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Learning through the Summer, Relaxed and Structured

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, June 17, 2010
Vol. 11 No. 32, June 17, 2010, ISSN: 1536-2035
© 2010, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
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Guest Author, Barbara Frank
-- Summer Learning
Winning Website
-- Kids Know It Network
Helpful Tip
-- Teaching Anatomy
Reader Question
-- Retaining through Summer
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

Summer Learning... It’s All Been Arranged


One of the best things about summer is that it reminds us that educating
our children is not just up to us.

You’ll see this when you watch your children at the beach. I get to do this
a lot because we’re blessed to have a beach a few blocks from our house. We
can spend a lot of time there during the two warm months that comprise summer
in northeast Wisconsin.

At the beach, my son takes his shovel and bucket and creates mountains,
castles, roads, levees... he just lets his imagination loose and he has a
ball. I don’t have to participate at all. In fact, now that he’s older, he
prefers that I butt out! He has his own ideas.

When I watch him problem-solve after the tide takes down part of a wall of
his castle, or when stray toddlers march through his masterpiece, leaving
destruction in their wake, I’m reminded yet again that he’s capable of
learning all on his own. He not only fixes the problem, but makes the project
even better in the process.

Now, this particular son is 16 and developmentally delayed, but I saw the
same thing in my older children when they were young, and I’m sure you see
it in yours. God enables everyone to learn. While we homeschooling parents
work hard to make a good learning environment for our children, it’s not up
to us to make things happen. God has already taken care of that part.   

This knowledge can be very freeing, if you’re a conscientious mom who wants
to make sure her children learn what they need to know. This summer, give
your children a bucket and a magnifying glass and take them to a pond so
they can inspect the pond water for living creatures. Hand them a package
of colored chalk and let them loose on the driveway or sidewalk. Don’t get
involved in what they’re doing. Just watch, and you’ll see what I mean.

Copyright 2010 Barbara Frank / Cardamom Publishers


Barbara Frank homeschooled three children to adulthood and continues to
homeschool her youngest son. She’s the author of the new book Women of the
Old Testament: 14 In-Depth Bible Studies for Teens
as well as Life Prep for
Homeschooled Teenagers, The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Home-
and Homeschooling Your Teenagers.  You'll find her on the Web at
www.cardamompublishers.com and http://barbarafrankonline.com


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


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sessions!" -- Myriam



Winning Website

Kid's Know It Network -- www.kidsknowit.com
This fantastic site serves as a hub for many educational sites, all offering
free learning opportunities for kids. There are lots of learning games for
science and math, along with some pretty cool animated movies that teach
concepts like absolute value, averaging, DNA, and even grammar topics, such
as adverbs. More than just games, each section contains text for the child
to read and learn about the topic at hand. This will definitely become one
of those sites you visit again and again to supplement your curriculum!

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Helpful Tip

"If you're teaching Anatomy, try AnatomyArcade.com.  It is a fun website
with many activities." -- L.W.


Do you have a website, tip, idea or experience to share with our readers?

Send to: mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Last Issue's Reader Question

"Has anyone worked out a summer schedule where you do so many days of
school or block out a certain part of the days during the summer so
that your children retain what they've learned in math, etc. over the
previous year?  I find when we don't do any academics all summer my
children tend to lose what we've gone over the previous school year
(math facts, grammar, writing, etc.).  Then when we start the new school
year we're having to relearn multiplication, etc.  Can anyone share
their experiences with 'light' homeschooling over the summer -- what
worked for you... what you would do different, etc.?  Thanks!" -- Liz

Our Readers' Responses

"I’ve homeschooled thus far 14 years, one son already in college, and have
2 more years to graduate our youngest.  Don’t recall ever really taking
summer off.  We live in Florida and summers are so hot and uncomfortable,
we’d rather take time off during different intervals during the year.
When our children were younger we filled summer with some fun activities
like 4-H camps which are also learning activities.  We did a little bit
of actual class time, not as structured as during the regular school year. 

I suggest you analyze your children’s needs, strengths and weakness.  Get
a lot of great books from the library, especially audio books; you can work
on projects when listening to the books. Get educational CDs and videos to
teach or reinforce areas they need to work on.  I love music and songs
that teach concepts like math and science.  These are great tools and are
ways to make school light." -- Judy in FL


"Hi -- we 'summer school'.  It's very limited of actual sit down work.
We start the day off with making breakfast together incorporating math
and reading.  Then we clean up together.  Then the kids complete 1 two
sided worksheet and read 1 easy reader.  After that, some computer time
and then go out and play.  So it's about a 2 hour session all together
in the morning.  Works for us and come September they are still going
strong!" -- Melissa N.


"For light summer homeschooling we stick with the three R's and that's it.
We switch to lighter books as well, especially Evan-Moor practice books,
something a little different than we do all year with lots of math puzzles
instead of bare facts. I let them switch to 'twaddle' books, too -- so for
example instead of Robin Hood my son is 'allowed' to read Diary of a Wimpy
.  Where we live it is cool in the morning so we play outdoors then,
and after lunch it gets way too hot to be outdoors so we'll come inside
and work for a few hours. If they want to play in the pool we'll do oral
review of spelling or math and I always have a read-aloud at hand."


"The only way I could resolve that was to do year-round school. We take
time off here and there through-out the year for different things. We
actually had a week where we did nothing but walk the local gardens and
read books from the library everyday. We have taken time off to move from
Missouri to Florida. We have also taken time off to clean the garage. So
year-round school works for us. My daughter has such learning problems
that we can't let her take too much time off. She has no memory retention,
CAPD and dyscalculia. She is doing 2nd grade to 7th grade all at once,
depending on the subject, and then it will change to all 3rd grade level
or whatever. Son does 8-12 all at once depending on the subject. I'm not
really the best or most qualified person, but, like I say, year-round
works for us." -- Kristina B.

Answer our NEW Question

"Can anyone recommend a chemistry curriculum for a middle schooler?
My 7th grade son wants to take chemistry in the fall." -- Bonita


Do you have suggestions for Bonita and her son?

Please send your email to: mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

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if we can help you out in a future issue!

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