It is well-known that kids may lose some of their academic gains over the summer. So it is a good idea to provide them with some educational activities to keep those neurons in the brain active.
Here are 10 academic activities that you can have your kids do over the summer for part of a homeschooling summer school plan.
- Math Facts. For example, you could have your kids practice math facts flash cards depending on their level. It has been found that smaller units of practice over many days is better for long-term learning than many hours of practice just once or twice. Being more comfortable and more confident with math facts will greatly help kids in all other math activities.
- Reading. This one is a no-brainer. Kids should read. It helps them to become better at reading higher level texts. It also helps with spelling. It also helps develop the mind and imagination, especially with fiction books. Non-fiction books of course can teach so much more information, as well.
- Spelling Practice. It’s important that kids have some basic spelling skills. However, they don’t have to be experts. Some kids struggle in this area more than others and some require much more intensive practice than others. Some kids might remember how to spell a word after minimal exposure to the word while other kids will need repeated practice and individualized teaching for developing spelling skills. See this link for the Fry 1000 Instant Words. Try going through the list starting from the beginning to see which words your child knows and which ones he or she will need more practice with.
- Field Trips. Try making time in your schedule to go visit places in your area (or maybe a bit further away). Kids learn not only from formal academic teaching but also from their every day, natural experiences. You could decide to take one field trip per week or maybe every other week, whatever frequency works for your family. These field trips don’t have to always cost money. You could find free or low cost activities to do. Consider the following: nature parks, nature trails, museums, art festivals, libraries, etc. You can also think about teaching daily living skills such as by visiting an ice cream shop or grocery store and teach money concepts such as counting money, paying for items, and receiving change.
- Let your child choose a lesson. Some kids don’t mind learning, other kids actually seem to like it, and others are bit more frustrated by formal education. However, for all kids, it can be a good idea to allow them to pick their own topic that they would like to learn about. You could spend some time 2 or 3 days a week on the topic of their choosing, whether it is learning a new skill or just learning about a certain concept. My 10 year old son typically doesn’t really like school, but he said he wants to learn about “teleportation.” 🙂 So, I will add some lessons about this concept for him during our homeschooling summer school plan. It may just be reading some articles about the topic or watching a video to get more exposure to what it means and where science is at with this, but he will be learning…and he will like it. 🙂
- Writing. Kids will benefit from practicing their writing skills over the summer. Individualize it based on your child’s abilities and skill level. For instance, one child might be working on neatly writing sentences while another child might be working on writing a one page story with logical sequencing of events and expanding on ideas.
- Online learning platform. Also, as a suggestion, you could use an online learning platform. This saves parents the time of planning activities and helps kids to be more engaged at times since they are allowed to use a computer or electronic device to learn. I have used K5 Learning in the past and have found it to be helpful for my kids. You could also find free websites to use.
- Physical education or recess. And don’t forget physical education, so be sure to allow your kids to have some outside play time if possible. Play is good for kids in so many ways and gross motor and outdoors play adds its own benefits, too. You can consider this gym (physical education) class or recess.
- Life Skills. It is not only important to teach kids about academic subjects, but also, in order for them to be successful adults (and children), they need to have a certain understanding and competence in various life skills categories. Some examples include money management, household chores like laundry and various cleaning tasks, etc. There are other topics that you may be interested in teaching your child, such as gardening or cooking. You could decide which category of life skills you want your children to learn and then make them part of your summer school plan. It’s sometimes easier to focus on these things during the summer when things are more relaxed rather than during the typical school year when life seems to get even busier.
This is certainly not an extensive list of all the summer school activities you can do with your kids, but it gives you a start on planning out your homeschooling summer school plan. Following is a sample schedule you could consider using or modifying to fit your family.
Daily Lesson Plan:
- Math facts practice – 15 minutes
- Silent reading – 30 minutes
- Spelling practice – 20 minutes
- Writing – 15 minutes
- Physical Education or Recess – 60 minutes (minimum)
- Online learning platform – 45 minutes
- Life Skills – 15 minutes
- Child-Choice Lesson – 20 minutes (Tuesday, Thursday)
- Extra instruction (for those challenging subjects for each child) – 20 minutes (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
- Field Trips – Wednesdays (or whatever day works for your family)
- TOTAL DAILY INSTRUCTION TIME = 3 HOURS 40 MINUTES
Jessica Fisher. “Plans for summer school at home.” Retrieved from: http://simplehomeschool.net/summer-school/