Many homeschoolers do their work year round. We’ve tried schooling through the summer with a few subjects, but when September arrived and we started everything again, the children were grumpy and there was no enthusiasm. We’ve found that taking a break really works best for our family, but review is important over the summer as well. I hate to think of them forgetting much of what was learned the previous year!
There are two requirements for summer learning in our home: it must be different from our regular schooling and it must be fun! The three things that we focus on are: reading, family learning games and computer learning games.
I read to our family every night. Being read to aloud helps to build comprehension and an appreciation for great literature. I try to read many books over the summer about the historical period that we will be studying the following year.
It is also important that the children read books on their own each day. I have them choose a read aloud book that they read for 8 min per day. I also have them choose another book for reading to themselves. New readers should choose a book that they can easily read by themselves, but I have the older children (grades 3 and up) find something that is quite challenging. The idea is to keep pushing their comprehension level forward.
They read 15 min a day from this book and then they must narrate it back to me, which is simply telling it back to me in their own words. This helps me to see that they are comprehending what they are reading, but it also helps them to read actively and attentively. Besides these two books I encourage them to read whatever they want on their own.
Family Learning Games
My children love it when we play games as a family. I try to play one game each day. We made a game that reviews the facts that we learned studying human anatomy last school year. I have another series of games that teaches and reviews math concepts from addition and subtraction through simplifying and multiplying fractions. Other games that we choose from are memory games and various trivia games.
Computer Learning Games
I have downloaded a few free games that help my children review their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. My children’s favourite is Timez Attack. It probably isn’t for everyone as it is a full blown video game that you move to the next level by attacking the enemy with the answer to multiplication or division questions. It systematically builds confidence and knowledge of the tables up to 12 x 12 and happens to be a lot fun too. The free version comes with 2 levels that can be used again and again and does cover all of the facts. If you want more variety, you can pay for the rest of the levels. They will be releasing an addition and subtraction version of the game later this year.
We also have a very basic facts review game that simply states the fact and then you choose the answer. It can be downloaded here.
There are many, many websites that have tons of great learning games. I haven’t explored them too much because we do pay for the amount of time we are on the internet. One website that I have found and that we do enjoy though is Sheppard Software.
And now for some giveaway fun…
I have been planning to do a giveaway for a few months now and here it is! I won one recently and was so thrilled that I wanted to pass on the joy.
I will be giving away a $25 gift certificate for Amazon.com or Amazon.ca (your choice). Much of our curriculum is purchased from Amazon as their prices are quite good and I love the free shipping on orders over $25.
This giveaway is open to everyone and all you must do to enter is leave a comment on this post. Additional enteries may be obtained by:
-subscribing to my blog. And if you are already subscribed you receive two entries when you comment. (Let me know in your comment if you are a subscriber.)
-post about this giveaway on facebook. (Please mention in your comment.)
-tweet about this giveaway on twitter. (Let me know in your comment.)
-mention this giveaway on your blog. (And let me know you did in a comment!)
Each person can receive a total of 5 entries. The deadline in August 16th and the draw will be August 17th. Have fun and enjoy the rest of the summer!
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