Summer Skills Maintenance

LouisasummerworkSummer time, and our kids’ brains go on vacation. At least, that is what it seems like when we start up school again in the fall!

I have always been amazed that math textbooks are written so that the time period of September through Christmas vacation is “review” to try to help the children remember all the skills they forgot over the summer! As a homeschooler, if you finish a Saxon Math book mid-year you can go immediately into the next Saxon Math book at around lesson 40 and never miss a beat because lessons 1-39 do not teach any new concepts but just review the previous math book. You can get ahead fast in math this way, if you don’t take big breaks of summer forgetfulness!

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Feed Creativity!

Summer time—the academic pressure is off! Whew! Now some really important learning can happen: creativity! From a monetary standpoint, the value of a creative mind is priceless. Every businessman and inventor yearns for more of this precious element! It is not something that can really be taught in school, either—but you can foster creativity in your home.

Here are some ideas to feed your family’s creativity:


My son Ammon (15)

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An Elective Summer

I hate to stop homeschooling for the summer. Not many of my friends feel the same way, but for me it takes so much momentum to begin again that I’d rather not stop at all. Homeschooling keeps the children in an excellent pattern of waking for scripture study, doing chores, and then getting on with their schoolwork every morning. There is still lots of time in the afternoon to swim, play with friends, and do all the summery things children look forward to.

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Instant Garden

It’s springtime, and to little ones planting a garden, it may seem those seeds take forever to come up! My kids occasionally poked their finger impatiently into the soil to fish out a pea seed just to make sure it was actually sprouting! We always plant radishes so they get a quick reward for their labor, but it still takes a couple of weeks.

Here’s an instant garden that kids enjoy growing! They can actually see the seeds sprouting, and it only takes a few days until you can eat them on sandwiches instead of lettuce.

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Summer Journals

There is so much more to write about in the summer!

Writing in a journal is wonderful in the summer because there is often so much more to write about! Swimming, vacations, gardening, the county fair, church picnics, camping . . . all these topics give my children plenty of writing ideas for their daily journal entries. In the summer, when other schoolwork isn’t demanding, a chance to write is a nice interlude. I like to use the quiet time after lunch, when the littlest children take their naps, as a daily journal writing time for the other children (and myself). If your children have a full and busy summer schedule, this natural break in the day is restful and refreshing.

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School in Summer?

kid-673584_1280Mothers ask me why some years, we don’t take a break when it comes to homeschooling. I wonder that myself!  I guess the answer is that homeschooling is just regular life at our house. We have done it so very long, that it is part of the routine. It is easy to keep at it and it gives order to every day. Yes, I do ease up a bit in the summer, mostly in the amount of preparation I do as a teacher. During the school year, I feel more desire to really put in some effort to prepare such things as science experiments, unit study lessons and the like. When summer heat and activities arrive, I am more flexible. Some mornings we garden or go to yard sales or do service instead of homeschool. Gardening is a very important subject in our homeschool; a basic life skill!  We get our basic homeschool subjects done every day too. The children do it as automatically as they brush their teeth and say their prayers. This has been part of our daily life since they were infants, and it just continues year round, rain or shine, summer or winter.

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