3 Things You Can’t Miss This Summer

3 Things You Can't Miss this Summer!For a long time summer learning was associated with punishment. Those who didn’t do well in school had to attend. But, today the education community at large is realizing that summer learning is far from a punishment but more of a necessity.

Research over the past 100 years proves the fact that summer slide exists and typically takes approximately 2 months of math skills and for lower income students 2 months of reading skills from their overall achievement. This in turn causes the teacher or parent to do a review every fall.  What if we changed that up and did something to keep from sliding at all?

What if I told you it only took about 30 minutes a day 5 days a week to keep away that “summer slide?” It’s true, that’s all it takes…and finding a few no cost ways to do it is like icing on the cake!

  1. Read.Read. READ. Most research suggests 6 books read during the summer will keep a struggling reader from falling behind. Remember not too hard and not too easy.
  2. Read ever day. Do something at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  3. Review what your student is reading each day to help them process and understand.

Sometimes, our kiddos need a little more than reading to maintain or catch up to where they need to be. We’ve found that summer is a great time to give specific attention to bridge gaps that have been widening during the course of the year. Whether you’ve been struggling with kindergarten math or need some help with standardized test practice for 8th grade or just a general drill and practice summer’s a great time to take care of it!

Highschool Homeschooling Summer Courses

highschool homeschoolIn our last post we talked about summer learning. Yes, we are joining the ranks of those that homeschool all year round. As a former teacher, there is something in me that just “balks” at that idea. My mind, my body, and my soul need the summer break!!!!!!  Uh – hem… excuse that…

Anywayssss… it looks like we will be doing Summer School – Lite Edition. As I mentioned before each of the younger kiddos need a few specific areas worked on, and our highschool daughter has a few areas that we neglected this year.

We have tried to incorporate “dual enrollment” with our highschoolers, and have begun this as well with our oldest daughter. They are doing dual enrollment with a local Bible College that I work with. By the time she graduates, she will have an Associate of Arts degree in Bible. This doesn’t really assist her with credits or course load when she enrolls in university, however, it does prepare her for how college courses are given and what is expected and required. We are a dedicated Christian family, and since our daughters are attending state institutions, we want to make sure that they are rooted and grounded in their faith. During these highschool dual enrollment courses, it is a great time for them to take inventory of what they really believe, study it out, and take a stand for it.

Dual Enrollment also acts as a “Wow” factor with the university and – as with her sister- they eagerly grant acceptance into their program. Of course, in this Associate’s degree there are other courses besides Bible that are required  including such things as a world history highschool course, Biology, Physical Science, English Comp., and Speech. Though she takes the course from the college, it actually counts as her requirements on her highschool transcript. Ahhh… the beauty of dual enrollment!

Have you used dual enrollment with any of your homeschool students?

Summer School Painlessly

online learningDo you dread making your children do anything during the summer? I do… I know they work very hard during the school year, and I like to let them have some carefree summer days full of play. Yet, on the other hand… I know that they need to be challenging their brain to keep from losing all the wonderful things that they learned last year.

So, this poses a problem. I know they need to do some summer homeschool, yet I also want them to enjoy time playing. Over the past few years I’ve found that if I set up their laptop’s browser bar with bookmarks for sites that I want them to visit each week – I can remind them to go do it… without having to watch over their shoulders. They can  accomplish this task painlessly and all while having fun. You see, I try to choose sites that really incorporate alot of fun into their learning. A few of our favorite online summer school sites include:

Geography Games

Math games

Spelling Games

Online Flashcards

Busy… Busy… Busy…

Wow… I really can’t believe just how busy our summer has been. I was hoping for a laid back  – lots of rest – summer.  It seems we’ve been rushing about with All Stars Baseball and visiting family out of state that we haven’t had a whole lot of time to just rest and refocus. Yet, today has been a start. I was able to delete most of my 1600 plus emails and get the kids back on some of their online summer work. Which for all the fun online sites and and games that I put into their accounts really didn’t motivate them to “jump on” it today.  They did rather drudgingly get going and eventually starting warming up to it.  However, we did sit down and look at some online games that we could apply to the states that we visited in the past few weeks. US state games is an awesome way to incorporate some facts into your experiences this summer.

The next few weeks look a bit more promising… maybe I’ll still be able to have that “laid back” summer after all.