Hello. I make my kids read and do math facts pretty much all summer. Does anyone else do this? My kids complain because most of their friends go to public school and of course have no schoolwork over the summer. I feel like if we don’t we are just backtracking every year because we have a lot of review. Any thoughts on this?
I do year round, sometimes in summer we are just trying to finish up the subjects we got ‘behind’ on , sometimes we focus on reading and one math lesson a day and sometimes we do that unit study we never had time for. This year for example we are doing a mission based study on Africa. So we will probably hit the zoo to study some animals. We try to make the summer more fun with more breaks, but like you we don’t want to spend most of the next year reviewing. Summer school is a relaxed time of year for us.
This will be the first year I will have my son continue with AAR and math during the summer. He needs extra support in both reading and math, so taking the summer off makes no sense! I hope he isn’t to resistant though:/ I plan on having him focus on 1 short math lesson (using some fun workbooks, not our usual math book…workbooks focusing on concepts where he needs help:), and spending 20 mins daily in reading:)
I plan to take time off for baby Wembly, who is due the end of June but we will not stop completely. We will pick back up before summer is over. If it weren’t for the baby there would be a break during July. Boober and I enjoy our time in school to much and Mokey is getting a kick out of her sensory play.
I’m thinking on doing the exact same thing! Math facts and reading only. I think that’s enough so it’s not feeling like summer school but they are still learning:/ and moving forward. I’m tempted to add writing though ( I probably won’t). I want him to enjoy his summer and really just not worry about school. So math facts and reading can be done in a relaxed way in bed or iPad or daily Bible. No biggie.
We take a good amount off for summer activities. I do keep up reading, math, and literature though. However, I will even plan “fun” history days - where we might do several activities that have to do with Orville and Wilber Wright and the First Flight for example. Or even water resources, watersheds, etc. for science. I love searching Pinterest for fun ideas and plans for those days. This summer I want to try and be even braver and offer a “summer camp” day for my kids’ friends to come over and participate maybe 1-2 times a month. I wanted to do it last year - but I had a newborn. lol Needless to say that didn’t happen.
While we don’t officially homeschool during the summer, we don’t completely stop. Literature continues, and we focus on using math games for review. My kids also like workbooks because we don’t use ANY during the school year. I put a few on the dining room table during the summer and they pick away at them while they have breakfast or lunch (I don’t enforce this… it’s just out as they want it). Other than those few things and crafts, we spend most of the time outside. Sometimes I weave math word problems into our nature hikes. Hope that helps
Curious to know what you do during the school year with no workbooks. I want to go this route but have no idea what to do in its place.
I too school year round, but the summer is more lax. We do most of our book work and inside learning during the cold months in which Math, language, spelling are the main focus, but in the spring and summer, the doors fly open and we are outside most of the day. Science, history, health, PE, & art take a front seat during this time, while the others are still covered but take the back seat. It’s a great time for travel, and field trips so they are learning but having fun. A great time for outdoor play during reviews like math tag, sight word or spelling ring toss and diving in the pool, zoos for science and the kids pick an animal to research about - can also look into zookeeper for a day for family or homeschool co-op, some museums offer special exhibits during the summer too. I think homeschooling has taught me how to teach in any situation while still having fun. I don’t need a classroom or books the whole time. I also feel that making memories during learning helps retain information too!
We officially complete structured school by the first week of June. We do however continue to read read read. Mostly books of their own choice, and review math facts. I have a feeling this summer we will be doing some Spanish vocabulary along the way too! We also focus on some service projects for neighbors and our own hands on work in the garden, yard, etc. This has been painting, cleaning, mowing, weeding, mulching, etc. We all seem to enjoy this…but we all enjoy our unstructured time off. Renewal!
We’ll be completed with our regular load of school by May and then take a bit off. After a week or so we’ll start up with a really lite load- probably only a few days a week. We’ll focus on writing, science and keeping up math and foreign language skills. I won’t have them do everything everyday and the only reason we’ll do writing and science is because we weren’t diligent during this year with it. And of course we’ll read together! But that’s just fun, not school!
We will have to keep up with math because it’s a subject that isn’t coming easily. But I am hoping to do a lot of reading aloud and more activities that are fun such as field trips and spending time at the pool. This is the first summer in a few years that I’m not working, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out!
@Proverbs31 - sorry for the delayed response - I just saw that you asked what we do without workbooks. Almost everything we do is hands on. Before I give more detail, I’ll say that we use Saxon math which does have a worksheet every single day. Aside from that, I create my curriculum list of topics to teach - and I create hands on units for everything. For example, I make a list of all of the history topics we will cover that year - then I make hands on lessons that are heavy on picture books, projects, experiments and a dab of writing for every unit (we also use a writing program so this is bulked up in our writing curriculum). I use Core Knowledge (not common core) as a reference for what history and science topics to teach during the year. I really like how they spiral the topics throughout every year (for example, in first grade we learn about Astronomy - the basics - # of planets, what is a star, what is a constellation, seasons, day vs night - then in third grade we come back to Astronomy but at a much more detailed level. Core Knowledge has books called What Your _____ Grader Needs to Know. I don’t like these books at all (though from what I’ve heard they have been updated) - but I rent them at the library, make my list of topics and go from there. Each history and each science unit I make last about a month. It’s a ton of work to put it all together, but the kids thoroughly enjoy it and learn so much from it. We also do Writing (Voyages in English) Spanish (Hooked on Spanish), spelling (AAS), reading (I create this myself), art, etc, but again, these are not done through worksheets/workbooks. I use Pinterest a LOT to get ideas.
