Summer is a great time for Learning!

summer homeschoolI know, most everyone looks at summer as time for a break. I know I sure do. However, at our house though we don’t do our regular workbooks and textbooks during the summer, we do incorporate some learning into our schedule. We have found the summer to be a great time for reading and catching up on those pesky subjects that just seemed to stump us during the winter.

We love to go to our local library and look up books on subjects that interested us during the year. The library has so much to offer! We also enjoy using various websites to help us catch up in areas that were troublesome. There are many great programs to choose from, but one of our favorites is Vocabulary and Spelling City. They have a great online summer program that really targets fluency and other aspects of reading.  I usually find several great online educational sites that target my children’s specific weak areas, and then put them in the favorites on our browser bar. In this way,  my children can freely choose between them when they get a chance to sit down at the computer.

This would work for any type of homeschooling family from unschoolers to military homeschoolers. I have found that this really comes in handy when we have a rainy day or when boredom strikes! Always have something fun and educational for your kids to do, and you’ll find that it keeps their brains active and they forget alot less of what they learned.

What do you do in the summer to challenge your children?

Worried about Losing it?

I think that is the biggest concern of most homeschooling parents… if I don’t school in the summer will my child lose what we have learned?

I have to agree it is a viable concern. Research has clearly shown that it is a fact. Without daily practice the skills that we have sharpened and honed in our children all year are left to get dull and dusty from disuse. This is a mjor reason why many homeschooling families just homeschool all year long. This keeps the kids on top of the skills that they have studied and worked so hard to gain.

But what about those that just don’t like doing school during the summer… (I have to raise my hands here!) I enjoy having a few months to rest, relax, and not stress about making my kids toe the line. So, how do I accomodate my needs while still keeping my kids sharp? Well, the best way I have found to do this is to use an online curriculum to give them a daily challenge. This summer we are using Time4Learning as well as an online  homeschool spelling curriculum. This curriculum is free, and has many types of lists about various subject matter, that we use to review what they have learned over the course of the year. I typically set a time like an hour each day, and they are required to work on either online curriculum during this hour.  I don’t have to keep track of our goals and objectives, nor do I have to record grades or keep up with paperwork. I am able to get the best of both world for me and my children with this method.

Let me know if you have any great ideas on how to keep your kids sharp during the summer.

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….

Keeping Them Going…

One of the most difficult things that I have found while homeschooling, is the ability to keep my kids on task when there is something else they are interested in. Right now, it’s the beautiful weather that I seem to battle every day. They all want to be out in the sunshine, enjoying free play. While in itself it really is a good thing, but when you have a good bit of work to accomplish to meet your goals, that good thing can turn into my arch nemesis. 🙂

Through much trial and error, I have found that if I give my children a variety of things to do within the parameters of schooling, they will be more apt to maintain interest throughout the day. During these beautiful temptingly sunshine-y days… I try to incorporate online activities like using an online vocabulary quiz instead of paper/pencil work, making a project that corresponds to what we are studying in science, using workbooks for a while, and then accessing some interesting online math games to round out the day. By using a variety of methods to complete what we need to accomplish in our educational goals the kids are not as easily bored with one thing.  It seems to be working right now, and hopefully will get us through to summer break!

Do you have a secret method for keeping your kids on task? Comment to share with us!

Keep on Learning…

Yes, summer is here… and for those of us who don’t homeschool year round it can be a time of “forgetfulness.” Yet, it doesn’t really need to be. There are tons of great games and learning programs to be found online that will keep your youngin’ learning throughout the summer. These are so fun, the kids won’t feel like they are working.  Perfect solution! Just to give you a few ideas, here are a some to check out!

Learning Games for Kids

Spelling City

Vocabulary practice

Homeschool Literature

Summer fun = summer forgetfulness??

 

To me, summer is the best time of the year. Lazy days, pretty flowers (especially magnolias), and beautiful southern sunsets. ( can you tell we live in the South?) OK, we won’t go into the humidity at 8 am., the chiggers, fire ants, and soaring afternoon temperatures – that’s just beside the point!  But seriously, summer is great especially at our house because we take a break from school!

Yet, lately I have been second guessing that decision. I am concerned about how much “knowledge” my children lose during those lazy days of summer. What about all of the multiplication tables I’ve been cramming into the heads of my 9 yr. old twins? I KNOW those will be the first to go!! In fact, according to the Ebbinhaus Theory- after 2 weeks you only remember 35% of what you were originally taught.

So, after thinking about this for the last few weeks, I decided to have the children continue doing “modified” schoolwork throughout the summer. They will be using their online school curriculum. This isn’t so bad… and they haven’t said that I am a horrible monster… at least not yet!  Their online schoolwork is really quite fun, and they enjoy it almost as much as any computer game they have played. 

Well… I am looking forward to see how Fall goes… and the start of a new school year. Will it be easier for them since they have kept their brains going all summer?  Not sure, but we will see!