Well, since I have an almost-3-year-old, I feel it's most important to just learn the basics: letters, numbers, and shapes. When my oldest daughter was 3, I used to have time to purposefully teach all this through the year, but now that I have two, it's just not that easy, so we cram over the summer.
So, I decided to go the flash card route just to get some baseline data. I created flash cards for all the letters (upper and lowercase), number (through 20), and shapes.
I went through all the flashcards. It took me several times to get this data because I have one silly and squirrely 2-year-old! But, we did it, and when we were finished, I hung my head really low when I discovered that my child knows about none of her lowercase letters and not even all of her capital letters. I also noticed that there are some shapes that are just not developmentally appropriate for my daughter (like octagon and hexagon, because they look too similar, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't understand when I say, "Let's count the sides").
I collected the data on this simple little chart to see where she began, and we will continue to do this each week throughout the summer.
I do not plan on drilling and killing this stuff all summer. We'll do some cute activities, draw some letters and numbers in shaving cream, do some puzzles, play some games, and as always, we will make meaningful discussions of our everyday activities. But, I will use these data collection sheets all summer to see where we end up. If you have littles and want to use them, click here.
Hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing summer!