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Summer.. what do you do?

Forum: Homeschooling


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May 1st, 2011, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Floor-ree-dah
Posts: 3,388
Here's a little history: We have been continuously homeschooling our 2nd grader since she was 4 y/o except for last yr (1st grade) where she spent 3/4 of the school yr (from aug to mar) at a private alternative "free school" which means they only do studies if they want to as kind of a reverse psychology thing. It wasn't for us so we pulled her out and registered her as homeschooled and started trying to get her caught up. I'm happy to say that she's really made a lot of progress in one years' time and is on grade level or above (far above for reading) in everything except MATH.

My idea was to give her "Summer school" which would include heavy concentration on math and maintaining handwriting, creative writing, and reading comp. Hadn't decided how I would arrange the days but I'd like them to be half as short as usual KWIM? Also, I feel kind of bad that she's never gotten a whole summer off. So, it's gotten me thinking about how y'all do summers.

1. What's your HSing plans for this summer?

2. Do you have any suggestions for me in my situation? (if not that's ok )

A million thanks in advance!

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May 1st, 2011, 10:58 AM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
I'm not any more experienced than you are, so I don't have a great suggestion, but I can see why you'd want to "catch up" during the summer. I've never HS'ed in the summer, but this year I think I'm going to do a similar thing as you. We are on track with math, but I feel my boys could be further ahead with Language Arts... specifically writing. Their handwriting is still terrible since they formed bad habits early on and I'm trying to reverse them (oy), and they can't spell to save their lives. So I think I'm going to do just a simple LA program through the summer so I'm sure they are up to par by the fall.

And, honestly, if we do absolutely nothing this summer I know I (and they) will have a hard time getting back into the habit of "doing school" and it might take months to get back into the swing of things. So I really want to avoid that so we don't get behind next year.

As long as they feel like they are getting some "break" (half days, more days off, etc) then I think it will keep me from feeling too guilty. And, besides, I think doing a little work this summer will make our next year a lot easier so they would thank me later on, if they fully understood my reasoning, ya know? That's how I feel.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

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May 1st, 2011, 11:24 AM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,232
I plan to continue during the summer mainly because here in TX summers are so hot that I'd rather keep our schedule as it is and have more time "off" in the spring/winter/fall when we can play outside. Our situation is a little unusual - my oldest sons live with their Dad during the school year and are with us during summers and vacations. They have both expressed an interest in doing school with us so I am going to ask them what they are interested in and piece together some unit studies that we can all do together, the activities will just vary depending on age.

If it was me, I think I might do fun skill building activities for math if you feel your daughter is behind. Do you have to provide documentation to your state? Here in TX we do not. If I thought one of the kids was below grade level based on our public school standards, I might just add in additional computer games or other fun ways for them to have exposure and just continue moving through our curriculum at the normal pace. I think the beauty of homeschooling is that kids can work at their own pace. Sometimes they grasp a concept quickly and move right on, but sometimes it just takes more time and then it may average out when they move on to the next topic.

So far, my 5 year old doesn't seem to want breaks. She has days when she doesn't want to complete a whole lesson so we just stop and come back to it. Her favorite subjects are spelling and math so we do those daily. This is our first full year so I am sure things will change as we have more experience.
Alison - Mom to: Emmeline (7/14), Augustus (2) Maximus (4) Eleanor (5) Reid (6) Evelyn (8) Lucas (13) Christopher (14)

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May 1st, 2011, 11:56 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wister, OK
Posts: 2,082
We will most likely HS through the summer. I would like to take a break especially with the baby but DS asks to do his school stuff everyday. I am lucky if we take a break once every two weeks. I was planning on maybe letting him play some math games on the computer to help with his math and to give me a break. He is flying through everything but math.

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May 1st, 2011, 12:10 PM
christianmommato3's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This will be my last summer off. I will be going to year around starting in August. We will be doing 6 weeks on and 1 week off
In your case, I would just do a simple workbook, computer game, or flashcards. Maybe only 2-3 days for only an hour
stay at home, homeschooling momma to Jacob(12), Alisha(10), Andrew (5)

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May 1st, 2011, 12:51 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
We do HS year round as well.

Question for you ... when you say she's fine with everything except math, what do you mean by that exactly? The reason I ask is that we're in a similar situation. We've been working with a couple of educational psychologists on it, and will have formal testing done in January. (1) My son is gifted, but there's a chance he's also learning disabled in math... called dyscalculia. (2) There's a chance he's really gifted in math, but just has trouble with the simple calculations part, because his conceptual level is much, much higher than his computational level. (Which means he understands concrete concepts like multiplication & fractions, abstract concepts like algebra and geometry, but he forgets from one day to the next how much 7+4 is, so he continually counts on fingers, and sometimes even messes that up.) In either case, I've been assured that he'll be fine using a calculator when he gets higher and higher into school, and that with diagnostic testing, he may even be able to use a calculator on certain types of standardized testing.

Just throwing that out there for you. My son is also very advanced in reading, so your post caught my attention.

Over the summer, keep it fun. If you suspect a higher level of conceptual math, do something like Primary Grade Challenge Math. If you suspect she just hasn't had enough exposure and practice, make it fun by using computer programs, online sites, games, household items, etc. The same old workbook page after workbook page gets old quickly for some kids (not for the kind who like that sort of thing, though), and especially during the summer, you may want something more interesting.

