There is much debate in the homeschool world about the benefits of a summer break versus the benefits of year round schooling. It is almost as contentious as the dark or milk chocolate debate. We typically fall on the long summer break side of things with no ‘book school’ from Memorial Day through Labor Day. We enjoy fun educational activities during the summer not any of our regular academics. However, this year for us is going to look a little different. We are going to have a little more structure to our summer learning while still having the break that we all crave.
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We had a busy year and I feel like we need to continue to work on a few skills over the summer to finish up some areas that we didn’t complete. We’ll also focus on a few ‘extras’ that got pushed to the side in the busyness of life with a new baby. We will still probably take the month of August off to give us time to reset mentally and give me plenty of time to plan for next year but over the summer we’re going to keep working on several subjects.
Writing as it was an area that we feel needs a little more focus. My children have great ideas but need to work on mechanics and structure. While we will use a formal writing program during the year, I really like these fun beach themed and camping themed writing activities by WriteShop to help give it a more fun feel over the summer.
This year we started typing lessons with Bytes of Learning UltraKey Online and I want the kids to continue using that to keep improving their typing skills. Luckily they enjoy doing it so it doesn’t really feel like school. Plus the benefits of increased speed and accuracy while typing really become apparent when doing writing assignments. The kids are able to focus on their grammar and communication, not multitask and think about how to key the words also
We enjoy our Chalk Art Pastel Lessons and are looking forward to the ‘summer camp’ activities with our You Are An Artist Club Membership. The lessons are short and easy to complete and will make a great activity during the heat of the day when they come in to cool off from playing outside.
We will also continue doing some of our Drive Thru History which the children really enjoy. Those videos will be great to watch on the days where it is too hot to spend the day outside. They provide entertainment and education for us, helping to eliminate mindless screen time.
I’ve also chosen one activity to do with each of my older children one on one through the summer. My daughter started the Fit2B Girls E-course this spring but due to time constraints we didn’t get very far with it. I want to spend some time and focus on going through that with her while our regular schooling is on summer break. She enjoys it and is looking forward to it. I am excited about encouraging a pattern of lifelong healthy behavior.
I am going to do a book study with my son using the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. I am hoping that this will be a motivational experience for him and a good time for us to bond. We will of course still be reading plenty but other than the book study I won’t be assigning reading over the summer. My children naturally read on their own so it is not something I feel I have to worry about over the summer months.
So basically we are trying to strike a comfortable balance between a complete break and school as normal. We can focus on a few subjects that might have been neglected but leave plenty of time for 4-H camp, Vacation Bible School, lazy days at the beach, and hanging out at home. I’d love to hear about your summer plans!
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