For those who attend public or private schools, summer arrives with the cleanout of lockers and desks, summer reading assignments, math packets being put away till the last week of August, and kids sleeping in late (or waking up early to play video games). Some of these families may incorporate their own summer learning with family vacations to historic sites or science museums or by spending time trying to meet summer reading goals. When our teen attended public school, we made sure he focused on completing any summer assignments by the end of July (and went back over them in August) and we also spent some time doing fun projects with him (especially when he was younger).
Now that we are homeschooling and reviewing educational products, we homeschool year-round but with a relaxed approach. While our two younger children have a similar schedule to what we followed during the Sept-June school calendar, our teen is working on less subjects (really only working on materials that we are reviewing) and is getting plenty of time to play video games, participate in Youth Group at church, and hang out with friends, family, and siblings.
We find the summer to be the perfect time to do more activities outdoors – like painting or experiments. This summer we spent some time painting outdoors and last year the kids played with homemade frozen chalk.
It is also a great time to work on hands-on projects as well as resources that might be seen as supplemental to a normal curriculum. Playing games is always a great way to continue learning in a fun way. Alternately, creating pieces from hands-on history kits as a family does the job.
Summer Reading Goals
During the summer, we participate in the summer reading program through our local library. Our two younger children love filling out the paperwork to document and keep track of the amount of books they have read. And when our children return to the library each week, they can receive a prize if they show their reading log. Our library also holds an opening and a closing ceremony as well as other activities through the summer to coincide with the reading program.
Summer is also the perfect time to review and refresh skills in various areas. For example, there are many online programs that help children review what they have already learned. Our children are enjoying working with IXL.com and Matific Galaxy. These are great programs because for our younger two children, they think they are playing games. (Our teen knows that these online learning programs are not games but if I ask him to help his siblings, then he will work on them and build his communication skills.)
How do you spend the homeschool summer? Do you homeschool year-round or take a break during the warmer months?
Be sure to check out all the great ideas shared through the Timberdoodle Summer Learning Blog Hop!