May 24, 2012

School Sticks for Summer Fun!

Guest blog post by Adrianne Meldrum of The Tutor House

The end of the school year is fast approaching.  You and your students are plain worn out on school.  Even though this may be the case, it's still important for your students to keep studying over the summer.  We don't want them to forget that valuable information you worked so hard to get in their brains!

Sometimes parents ask suggestions from you about what they can do over the summer. I am sure many of you have a list of things you tell parents. Maybe you just tell them to get a summer work book, get some flash cards, etc.

As a parent, I've looked at those options for keeping their skills sharp over the summmer.  Honestly though, they are just plain boring and unrewarding to work on during the summer. I've spent some time pondering on what I am going to do this summer to help my children retain their skills.

Chore Sticks
Recently, we added a new item to our house called Chore Sticks. They have saved the day around here!  My kids have taken more responsibility and our house is much calmer. How can I make Chore Sticks work in a similar way for my children to get school like work done as well?

I visited Whatever DeeDee Wants to remind myself how her version of Chore Sticks works. After a little thought and planning, I jumped into making two weeks worth of School Sticks. The results are so fun and easy to implement. Parents can get involved, or if they are working, most tasks can be completed by the child at home.

School Sticks
I came up with three areas for these School Sticks:  Reading, Writing, and Math. The math I made sure to align with the Common Core Standards. For this first set of School Sticks, I geared them towards grades 3-6. There is a bit of assembly involved. You'll need jumbo craft sticks, Mod Podge, scissors, a paper cutter, and a color printer. Basically, you print out the School Sticks, cut out, and Mod Podge them onto the sticks. Click this link to download the free School Sticks shown on the right.

Implementing School Sticks
A general rule for using School Sticks is to assign the child to read 30 minutes a day and do 2-3 sticks a day for 5 days a week. By using these sticks, children will have an opportunity to work on their math using items around the house like playing cards. When they draw a writing stick, they may get to write a list, directions, or make a cover for a book (just to name a few). The reading sticks are just as helpful! They'll practice a little bit of phonics, silly read aloud prompts, and grammar.

Where to Get These Materials
You can download two weeks of School Sticks for free right now!  Also, I've put together an entire page on my blog just about Summer Helps. This page has videos and links to other great resources. I made a flyer that you can attach to an email and send out to parents and or that you can just print and hand out on the last day.

Keeping a child's skills sharp will be fun and easy with these School Sticks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Adrianne Meldrum currently tutors struggling readers and middle school math students.  She is the author of, a blog about tips and mini-lessons for tutors.  She is the the mother of three handsome boys and the wife of a civil engineer.


  1. Thanks for having me Laura!

  2. These will be great for a student that I'm going to tutor this summer!


    Will Grade For Coffee

  3. Glad to hear you like them Laura! I would love to hear how it goes using them for tutoring. Best of Luck to You!

  4. This is an awesome idea! I'm pretty sure I can manipulate them in my Science classes! Thanks :)

  5. I would love for you to add this to my Stop Summer Sliding Linky Party. Please stop by my blog and check it out.

  6. Thank you for the great idea. I made mine this weekend, I will use it with my own children this summer. I am planning on suggesting these to the parents of my students at PTC.

  7. This was such a helpful idea for my kiddos this summer. Thank you!


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