Let me know if you have questions!
Wow this is great! It sounds a lot like what I want to be doing eventually. Changing up a lot of things this year and this is the route I am thinking of taking. This year I am switching from doing workbooks into less workbooks by doing a regular math program, Sonlight and IEW for writing. I love the approach you are taking but I’m wondering how long it takes to prepare for this? Also when do you start your prep? (beginning of the year or throughout the year) And last but not least how do know if the books you are picking are any good?
Great questions! The math, writing program, Spanish, spelling, etc are easy, because they come prepped and ready to use. I do often search Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers for free ideas of things I can do to enhance the math, spelling, etc, but rarely will I spend money - I just look for free game and project ideas.
The bulk of my prep time is focused on the history and science units. As I said, they are a major undertaking (though they don’t have to be… I could surely dial it down a bit!) I am just now beginning to plan next year’s Kinder and 2nd grade history and science units. My goal is to have them created and prepped by summer so I don’t have to do it over the summer. A trick I do is anything I prep/make for my older child, I make for my younger child. I place whatever the item is (a diagram, lapbook, etc in a bin marked 1st grade - then when he’s in first grade I can pull out the prepped materials and lessons. It saves loads of time because if I have the materials out now to prep 1 thing, I may as well prep 2 - faster than trying to refigure it out in 2 years when he needs the items.
I LOVE your question about how do I know if the books are any good. This is always an “issue” I deal with. At the beginning of the year I would try to heavily research each book the library had on a subject by looking up the title on Amazon and looking at the preview of the book. You can imagine how much time this took (wasted!) Now I get onto my library website - let’s say we’re studying astronomy and next week I need books about the sun. I’ll use the library website - order a ton of books about the sun that look decent (judging by the cover). Then I go in over the weekend and pick them up. I scan through them - 1/3 usually get left there because they were no good. The rest I take home. I choose 2-3 to read to the kids for our lesson - then leave the rest in a basket for them to look at, or we read them at bed time. This has saved me TONS of time letting the library pages get them off the shelf for me - then I can pick and choose from that pile.
One last great resource - most library systems have access to the Mailbox teacher books/magazines. Some are specific topics (ie - astronomy, bugs, electricity, etc), while others are by month or season. I check out tons of those and look through them for ideas about projects and crafts we can do. They have been an immense help. You can buy them also, but they are pricy.
I hope all of this helps. Again, PLEASE message me if you have more questions! I’d love to hear how your plans progress over the coming year! Renee
I’ve had my son do a reading program during the summer since First Grade. The reading program was through one of our university extensions. The first couple years it was really great but the third year I wasn’t very impressed so last year I just did my own. I also did math last year & plan to do math & reading again this summer. I do offer some sort of monetary reward to sweeten the deal.
We do especially with my daughter(7) because she has processing issues. We dont do a full structure but we do maybe 2-3 days a week and lots of reading.
I just read this topic and everyone’s responses. I am considering doing more than our usual reading/math summer schooling. Since we will be starting a year-long unit (Prairie Primer, using Little House books), I am considering starting early. We can get some of the history, crafts, music and food projects started and can research Laura Ingalls Wilder. That way, when “real school” (ie, all subjects) starts, we will be a little ahead of the process.
Having said all that, I’m still deciding.
We are just completing our first year of homeschooling so I don’t have past experience. My plan for this summer is to have the kids read each day, we will also participate in the local library summer reading program for added incentive on that. I will have them do math facts 2-3 mornings a week for about 15 minutes.
My husband wants me to do 2-3 unit studies over the summer where we pick a topic and just have fun with it. I am debating between that idea and FIAR. I really like FIAR but can’t seem to make it work for our normal homeschool year. I might choose 3-4 books from FIAR and use them this summer and build the unit studies my husband is suggesting off of that.
The other reason I don’t want to take the summer off is in my state we have to track our school days. If we do schoolwork in the summer I can count those and then during the school year I don’t feel as trapped by the number of days. I don’t know if that makes sense but I think it will work out well for us.
I’m not great at making my kids do work over the summer, however we do like to use the Carson-Dellosa Summer Bridge activity books. They’re colorful skill review worksheets that they can easily pull out and work on randomly throughout the summer. I also like to encourage free reading time during summer break, so we make frequent trips to our local library so they can pick out summer fun reading
In the past I’ve signed them up for summer reading programs, but honestly I’m not good at keeping track of their reading, and neither are they. Plus I think it’s just easier not to make it anything official during summer. They read on their own often enough that I decided not to worry about pressing them during the summer break.