All parents fear the summer slide!  This is when our kids have too much fun over the summer and they forget everything they learned in school.  Ok it’s not everything but it does happen to a lot of our kiddos. We all know the brain is a muscle and it needs to be stimulated at all times to keep it fresh.  It’s so important we keep our kids brains active during the summer months.  We don’t want them going back to school and having to learn how to learn all over again! Avoid-the-Summer-Slide-683x1024 Here are some ways to avoid the summer slide.. – Read for 30 minutes each night – Practice handwriting! – Solve a math problem every day! Sounds easy enough right?   Unfortunately we all know it’s not that easy to sit our kids down and ask them to do school work over the summer.  So why not make it fun and educational! My son Cameron just finished kindergarten and is on his way to first grade.  This will be a big transition year and I don’t want him to be behind.  I decided I may not be able to do get him ready for first grade all by myself so I started looking for help. k5 home page screenshot I came across K5 Learning, an online reading and math program.  This program is specifically designed for kids kindergarten through 5th grades.   I really like that the program was created by other parents who wanted their kids to be serious about learning and not just play games. Here are some other benefits: – Free online assessment of child’s math and reading skills – 4 reading and math programs – Over 3,000 online personalized activities – Students work at their own pace – Online reports are available for parents to read – Access to the site 24/7  and you don’t have to download anything – Free Worksheets for all grade levels The free worksheets are for all grade levels.  You can print out worksheets that include handwriting practice, math problems and more.  Check out all of the worksheets here! We decided to start with the free 14-day trial.  Cameron was just starting to do math so we started there.  We actually started with Math Facts.  Your kids not only get math problems to do but the math rule is explained for each problem.  So if you are starting with addition, you will start with zero.  It explains why the number does not change when you add anything to zero.  After the lesson, you do a number of exercises.  It walks you through problem after problem until you get all of them correct.  There is also a time clock on the exercise so it knows how fast you answer each question. There are some other fun elements to this program that is designed just for kids.  It gives them a daily riddle, allows them to create a cartoon image of themselves that appears in all of the problems and it gives them a break from routine problems with a time-out game that includes questions/answers. My son loves this program.  In fact, while writing this he came up to me an asked if we could do more of those math problems.  That is music to any parent’s ears!  I really believe doing this during the summer will help Cameron when he starts 1st grade. K5-B1-girl - 400x232 (1) If you want to test this out, here’s your chance.  K5 Learning offers a FREE 14-day trial period.  After that it’s only $25 a month or $199 a year.  And if you have more than one child, you get a substantial discount for siblings. You should try it — your kids will thank you…someday!

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