Summer… I look forward to it all year. I know, I am supposed to be the mature one around here. Yet, I think I look forward to the more relaxed lifestyle that we lead during the summer than the kids do. It is just a much needed break that really renews and invigorates me. If it wasn’t for a bit of time off in the summer, homeschooling in the fall would be impossible.
Even though I like to take a break in the summer, I still try to keep the kids learning. Their little minds are so active and really are constantly learning in some way. Why not maximize on their cognitive interests? I try to organize several websites that I want the children to visit over the summer break to catch up on math or vocabulary. To make it as simple as possible, I add them to my favorites bar so all the kids have to do is click on each site I want them to visit. These sites range in interest from vocabulary games to math and science fun. The kids usually have a great time playing and taking a break from the heat… while I sit back with a contented smile knowing that they really are learning through all that laughter!
In 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?
I 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?
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.
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.
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