Fuel: Structure your summer and summer learning

May 30, 2012 in fuel,homeschoooling

 Whew. Summer is coming (already here for some of you). Kids dream of the summer break and create  unrealistic ideas about how grand and exciting it will be. Boredom comes quickly especially if neighborhood friends are scarce.

Normally in summer, I line up a handful of lessons to help my kids get learn things and to add structure to the days. This year we decided to add summer camp to the girls’ schedule but that ate up the lesson budget. So I will be creating some new ideas.

I found two great articles to help you strategize for summer, both on Jill Savages blog.

During summer, I firmly believe in doing regular brain work. Here are some websites to help you:

  • Scholastic’s Top 100 Children’s Books. Looking for a reading suggestions? This list is customizable by age and full of great books. 
  • Hooda Math. Math games for every stage from math fact to logic puzzles. Free. 
  • Math Magician. A timed math facts program. Nothing fancy about this site but it is a good way to practice math facts with the pressure of a timer. 
  • Encyclopedia Britannica for Kids. To fully use this site you do need to pay but there is a free 7-day trial offer. We used their Smart Math program one summer. It was a creative curriculum that was helpful for catching my daughter up to grade level or you could give your girl a boost for the next year. I was impressed with the thoroughness of the games, the logic she needed to use and the progress reports they sent me. I also liked having full access to their encyclopedia articles. It was easy to ask them to research a topic I wanted them to learn about (supplementing their school curriculum). Plus non-fiction comprehension has always been a weaker area for one of them. Using a site like Britanica to do research meant we had a safe way to research without all the clutter. 
  • Geosense. An online game where you can anamously, without logging in, race other players to identify cities and countries. You can choose US, Europe or World Maps. Honestly, I am horrible at this game because my world geography knowledge is poor. You might need to help your kid navigate this site at first. But it is fun. Also try GeoNet for more social study review questions. 
  • ReadWriteThink. This Reading Rockets site gives ideas by grade for reading/writing activities like online tools to help write a biography or a nature writing activity.  
  • I love Bill Nye the Science Guy and his website is awesome too. I particularly like his list of experiments you can try with your kid at home. And the experiments are broken up into categories like human or space science. Most of the experiments are super easy and reenforce science lessons your kids may have learned during the year. 
So really, summer is fun not just school work. I just got carried away with this list. Do you structure your summer at all? Do you structure some learning time?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dana May 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Great ideas! I have my summer schedule set, similar to yours. One day is an outing day, one is a concentrated Bible day, 2 days are worksheet/science expirement days. One focusing on math the other on reading/writing. And the last free/random activities. I am so looking forward to this summer. I hope to have controlled chaos and a lot of fun! Oh and we also started our daily chores personal and family chores. The kids like the structure so far and of course there is a lot of time for them to have free/creative play.


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