I’m a find what works and stick with it kind of girl, so it might not surprise you to know much of our summer plans are the same as last year. And our goal is most definitely the same: We’re taking a summer break without taking a brain break. All that said, here’s what this summer looks like for us —
Math: We’re using Life of Fred as a group. I bought the pack of 4 and I’ve found some through used book sales, so as we finish one book, we move on to the next. There is new information in it for some of my crew and review information for others. Because the text and story is told in an interesting fashion, it holds each of my children’s attention. Not to mention the lessons are short. I’ll give you an example of how the question and answer part works for my littles (ages 9, 7, 6, and 4. Baby not included. 😉 ) If the question at the end of the lesson is 5 + 2 = ?, I give these instructions before reading the problem aloud: I tell my two oldest they are responsible for writing the entire problem (as they hear it) and solving it, my (newly) 6 year old for solving the problem in his head or with his fingers, but writing the answer and my 4 year old for copying the answer from someone else’s paper. It gives each of them a little challenge and a chance to teach one of their siblings. I don’t mind tossing out clues (like remember to skip count), because my goal is to keep their math brains fresh and their cooperation kind. It’s been working great.
I’ll probably have my bigger boys do flashcards three times a week also to keep their math facts fresh. Go here to see the Saxon math vocabulary copywork I made for my guys last summer.
Science: More nature study! Right now, we’re participating in this nature pal exchange that I found via instagram. We’ve focused on observing and identifying what’s immediately around us. It’s been awesome. We’re excited to receive our package from our exchange partner in TN! The sign-ups are full for now, but they’ve already talked of doing a round 3 soon. You can follow along with the fun on instagram with the hashtag #naturepalexchange.
Oh & I also signed my two oldest boys up for a free science camp at our local library sponsored by GSK. They asked for more science and this seemed like a great fit. The program is national. You can check here to see if it’s in your area.
English: Lots and lots of reading! I’m pulling from the extra reading on our Ambleside list for the year, the lists in Honey for a Child’s Heart (my favorite!), and my own list of cycle 3 reading. So far we’re reading whatever I can find at the library from those lists. I’m disappointed with the library’s options from the Ambleside list, but they’re doing okay otherwise. I know I can find some Ambleside books free online or inexpensively as e-books, so I’ll probably try that route next.
We might continue with First Language Lessons, because I’m eager to finish book 2 before my oldest starts Essentials in the fall. So as not to confuse my guys, I do use the CC English definitions in place of the FLL ones. That’s true for the grammar lists, like irregular verb tenses, as well.
Bible: We’re continuing reading Old Story New. This book has been just what we need to spark conversations during our Bible time. It’s been an encouragement to me to see my littles make many connections between our daily readings from there, the readings from The Action Bible they do with my husband at night, and the Bible verses they’ve memorized during Awana.
Arts: My crew loves to draw and color, which they often initiate on their own. My two oldest are taking piano lessons, which they’ll continue through the summer. My little girl would love to take a ballet class, but since the classes cost a decent chunk of money (registration, class cost, special costume + shoes), I’m considering ordering this video for her to begin with at home. If she loves it, then we can take the class hunt seriously.
Latin: I had plans for us to use Song School Latin this year as a family, but then moving happened. And boy, does that take a lot of time! So we stuck to learning our CC Latin memory work really well and didn’t complete Song School Latin. But, my littles (and I!) really do love it and I hope to add it back in over the summer. This won’t be a daily activity, probably more like three days a week.
History: You’ve heard of parents complaining when their favorite jams have been replaced with children’s music in the car, right? Well, for us, it’s audio books. My littles are currently obsessed with Story of the World, so we’re listening to it nearly every time we’re in the car. We even have occasions where we sit in the driveway waiting for a story to finish before heading inside. This explains part of the reason we’re particular about which audio books we say yes to. I promise if you’re particular about finding quality audio books, you won’t miss your tunes (too much) either. And you’ll learn some new stuff too.
It sorta sounds like a lot when I type it all out, but really, I promise, it’s not. If all done together, it’d probably add up to an hour or so. Most of it is completed when we’re all lounging on the couch together or playing outside. Plus since it’s all bonus, there’s no pressure (from me or anyone else) to complete any of these things.