Happy Fourth!

Ok… it’s the 4th of July – why am I blogging???? Well, to wish you all a Happy Holiday, of course! Don’t you just love this holiday? A day to remember what a wonderful country we have, and how it has been blessed through the years to allow many people freedoms they otherwise wouldn’t have had. Yes, what do we want with second grade science curriculum on a day like today? Nothing, that’s for sure… so let’s celebrate and enjoy this holiday that honors the freedoms that we have!!

Sneaking it in…summer learning that is!

Sure, we’ve talked about summer learning before… I think we all agree that our kiddos need to be challenged with some learning opportunities during the summer. Yet, the problem that still exists is how can we accomplish this without making the summer a time of war? My answer is simply… let’s be sneaky!

With six children I’ve often found it’s easier to go in the “back door” than to confront an issue head on. So, with my children I will encourage them to do something with a motive that I KNOW they will find interesting. For example, I might really want them to brush up on their reading vocabulary or use summer learning to catch up on difficult subjects yet, if I go in guns blazing they will groan and moan and definitely not want anything to do with learning. I have to be sneaky!

What I usually do is find the most interesting (translates – most entertaining) method of learning that I can find to motivate them to learn during the summer. Seriously, we are competing with the swimming pool, bicycles, and sports… it’s definitely got to be entertaining! When I do that I can get them to complete a few lessons each day with minimal effort. In my mind, this fulfills the daily mental challenge!

We’ve done similar to this plan every summer for the past two years. It has seemed to work well, and the kids are jumping right back in when we go full time in the fall. So, what do you do at your house to “sneak” in summer learning?

Keeping them Fresh…

Yes, we are one of those homeschool families that takes a summer break. I guess the “teacher” in me hasn’t been completely bred out… I still like to have a lazy summer in which my mind can recuperate and regroup for the fall. Yet, as we have done this over the years, I have noticed that over the weeks of doing “nothing” with their brains, my children do lose or forget a good bit of what they learned the year before. In the past few years, we have tried to come up with ways to combat this… and still be able to have a restful summer. Here is what we have come up with over the past few years…

1) Continue to use a light and “fun” curriculum to keep them thinking. We use Time4Learning.com… it is very fun!

2) Have a few summer projects to do together to keep the creative juices flowing…

3) We use several other online educational sites… our favorite for spelling is Spelling City. We can play hangman and other fun educational games with specific lists of my choosing.

4) Visit places that have educational significance while you have plenty of free time….