoys reading! My grandsons, who just finished 3rd grade, enjoyed reading these chapter books in 2nd grade: Boxcar Children, June B Jones, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid..

  10. As a teacher, I say, "Yay for you Mom!" I enjoy seeing children who have the love of learning! I pray that desire stays with them throughout all their school years!

  11. That is funny! Did you look away for a second?! It's good that they started the new curriculum while he was just in first grade and not eighth grade like my daughter :(

  12. Amanda, had John tried the Humphrey the Hamster books by Betty G. Birney. The books are written from the point of view of a class's pet hamster. I teach school and the boys in my class think Humphrey is funny. BTW, I really enjoy reading your blog!

  13. Amanda, had John tried the Humphrey the Hamster books by Betty G. Birney. The books are written from the point of view of a class's pet hamster. I teach school and the boys in my class think Humphrey is funny. BTW, I really enjoy reading your blog!

  14. He may be ready for the Diary of a Wimpy kid series. Aubrey loved those! He'll prob be ready to start Harry Potter by next summer!!

  15. My son is a rising 3rd grader in Rockdale County. Same issue with reading- love sit hard finding books he wants to read. He is a little afraid of too dark settings(no Bunnicula,Harry Potter genre). Here are some of his favorite series:
    -Toys Go Out Series by Emily Jenkins(your younger son would love it as a read aloud)
    -Time Warp Trio Series by Jon Scieszka
    -Weird School,Weirder School& Weird School Daze by Dan Gutman(not deep books, but 2nd grade humor
    -Humphrey Series by Betty Birney
    -The Prince of the Pond Series(based on Frog Prince but lots of frog facts)by Donna Jo Napoli-my son begged to own this series
    -The Littles series by John Peterson
    -Anything by Roald Dahl(except The Witches)so far Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Twits, James and the Giant Peach,The Magic Finger, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
    -a little sad but a great one by Kate DiCamillo is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    -have to share The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth (he read it last summer)

  16. -Time Warp Trio series
    -The Littles series
    -Andrew Lost series
    -Roald Dahl books
    -The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
    -Emily Jenkins Toys Go Out Series & The Invisible Inkling Series

  17. It is a great idea that you are having your sons do this. It will definitely give them a leg up on the new school year!

  18. Enjoying reading is vital I think. It can lead to a lifetime of joy, an enhanced vocabulary and all sorts of varied interests.

    Glad they like it!


  19. I promise not to get started on the Common Core debate either; just rolled out here in TN as well. As an educator I can tell you that your babies teachers will love you for keeping them CC ready. Other great series for boys at this age include, Zach Files & A-Z Mysteries. Have a great summer!

  20. Harry Potter series, Encyclopedia Brown, Hardy Boys, I know it sounds strange but the Little House series, anything Roald Dahl, Hatchet (I think there are several about the same boy), Holes, The Mysterious Benedict Society (this may be a little old for him), How to Eat Fried Worms, Mr Popper's Penguins, The Boxcar Children, the Ramona books, anything by Beverly Cleary, Cricket in Times Square, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Hope he finds more that he loves! Read, read, read! ;)

  21. Have you looked at Flat Stanley? It is a series, and my child that is the same age as yours LOVES the series. He also likes to read biographies of sports heroes, and I have found a good many written for his level. They (All 3 of my littles) also like for me to read the Little House series to them, and we also read biographies together of famous Americans.

    We homeschool, so after 3 weeks off we will be back at it. I find it SO much easier just to go year round, then we get to take a day off here and there when we want to. (It doen`t take that long to do, and I keep them from "loosing" anything.) We just do Math, Spelling, and Reading during summer.

    I LOVE reading your blog, I have boys about the same age…. with an older daughter thrown in the mix. I LOVE being home, and it looks like you do, too!!! (I am also a fellow Southern Belle… I am a "Sandlapper," and so proud to be. )


  22. The Horrible Harry book series are great books for boys or girls. Children who like the Bailey School kids books usually like the Horrible Harry books. The Junie B.Jones books are about a girl but boys usually like them too because they are funny. Oh, and The Pee Wee Scout books are great for boys. (I taught third grade for many, many years.)

  23. Awesome idea! In 2nd grade I loved the Ralph S. Mouse & The Mouse & the Motorcycle books. I don't know if 2nd graders these days would like, but they were a class favorite then!!!

  24. Magic Tree House was a hit for both my boys (now going into 6th and 3rd).

    Encyclopedia Brown is still a favorite and is actually fun for the adults too! Also good are any of the Ralph S. Mouse (Beverly Cleary) and Fudge (Judy Blume) books. (Fudge is pretty funny.)

    I have to admit though, that Captain Underpants is my upcoming 3rd grader's favorite though. It's written in comic book style and is complete and total lunchroom/potty humor for that age. Sigh. My husband reads that one with him…

  25. Ugg Common Core, we started that curriculum too, not a fan.

    I have a son whos a year old and a strong reader, but struggled with finding books that interest him. For him anything about sports, science or history is a hit as he's not into fantasy which seems to be a big theme for boys.

    In second grade he read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, some Beverly Cleary, the I survived books, mouse and the motorcycle, flat Stanley and a-z mysteries.

    Last summer he loved Dan Gutman's books, baseball card adventures and the million dollar series; also anything by Mike Lupica. The who was series, about sports stars, historical and modern day heros. He gets a subscription to Sports Illustrated Kids and has gotten some great fiction books by SI Kids and ESPN.

  26. Great minds think alike! I bought the same series for my upcoming 2 and 3rd graders!! (HOW did that happen?!?)

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