Well the summer has arrived and many parents that are homeschooling their kids are taking the summer off. I plan on doing a mixture a both. I decided that the first two weeks the kids will have off. They will also have one week each month to go to a summer camp and be around other kids and do some fun things. Which are both educational and fun!
This is my first year homeschooling, so I did not want to burn myself out, or make my kids feel like they will not have much of a summer by constantly doing school like things.
So we came to agreement, on incorporating reading, writing, math, into the weeks of summer with out it feeling monotonous or drudgery.
Like I said before, the first two weeks will be off to do whatever. Than after that we will do a little bit of math, writing and reading school related things every other day. Not a whole lot, just enough to keep them moving. Kids have to know that reading is a lifelong thing and should be embraced. They will have silent reading everyday to themselves, and of course I will still read to them everyday out of our readers that I have chosen as a group thing.
Reading as family is fun, and the kids love it. They learn all at the same time without even knowing it!
The reader that I am reading to them right now is the Who was Albert Eienstein book. If you have not read any of these books they are so cool. This is my first one from the series in which they have a ton. The kids are ready to dive in, they are both educational and based on real historical people through out history.
I picked up a couple at a Scholastic Book fair in my neighborhood recently, If you have not been to one you should go. You can visit their site to get the info and get a fast pass. Which allows you get a ton of books at less than wholesale value.
Such a steal!
You can visit Scholastic Here!
Anyhow, lets get back to the point. It is important to keep our children's brains active over the summer months, so they don't lose their place in academics. This is big one for me, since I have son that I brought home to home school since he was getting behind, really behind in comprehending things at the school rate of doing things.
Studies have shown that children fall three months behind in the learning progress they've made when they don't do anything in the summer to keep up. Staying academically active in the summer doesn't have to be dry and boring, though. There are many creative ways to keep the wheels in your child's brains rolling!
One thing that we have incorporated into our spiritual reading activities is to read the story first than right after once a week we dress up and act out the story like a play. The kids not only love it, it uses all multiple intelligences of learning which leaves a lasting imprint on the child's mind.
Next, take turns where the kids get practice in reading out loud to the family, this teaches them proper public speaking along with learning how to pace themselves through their reading out loud for a crowd.
Second have the children work together on writing books of their creative initiative. Use note-booking to help them with this . Note-booking is one thing that we have been using more and more the past couple of months. They are learning how to read, write,and create all at the same time.
Third, use computer based programs to keep the kids active with reading. My youngest two are using Reading eggs and ABC Mouse to keep up with reading , their having fun and learning which is the whole point. I will have a review up soon on Reading Eggs.
We Love it!
Children can get together with a small group of friends and write a storybook. They can do so in a round robin way, where each child writes some and then passes it to the next for their turn. Or they can collaborate as they go along. When they are finished writing the story, they can work on some illustrations. They might even have fun finding pictures in magazines to use for the illustrations. They can put it all together with some cardboard pieces for the book cover. They will probably need your help with that part, as it will be hard to cut. When it is all done, they can take turns keeping the book each weekend to show grandparents and whoever else they would like to show it off to.
And of course, don't forget your public library's summer reading program. It is a great initiative to keep your kids interested in books. They can choose their own books to read for the programs and that is a big deal. It is not only fun for the child, but, it really helps to keep their desire to read going strong. The child who is always told exactly what to read sees it as nothing more than a chore. The library's programs usually all have prizes for certain numbers of books read – and then main prizes at the end of the program. And a lot of the programs have a kick-off party and a party for when it's over, too.
One program that we are getting to read is Pizza Huts Book It program. That is going to be in the Fall though.
We don't eat a lot of bought pizza around here, only homemade but every now and than I give in to the kids and their dad's selfish cravings. Right…
So many kids fall behind, just from the gaps that happen over the accumulated summers. It can be really hard to catch up when school starts back up in the fall and by the time the child reaches middle school, they may be several grades behind in reading alone.
Which is something that I dealing with right now with my oldest son.
We don't have to make kids' summers all work and no play, but, keeping their brains in operation is imperative for them to learn that learning is fun and life long.
By the way Reading Eggs does offer a Free Trial which is what I used before I signed up for the year. Totally worth it! You can find the offer here Reading EGGS!
ABC Mouse also offer a Free Trial and offer where you are able to Add up three kids for the price of one! Huge deal you can check that out here! ABC Mouse!
What sort of things are you doing to keep your kids reading over the Summer?