Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Summer Planning

Be sure and read the great comments with lots of ideas shared! Thanks to all of you who comment!

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!

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Bonita said...

You might want to check out Shakespeare on the Green as well. It's free and the plays are downtown on the green, that little park between buildings. .

Stephenie said...

The kids are out of school now. Their school has a calendar of various reading and math activities to complete before the return to school at the end of August. When each activity is completed, parents color in the square and initial it. Students that complete at least 4 math and 8 reading activities per month will be treated to a special party at the beginning of the school year. Our family has done this every summer and it works well.
I have begun reading the Little House books to my 9yo daughter, and the Mouse and the Motorcycle series to my 8yo son. Yes, they could read them on their own. I love having the one on one time right before bed though.
Soccer and then football conditioning will take up a good part of our summer. I'm grateful for the physical activity and the opportunity to see friends over the summer too.

Debra said...

Enjoyed reading your summer plans. This year my 14yr old daughter is going on her first trip by herself to visit a best friend in Wisconsin. She is flying nonstop from SF, so that makes me feel better. Then I am going to She Speaks and a week after that our family is traveling to Holland for 2 weeks. That is where my husband is from and my daughter has never been, so it will be her first time in Europe. It has been a very long time since we have traveled to Europe. God is providing us with this trip and we are grateful. Thank You Lord!
Looking forward to finally meeting you face to face at she speaks this year.:)
Have a Terrific Tuesday!
Debra Z

Anonymous said...

I just finished talking a 6 week Family Math class (one day a week) with my almost 4 yr. It was a lot of fun and I didn't realize just how much math we already do at home every day. We got a lot of great ideas and games to do during the summer.

Arlene said...

I guess we're on the same wave length, because I was just posting about some of our summer plans. My main goal is to keep it fun and economical. We'll be doing school over the summer too. For my son it's important to keep his mind focused. Our local Cobb theater has free movies during the week; you can go online and see if the same is offered in your area. If you find any freebies please let us know. God bless and have a super summer!

Alyce said...

Reading this post really inspires be a better mom this summer. As the summer as begun at my house, so has the arguing. Why does that always have to happen?? Probably because I have a child that is so a creature of habit..and so being out of school for a couple months really changes things. Anyway. We have started a "reading program" too, so to speak. I told her that she and I will read (individually) a book every 2 weeks. We begin on Mondays. I want to keep her reading this summer. I just have to figure out ways to keep her and her younger sister from killing each other!
You are a very motivated and inspirational mom!
Oh..this peach stand in SC... is it at the Walterboro exit? I just know my hubby was talking about one there the other day. I am ready for some GA peaches..and to make some jam!!

Amy Jo said...

Your post is timely. I really struggle with planning and setting goals. Tonight is my "sanity night" (my husband and I give each other one night a week "off.") I was just sitting down to write down some summer plans and came across your email. THANK YOU!!!

I don't have any plans yet, but after a nice break, I plan to incorporate some school. The current issue of Family Fun mag has some great ideas (t-shirt making, etc.) that I hope to use.

Happy Summer!

Oh Dear said...

Our school year will not end until next week! We are participating in the library's reading program to earn prizes for reading. We will continue our science and Social Studies in our readings and occassionally flashcards for math and phonical special sounds. Our daughter is itching to read so we may start her Kindergarten year in July as I will learn what it is like to have 2 children schooling this year along with a toddler.
We will watch the free movies at our local theater, play baseball in a league, and meet friends at the community pool. The kids are having a yard sale and lemonade stand this summer as well. They get rid of stuff and learn a little about saving, spending, and giving.
There is a place close by to hunt for fossils for free, and a free Air and Flight Museum. Hope to go camping even if it is in the backyard.

Angel77 said...

I got to this a day late - sorry. This has been our first year homeschooling so I need the summer off except for the fun stuff. Our plans include lots of science and art projects (tadpoles, butterflies, ant farm, carrots, cat grass in egg shells, tin can stilts...paper mache, dirty clothes hamper (out of large adult shirt) finger painting...), swim classes, one fun vacation to PA and one educational vacation to the historic places of Lexington KY. We are participating in our library's reading program for the summer.
We are also re-doing our basement floor, building a couple of walls to create a bedroom and making plans for a egressed window for exit safety.

I am taking an exercise class (low impact due to heart) with a couple of friends and making a vow to ride my bike at least one day a week. I need to take better control of my weight.

Other than that we are pretty much hanging around here during the days because I work (babysitting) and our mobility is slim to none. So other than the zoo every now and then on saturdays and scouting out pools that we can swim in for next to nothing (becoming debt free!!!) that is it for us. The new school year will be here before I know it!