Voices: How Do You Keep Your Kids Learning Over the Summer?
It's summertime! Memorial Day was this past Monday, serving as the official-unofficial kickoff to the season of sunshine and swimming and no school. A little taste of heaven, right? Well, most of the time ... but as parents, it can be a long time to watch your kids be out of school. So we asked some of our favorite bloggers how they keep their kids engaged with learning over the summer. Here are their replies!
Jessica of Grace for Moms
- This will be very new to us this year. We plan to do a reading incentive program for our daughter so she can be more proficient with her reading before going into First Grade. We plan to look for opportunities to cultivate the education she received this year in reading, writing and math especially.
Stef of Educating Laytons
- We never stop reading and math activities. Especially math. Just a week off and my boys become so rusty and slow they easily fall behind. We constantly work on them every other day.
Laura of Raising Soldiers 4 Christ
- We homeschool year round taking breaks throughout the year as needed. This really seems to help so they don’t “forget” what they have learned.
Leah of As We Walk Along the Road
- We participate in our library’s reading program. I sometimes use the summer “bridge books” to keep kids working on basic skills. And we do a special summer unit study.
Cara of Cheap Ways To…
- We read books, listen to audio books, work through activity books designed for the next grade level up, and she does educational and fun games on the computer.
Heather of Learning As We Grow…Growing As We Learn
- We always take part in our library’s summer reading program. Often we’ll make a list of things we want to learn about and places we want to go over the summer, then find books about those things at the library, too.
Lisa of Chaos Appreciation
- Summer is usually when we work on science related studies. Messy experiments are best done outdoors! I don’t really need to keep them engaged, they do that all on their own.
Carlie of Managing Your Blessings
- As a homeschooling family, we never stop learning. It is just a part of our day-to-day lives. In the summertime we tend to do a lot of fun field trips and science experiments we weren’t able to fit into the school year. We always make sure we are having fun – and to us that is what education is all about.
Heidi of Our Out-of-Sync Life
- During the summer we continue learning. Our preschoolers continue using the ABC Jesus Loves Me Preschool Curriculum while our older kids focus on math, reading, and writing. The kids take turns doing educational computer games as an added treat. We visit the library once a week and the kids pick out books that they want to read. We also have Bible time as a family.
Tamika of No Time for Tea Parties
- By challenging them to be involved in activities at the Library. Making “activity sheets” for our field trips. When we go to the zoo the kids have to find out things about the animals and then share them.
Ashlea of Life by Ashley Pichea
- We do school year-round, allowing for a more relaxed pace throughout the year. Summertime learning is an extension of what we’ve been doing all year long, with an emphasis on finishing up any curriculum from the previous year’s grade level work and doing some fun seasonal unit studies.
Anne Marie of future.flying.saucers
- We homeschool, but we homeschool year round. So we always do 3-4 days of school a week. That way, if something fun comes up, like a vacation, or a summer day camp, we can take days off and enjoy without worrying about school. This way, the kids never really have a chance to get bored or lose time learning over the summer.
Kimberly of Living in the Sweet Spot
- Reading… lots of reading. We sign up for the our local library’s reading program. It’s keeps the kids on track to do weekly check-ins and they earn prizes each time they do a ‘book report’. We also do 10-15 on each of these web based learning programs – Reflex Math, Reading Eggs, and Typing Web.
Wendy of Hip Homeschool Moms
- Over the summer, we like to each pick something new that we want to learn to do. It might be baking biscuits, juggling, painting, sculpting, or jumping rope. We work on that task all summer until we’ve each mastered it! If we master our own task quickly, we might try out a task that another family member is working on. We also set a goal for a certain number of books to read over the summer. The older the child, the longer the book length and the higher the number of books.
Danika of Thinking Kids
- Summer is traditionally a time that kids lose some of the hard-won skills they learned over the school year. We combat the “summer slide” by doing a little learning every day. We start our mornings with Bible and “free read”. I compile a list of literature for our boys and they can choose any book they’d like off the list to read for an hour. When they were younger, I would have them read for fifteen or thirty minutes a day. Math skills are maintained through board games, grocery shopping trips, cooking, and other hands-on activities. We also review math facts and foreign language skills a couple of times a week. Otherwise, summer learning for us is all about experiencing life to the fullest — with a hammer, a shovel, or a fishing pole in hand.
Chad of ChadEddy.com
- We make it a regular habit to read together. Not just the Bible and “Christian” books either, but classics and other books that pique their interests. YouTube and Wikipedia and other online sources offer great educational resources for encouraging imagination and education. We stay involved and we supervise, and we guide our kid’s natural curiosity!