How much time are you already spending on school? Generally speaking, you should spend about 30 minutes per grade level... so a 2nd grader would spend 1 hour, give or take, each day on school work. If you're wanting to cut that down in the summer, try to spend about 5-10 minutes each on reading, writing, and math. If you see frustration or tears, stop. Give it up for a few hours, few days, or few weeks (depending on the reason for the tears), and then revisit it. Pushing a frustrated child will only make them resent learning.
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May 1st, 2011, 02:25 PM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
We school year round.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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May 2nd, 2011, 12:22 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 784
We school year round also. We recently changed everything to fit my son's personality and life better. We are now doing unit studies for about 30 min.- 2 hours a day / 3 days a week. He gets Thursday-Sunday off because either his friends are off those days or his dad is. This compromise has made a real difference but I still feel he's not doing enough for fourth grade.

You may not want to view things as "catching up" but just continue with problem area through the summer at the same pace as during the year and drop everything else for a shorter day.
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May 2nd, 2011, 03:04 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: In my house :p
Posts: 1,288
We'll take the summer off, for the most part.
That's not to say we won't do *any schooling, but it will not be anything near what we do now.

Although this summer we will spend more time on their Spanish, we'll also do stuff here and there on their core subjects(Math, LA, Science). But nothing like a normal day would be.

I think kids need the break-well I think *my* kids need the break, that summer(or any other time of the year-we'll just use our summer as ours) can offer.
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May 3rd, 2011, 08:37 AM
Tofu Bacon
Posts: n/a
Last summer we did some Five In a Row, but not every day. This summer... since we're not going to be homeschooling ds1 anymore, I want to get him "caught up" in the areas he has trouble with, so he'll be prepared for 1st grade.
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May 3rd, 2011, 07:28 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
We year round as well, so once we are done with our required amount of days in a few weeks, we will take a couple of weeks off and then go for it again. Try to make whatever you come up with fun for her. If she enjoys doing computer games, try setting her up with something online to play to help her in her math skills.
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May 4th, 2011, 01:30 PM
mommybugnbugga's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: AL
Posts: 1,546
We plan on schooling year round.

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May 5th, 2011, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
We're going straight through, too. I'm more inclined to take things easier in those slim windows during Spring and Fall when it's gorgeous outside. Come summer, no one here is going to want to step outside the door for more than 5 minutes.
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May 12th, 2011, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Floor-ree-dah
Posts: 3,388
Ugh! I am so sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this! I haven't had a focused enough brain lately to even concentrate on summer. I really appreciate all of the replies to this. I have read and re-read them!

Chrystal- I don't think she is like your son. I online 'tested' her reading level and it is @ 5th grade. Not bad at all, but not 'gifted'. What I mean by 'behind in math' is she has issues with memorizing teens subtraction.. ie: 15-7=8 or 17-9=8 and it holds her up when she's working with 2 digit subtraction using borrowing. So, now that she's finishing her 2nd grade year, I feel she is still on beginning stages of 2nd grade math. So, to me that puts her only on a firm 1st grade math level. Maybe it isn't right to "label her levels" like this but I want her to stay as caught up as possible. She is fully capable, she is just easily distracted and VERY unstructured. Which is fine to a point but she goes above and beyond the concept of "free learning". She abuses it, in other words. I also think she has hit a "hump" with math that once she gets over, she will excel. Reading is an example of this. Once she learned to read in Kindergarten, she took off so quickly! I'm going to be working with her brother (who turns 4 in August) on some things come fall. I'm need to figure out how to strike a balance with homeschooling a pre-K'er and a 3rd grader. Three yrs after that I will have a Pre-K'er, a 2nd grader, and a 6th grader. WoW, that's the first time I've ever typed that out or thought it out that far!

I guess what I'm "typing/thinking aloud" is, that I really want the fall session to start off smooth and managable bc it will be the start of the idea of homeschooling 2 instead of just 1. And TBH, I've just now gotten the hang of homeschooling the one. It's been a rocky 3 yrs.

I've done a lot of thinking and have 95% decided to do 'summer intervals'.
Basically, we will have 3 more weeks after this of regular "school". June 3rd would be the 'last day' of 2nd grade.

Next will be 2 full weeks OFF
Then 3 weeks ON
Then 2 weeks OFF
Then 3 weeks ON
Then 2 weeks OFF

First day of our 3rd grade and pre-K: Aug 29th. I *think* this county starts their first day 'back the week prior to that but both my younger children's bdays are that week so I might as well wait until the following week to get serious.

What exactly we will be doing during those 6 weeks of 'ON' weeks I have not figured out entirely yet but her amount will be cut in half. She will still have creative writing, Handwriting, lots of MATH, summer reading with introduction to book reports and a dab of science bc she enjoys it so much.

The reason she would do well with the intervals, I think, is bc she would get her extended breaks but have the frequent steady reminders.

I do like the Math games ideas (thanks ) and will be figuring out some creative ways to make math more appealing to learn.

Thanks so much everyone!

Last edited by 4hearts; May 12th, 2011 at 05:28 PM.
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May 12th, 2011, 08:06 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I think whatever you decide to do will work if you just stick it out and get into a routine. The transition will be tough, but you'll figure it out.
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