Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Vacation Plans

It's been quiet here on the blog for the past few weeks. Between a few big work projects I've got going, and summer vacation starting (yay!) there hasn't been a whole lot to write about on the homeschooling front.  However, the end of the homeschooling year does not mean the end of using our brains around here! So, with that in mind, here's what I'm planning for this summer.

Keeping Skills Sharp

One of the things I like most about homeschooling is how efficient it is. I don't have to spend four weeks on something if my kids understand it in one. And I would rather spend time once school starts up again in August learning new things than reviewing things we've already learned.

To keep skills sharp, and prevent "summer brain," my kids will still be doing spelling and math over summer vacation. We're not going crazy with it, but I don't want them to totally lose touch with what we learned this past year, so they'll do a few activities and drills every week to keep those skills sharp.

In addition to doing reviews from our spelling book, we'll also be playing board games such as Scrabble and Boggle to keep our spelling skills sharp. And I'll be encouraging as much writing as I can. Pooks (our oldest) happily writes nearly every day anyway, but Sauce is less enthusiastic. We'll work it out.

For math, I'm giving them a break from their math workbooks. They'll mostly use the computer for drills this year. Khan Academy is great, and Tux Math (we have Ubuntu installed on the kids' computer) is a lot of fun as well.

Reading, Reading, Reading

The most important thing is to keep them reading over the summer. We've already made a trip to our local resale shop, and the kids stocked up on books. Pooks has discovered Nancy Drew, and bought a few books, which she's already happily devouring. I'm reading a few classics aloud (right now, we're working our way through Redwall) but we're also sticking with our daily silent reading hour, which we started last fall.

As a little extra motivation, my kids also participate in our library's summer reading program every year. This is a lot of fun for them, and I find that Sauce reads more when there's some kind of prize involved. :-)

Aside from those few things, we're going to spend the summer playing outside, swimming, hanging out with family, and eating lots of barbecue. Oh, and planning for next school year!

What are you doing over summer vacation?