DEE TADLOCK earned a Ph.D. in reading education in 1978. She has taught reading at every level from elementary school through graduate school and has also worked with adult literacy in community college, community-based, and workforce programs. Tadlock holds adjunct faculty status at Central Washington University and has been published in several professional journals including Journal of Reading, Phi Delta Kappan, Reading Psychology, and Adult Literacy & Basic Education.
It is summertime for most of us. The books are closed, and summer break is here! As homeschoolers, we have luxury of understanding that learning can happen anytime, even during the summer. But, what does summer learning look like? Whatever you want it too! There are many ways to let the learning continue throughout the summer.
Let your children explore your backyard, or park if you don’t have a back yard. Let them find things in nature, like twigs, rocks, bugs, flowers or whatever else they find that is interesting. They can gather their items in a bucket or jar and take them home. Let them identify what they found, study it, and let it go back into nature.
Stay up late one night and watch the stars. See if you can find the big dipper or another constellation. Talk about the stars and why you can see them some nights and not others.
There is a fantastic program I found recently called Easy Peasy Homeschool. It is a free comprehensive homeschool curriculum and it is all online. They offer a once a week art lesson that my kids have really enjoyed!
Another good art idea for summer is to have a smorgasbord day. Gather all the art materials you have in your home and let the kids have a free day! See what kind of amazing creations they make J
Take your kids for a walk and let them gather a large rock. Bring it home and paint it. They can make an animal, a person, or another item of their choosing. Just make sure they wash it first!
Summer reading programs are in full force. Check your local library to see what they offer. Bookstores like Barnes and Noble also tend to offer summer reading programs throughout the summer. If you’re looking for book recommendations check out my Pinterest board for some great books!
With 4th of July coming up it is a great time to learn about American History. Check out some books from the library about our founding fathers. Another great resource for American History is Liberty Kids. You can get the complete series for a reasonable price on Amazon.
Talk about your local state history, and visit an area near you that you have never been to before. There are probably untapped resources within an hour or two from your home.
There are many ways to keep learning happening throughout the summer. Learning does not have to happen just during the school year, or only with a textbook. Summer learning can happen any time you want! Just make sure the kiddos don’t realize they are learning while having fun :)
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.
I don’t know about you, but we are almost through the school year. Yay! At the end of the school year it is a good idea to evaluate what worked, and what didn’t.
Here are three questions to ask yourself at the end of the school year. These questions will help you evaluate your school year, let you get a good idea of how it went, and what changes you may need to make.
- Are the kids enjoying school? Yes, homeschooling is still school and can’t always be fun, but are your kids enjoying themselves? At all? If not then you may need to talk to them and revaluate how your school year is going. If they are then woohoo! Keep on keeping on J .
- How is your routine? Are the days all the same length? Are some days longer or shorter than others? Take a look at your routine and see if any changes need to be made. We had the same school schedule for years, and I had NO intentions on changing it. Until. I had too. I realized that something with my routine was no longer working for my older children, so we tweaked it and things have been going much smoother. Routines are made to add structure to your day. They are not made to be a slave too. So, make your routine work for you if something seems off.
- How is the curriculum working? Do you love your curriculum? Do the kids enjoy it? If not, now is the perfect time to evaluate what is and isn’t working with the curriculum. Maybe look online, or ask a friend if you can try out something they have. Don’t purchase anything else without looking at it in person. You may be surprised that what you have isn’t that bad, or you may fall in love with something new. Once you have seen it, and maybe tried it out, make the purchase!
Semester revaluations are great for finding what is working and what is not working in your homeschool. It is a time to evaluate your day, your student’s enjoyment, and your curriculum. Don’t feel obligated to keep on the same way if something’s not working, try something new and start your next year off fresh!
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.