After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Learning is Fun!

We are a little more than two weeks into summer vacation here!  We've already had the chance to spend the week with lots of cousins at my sister's beach house, attend end of school year gatherings, birthday parties and host and go out for play dates.  We're having lots of fun!    

In the midst of all our fun, we are also spending a little time each weekday learning and reading together.  Don't tell the kids but we are actually doing some "prep work" for next year's history study.  As I shared in this post, we are joining a group of friends who are doing Tapestry of Grace, Year Two next year.  Year Two of World History picks up in the Middle Ages.  A friend suggested we go through Story of the World, Volume 1 over the summer to give the boys an overview of Ancient Times.  Each weekday morning, the four of us spend anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour reading a chapter of Story of the World and doing a corresponding activity, if we feel the urge.  I love it because the readings are short enough that even our four year old can participate and the Activity Guide gives enough options for corresponding activities that she can always join in.

I also purchased this Baseball Unit Study by Amanda Bennett.  Our boys are truly baseball fanatics!  We have not done much with the study yet except read some of the suggested books simply because our social calendars have been so full :)  I hope to do more with it as the summer progresses.

To supplement both of these studies, I've filled two large bins with library books- one dedicated to history and literature based on Ancient Times and the other dedicated to America's favorite pastime. Our school has an Accelerated Reader program in which the students earn points each time they read, quiz on and pass a quiz on a book. The boys really loved this program so I modified it for use at home and they are busy earning "AR points" here now. I even found a reading log for my four year old where she can color in a portion of a circle for every book read to her.

We started a new Family Devotional for the summer. I must admit that I struggle to continue a consistent Family Devotion during the school year. We've tried doing it in the morning but that soon fades out as we are rushing to get out the door for school. We've tried it after dinner with daddy when he is home early enough but we forget more often than we remember. We are usually pretty consistent in the summer though. And now that we will be homeschooling next year, I have made it a part of our school schedule so I hope it will become a habit for us. This summer we are using Child's Book of Character Building: Growing Up in God's World. The book focuses on 12 character qualities. We are working on one character quality a week- memorizing the corresponding scripture verse and pointing out to one another when we see that quality being displayed.

Our weekday schedule looks something like this- with lots of room for reading, swimming and other spontaneous summer activities:
8 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. Devotion and Story of the World
10 a.m. Outing/Play date
4 p.m. Baseball Unit Study/Reading

So, what are you doing this summer?  I'd love to hear how you are making learning so much fun they don't even know they are doing it :)

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