Some homeschooling families continue their regular schedule during the summer; taking breaks from time to time. Many, however, follow the school schedule by taking three months off during the summer. While it is helpful to take breaks, a three-month long break can be devastating to many students. Taking long breaks can sabotage the concept of “short-frequent sessions are better.” If your family can not or will not change to a year around schedule, there are ways to maintain skills. Subjects that are especially vulnerable to long breaks include math, reading for beginners and foreign languages. You may want to add other areas to your personal list. Just as there are a variety of approaches homeschoolers take in their educational program, there are an equal number of types of solutions for this problem. Here is a list to get you started, add your own flare.
1. Use Calculadders (Mad Minutes or other fact quiz or Daily Grams for other areas) 3-4 times a week.
2. Encourage reading a good book for fun. Some children will need a minimum time or page requirement. Encourage your child to try some different kinds of literature.
3. Play board games that will encourage thinking, math and verbal skills (Monopoly,
Pay Day, Boggle, Scrabble, DK’s Number Quest, Clue, Where in the World (USA, etc.) is Carmen Sandiego? Hail to the Chief, America -The Game etc.
4. Go on field trips as a family. Your local area provides numerous possibilities.
5. Have child help / do grocery shopping for the family – from making the list, to estimating the cost, to paying for the bill. Introduce the concept of “living on a budget” with real life opportunities to practice.
6. Attend foreign language classes or camps. Look for conversational opportunities in the foreign language. Or attend classes or camps in an interest area and read about it – science, gymnastics, other sports. etc.
7. Do nature walks, developing observation skills. Make drawings with labels.
8. Host a spelling, geography or other bee in your neighborhood.
9. Require one page of review for each subject needed 3 to 5 days a week.
10. Take photographs on vacation or special outings. Have child write captions and organize a photo album or scrapbook. Have him prepare a power point presentation or do a blog.
11. Have a summer business, keeping the books, advertising etc.
12. Introduce new educational software for the summer.
13. Find a volunteer service opportunity for your family.