I've seen statistics about how much knowledge kids "lose" over the summer. The premise is that once kids are out of school for the summer, if they don't keep up with academic activity, their brains basically rot and the material that they learned during the previous school year seeps out at an alarming rate. I believe it....Big Boy seems to forget everything (including how to add!) immediately after the last day of school.
I decided to avoid brain rot this summer - I planned to have the boys do a little bit of "homework" every day. We followed through with this plan! About 6 days a week, the boys worked on workbooks. Little Boy worked on printing his letters and math while Big Boy worked on his times tables and advanced addition and subtraction. Then Little Boy read a couple of BOB books every day (more on his reading later). Big Boy practiced his musical instrument. Big Boy loves to read so he continued to read for fun.
At first the boys thought the workbooks were fun. They eagerly sat down the first couple of days and worked through the pages. Then, they got annoyed when they figured out their friends didn't have to do workbooks. We continued to do the workbooks so they got over being annoyed. After a while they challenged themselves to do better work (get a better score, etc.) than the day before.
The entire homework routine took about 20 minutes a day. This was not a huge time commitment and I think the boys benefitted - from practicing their school curriculum, and also from learning to sit down do some work each day without procrastinating.
In addition to our home studies, Big Boy also participated in the ACE Learning programme at his tennis lessons. During this programme the kids worked on language arts, math, and logic problems. He had a lot of fun at these classes.
While the older boys were working away, Baby Boy would colour or make pictures with his stamps. Sometimes he just played, but he usually wanted to sit and work with his brothers.
Here is a picture of the workbooks that Big Boy and Little Boy completed this summer. There are also some partially completed books - I didn't include those.
As you can see, I prefer Kumon books. Kumon books are well organized and the material is set out in a clear and interesting manner. I'm sure there are other great workbooks, but the Kumon books I've purchased have been consistently excellent.