Summer of Excellence

Young African American boy swimming with googles.
NOTE: We will be updating the resources on the site for the next several weeks, so check back from time to time for additional resources.

Summer of Excellence
While summer should be for relaxing and having fun, the best students aren't spending all summer sleeping in, hanging out with friends, playing video games or binge-watching their favorite shows. For the best students--just like the best athletes--summer is a time to stay in shape (or get even stronger and faster!).

Students should spend part of their summer mastering* everything they didn't master during the year (or previous years), getting ahead, or digging deep into an academic area they really enjoyed during the year, but didn't have much time for. (NOTE: Students going into 3rd, 5th or 8th grade should focus most of their time on math.)

Here's a rough guide for how many hours students should spend this summer on learning something:

Kindergarten: 1-2 1st Grade: 2-3 2nd Grade: 3-4 3rd Grade: 4-5
4th Grade: 4-5 5th Grade: 4-5 6th Grade: 5-6 7th Grade: 6-7 
8th Grade: 7-8
9th Grade: 9-10  10th Grade: 10+  11th Grade: 10+
12th Grade: 10+
(NOTE: Students going into grades K-10 should focus mostly on academics; students going into grades 11-12 may focus mostly on career-related learning if they have demonstrated they are on track to being college and career ready.)

Below are a variety of free online resources students can use:

Reading:  Beginning Readers 
Footsteps2Brilliance Early reading development. PreK-3
Khan Academy Kids App to promote reading PreK-5
Reading Rockets Phases of reading development, with topics A-Z and videos. PreK-5
Read, Think, Write Supporting literacy development.  PreK-5
Supporting literacy development.  PreK-5
Children's Book Review Finding the most highly-recommended books, by age level. PreK-5
Lexile Finding books by reading level. PreK-5
Accelerated Reader Finding books by reading level. PreK-12
PBS Kids Reading and literacy games and development. PreK-5
PBS Kids Reading Lion Archive Learning videos. PreK-5
Starfall Interactive reading development and alphabet. PreK-5
Reading Bear Vocabulary and phonics PreK-5
Reading: Advanced Readers
Students who can read independently should read from a wide variety of materials, both fiction and non-fiction (including science, art, history, biography and autobiography).
Khan Academy Grammar Providing a solid foundation in basic grammatical concepts. PreK-8
Khan Academy SAT Grammar Preparing students for PSAT/SAT grammar and language usage questions. 6-12
Khan Academy Math Any level of math, from addition to AP Calculus. PreK-12+

*How can you tell if your child has mastered something? They will miss few or no questions, make few or no mistakes, and produce a high-quality product almost every time. Mastery takes a lot of work, but also produces a lot of pride and satisfaction.

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