No matter if you are a public school family or a homeschool family, you probably want your kiddos to still get in a little bit of learning over the summer, right?
A fun way to do that is stick with themes. For instance, June is National Zoo and Aquarium Month. So why not have them do some fun little things, all about zoos and aquariums?
Here are some great links for June learning fun:
A zoo spelling list over at VocabularySpellingCity – You can use this list to play any of the free learning games they have on the site, but you can also use it to try out any of the premium activities too!
Some animal and nature learning games over at Learning Games for Kids – All of these games are totally free!
An awesome owl unit study that was shared over at Secular Homeschool.
Please chime in, in the comments below, to share some of YOUR June learning fun favorites!
This time of year is always the time when we as parents/teachers/homeschoolers reflect on the school year that we just wrapped up, or will wrap up over the summer. Instead of stewing over what might have gone wrong (we all have those things, don’t feel bad), let’s share and celebrate each other’s successes.
We finished our first year of high school homeschool this year! I was a nervous wreck before we started, and had been worrying about high school for years. As it turned out, it really went just as smoothly as every other year. There were some initial struggles with how much time we spent on school (prior years we were more relaxed and took a more interest led approach), but when my son talked to other kids who were in high school in public school, and was told about just how much time they spent doing homework AFTER school…well, those struggles were quickly overcome.
Now, let’s hear from you! After you’ve shared in the comments below, take a look at some of these incredible homeschool success stories:
It’s no secret that we love all things shiny and gadget-like around here, so you’ll understand my excitement when I announce the newest way we’ve been able to access our online homeschool curriculum.
The Puffin Academy App and Time4Learning have made my boys SO happy! Why? Because they can now do their school on their tablets. Laying on the couch, sitting outside, in the car (ok…that pleases me much more than them, but we spend a ridiculous amount of time in the car…), and anywhere else they can access the web. We have a mobile data plan on our cell phones, and use them as hotspots all the time, so we have a whole new appreciation of the phrase “learning on the go.”
The app is available in the iOS app store, and in the Google Play store, so check it out!
So many people think that homeschoolers don’t worry about things like graduations, or continuing their education via trade schools or colleges/universities.
While that may be true for some, that certainly isn’t true for most. Many colleges and universities are becoming more and more homeschool friendly, and more and more homeschoolers are excelling at college. Here are some resources that can help you and your high school homeschooler prepare for “life after graduation:”
~ Dual Enrollment – There’s no better way to prepare for college, than to earn high school credits AND college credits at the same time.
~ High School Requirements for Educational Goals – Whether your high schoolers are considering community college, or have hopes of attending an Ivy League school (or they fall somewhere in between those), you want to know what the high school requirements are for where they want to go.
~ Homeschool-friendly Colleges – I firmly believe that homeschoolers have a shot at attending ANY school they apply to, but there’s nothing wrong with setting your sights on a school that happily accepts homeschoolers, without any additional hoops to jump through.
~ College Alternatives – If a major college isn’t something your homeschool high schooler has their eyes on, that’s okay! Here are some excellent ideas/resources for those who have a different post-graduation plan.
Social studies can be such a fun subject to teach and learn. Whether you and your kids prefer a workbook or textbook based social studies curriculum, or whether they prefer an online homeschool social studies program, there are ways to have fun with the subject.
Field trips can be tons of fun and really educational, all at the same time. Check out some local history spots, or visit a museum.
Play games! Learning Games for Kids offers quite a few (and FREE!) social studies games on their site.
Historical television programs and documentaries. Yep, I said it. Use your TV as an educational tool.
What are some of the ways that you and your children have had fun with teaching and learning social studies?
Wait…that’s not how the song goes, is it?
So let’s talk gearing up for summer. How many of you fabulous readers do school, in some form or fashion, during the summer? Do you have public/private schoolers that have to go to summer school? Is the summer a time when you need a little help with tutoring?
What about the homeschoolers out there? Do you take a summer break, or do you do the year round thing?
We homeschool and technically do the year round thing, but usually we end up finished with the current grade level by the end of July or so. So, there’s some time off because we don’t start the next school year until after Labor Day. This works out well for us. Because, my guys…I tell ya, if they had 2.5 – 3 months off from school, they wouldn’t remember A THING, lol.
In our break time, or if we need a light school day because we want to play, we focus on some things they don’t find “school-ish.”
Apps and games!
There are tons of educational apps out there, and honestly, spelling games on their Spelling City app is the least frustrating way we have to get them to do willingly do spelling.
Online games are a great way to reinforce and retain. You can find websites that offer free games; everything from math games and art games, to literature games online and Latin learning games. Game play usually equals fun, and I’m all about trying to make learning fun!
Now tell me. What are your summer learning plans?
For some parents/teachers, their curricula doesn’t multi-task well. Math is math. Science is science, and so on. But for some of us, we need the programs and materials we use to be able to be used across multiple subjects. Here are some examples of how we cover more than one subject at a time:
Incorporate reading into math. Even though we probably all hate those math word problems, lol, they do help with reading comprehension.
We fuse art lessons with history lessons (learning about period pieces and how artists and the materials they used differ than those today).
Using words from our current homeschool social studies lesson to practice word study and vocabulary building skills.
While we use spelling lists from a variety of sources, some of our favorites are actually the geography lists over at SpellingCity.com! We learn about local geography (states and state capitals), but we also learn about other countries. All the while, we are working on our spelling!
I’ve shared a few of the ways that WE multi-task/multi-subject. Now, won’t you please share some of YOUR ways?
Math. Around here, saying the word “math” means pouting faces and whole body shudders. It means bargaining for less math time, by offering more language arts time or less math time with more handwriting (which is a very close second on the Most Dreaded Subjects list) time.
What I’ve learned over the years is, as with other subjects, the Internet can provide a huge number of resources to help those homeschoolers who are struggling with homeschool math. Some of my favorite things to use for my math-anxious kiddo are not traditional math worksheets or activities, but things like math flashcards and online math games.
Tell me…what are some ways that you have found to help ease the math pain?
When you think of learning online, do you think you can only do subjects like language arts and math online? If you do, you’re not alone. Most people think that subjects like science, which requires so many “hands-on” experiments, are simply too hard to do online.
Guess what? You can do science activities online, no matter what age/grade level your child is at! There are tons of online resources for science. Let’s talk about just a few of them:
Educational videos are a great way to introduce and reinforce science concepts, especially for the visual learner. Learning games for kids has some wonderful (and FREE) science videos.
Working with younger kiddos? Science4Us offers online, interactive science for elementary school aged students.
If you’re homeschooling high schoolers, Let’s Homeschool Highschool has a terrific high school homeschool curriculum directory, broken down my subject. You can even find programs that stick to your specifc belief systems, like Creationism or a more secular view of science.
These are just the tiniest tip of the iceburg. Online science is everywhere!
Where have you found it?
How do your prioritize buidling a strong vocabulary? Is it something that you focus on, or is it something that you feel comes naturally to children while they are learning in other subject areas?
For the electronically-inclined, there are a number of online resources available, if you want your kiddos to put a primary focus on building vocabulary skills.
VocabularySpellingCity – Not just for spelling activities! Create your own lists of vocabulary words, or import one of the thousands that have already been shared on the site.
Learning Games for Kids – This FREE site allows your kids to play vocabulary games online, practicing and reinforcing word study in a fun way!
Time4Writing – Multi-task! Find resources and writing lesson plans, which can build both vocabulary skills and writing skills.
What are some of your favorite vocabulary building resources? Chime in and share in the comments below!