This summer my kids will be going to the pool, eating popsicles, catching lightning bugs, riding their bikes, taking a trip to the beach... and working on schoolwork. Yep, that's right. We are having our own version of summer school at the Whalen's. You can imagine how excited my kids are about this little plan. Thankfully I have dad as backup so they don't dare argue.
In case any of you care about such things, here's what we are doing:
Each school-age child (except the 16yo who will be, Lord willing, working to pay for his car) will be responsible for getting up every morning and spending about an hour and a half on some school work and having a personal quiet time (for the bigger kids) I bought each child a Summer Bridge workbook for their grade. I have looked at these many times, but this is the first year I have purchased them. For my 12 and 14 yo's, they are also going to be going through Study Skills That Stick. They both felt this year that they needed to learn how to study more effectively and so they (almost) are on board for this choice. If you are a homeschooler who thinks that maybe one day possibly your kids might go to school, I would urge you not to make the mistake I did by not teaching study skills. They will thank you later if they do, in fact, go to school or take outside classes of any kind. Even in preparation for college, this is a good thing to do with latter elementary/middle school students to lay down a good foundation.
Other than that, we will be reading a lot. I have promised that I will take them to the library as much as they need to to keep them in good books. At night we are going to encourage reading time instead of mindless tv. Seeing my 9 yo daughter's test scores this year made me more convinced than ever that reading a lot increases abilities on so many levels. So I will keep prodding them to read. She has really exploded with reading this year and that makes me so happy to see!
I will be spending this summer making plans, which is something I love to do. I am hoping to print out and organize this handy little Alphabet notebook to do with my soon-to-be four year old next year. I know if I assemble all the components and have it all together, we are more likely to do it. And I plan to go through Family Math and gather materials to make the games that sound good to me so we can include more hands-on math in our school year. Again, if I make the effort to flag the games I want to try and gather the materials/premake anything that needs to be assembled, then I am more likely to do it. Summer is a great time to do that.
So, those are my plans as far as I know now. I am also compiling a list of books I want to read over the summer. Some fiction, some non.
I have also begun a list of fun things I would like to do this summer. Things like:
- visiting the Farmer's Market
- picking blueberries
- driving down to a SC peach stand (which is not far for us to do) and hopefully sampling some fresh, homemade peach ice cream while we're at it
- making and giving away vases of the hydrangeas that grow on the large bush in our yard from empty, washed tin cans that we decorate with ribbon (we saw this done last year and it is so cute and a great pick-me-up to surprise someone with!)
- participating in the Barnes and Noble reading program
- going to see some of the summer movies at local theaters
I plan to post the list somewhere and let the kids help pick what they would like to do. I don't want to do the same old thing every day so I hope that having a list will help us mix it up. What are your summer plans? I would love to hear what you are cooking up... maybe your ideas will end up on our list!