Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer Learning So We Don't Go Crazy

I don't know how other families do summer but at my house after about 2 weeks of no school routine the kids get antsy. They love the freedom to play but the arguing picks up when their entire day has no requirement beyond chores. It's too much free time, too much of a good thing.

Our solution is a minimal summer learning routine that helps keep basic skills from atrophy. They rotate through the following list each week, not everything in one day.
  • Scripture study (generally daily)
  • Reading a book chosen from Mom's list. Beginning readers work on lessons with me.
  • Writing something.
  • Math practice.
The kids chose their books from my list on this day. They will work their way through their chosen book whenever it is assigned and when they finish they choose another book from the list. Here are their selections:
  • Makayla - Fahrenheit 451. She is also reading The Screwtape Letters because she wanted to.
  • Joseph - Treasure Island. He was excited for an adventure tale.
  • Emma - Sherlock Holmes. She had already started this but it is on my list of options so she chose to keep going with this one.
  • Daniel - Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book. He loved the idea of reading less sanitized versions of fairy tales.
  • Oliver - He's finishing up All About Reading 2 and will then dive into reading from a list I have created for him. The goal is to be reading easy chapter books by the end of the summer.
  • Caleb - He's doing All About Reading 1 and we have yet to hit a lesson that slows him down.
  • Mason - He's started All About Reading 1 and is blending pretty well.
  • Samuel - He's trying to blend CVC words when Mason is doing his lesson, I'm just letting him play with it. 
  • Tobias - As the resident 18 month old he's just bringing books to be read to him often.
I'm reading aloud My Side of the Mountain to all the kids for our Homeschool Book Club. Some of the oldest kids remember it but it has been several years since we read the book. I also cozy up with all the kids who are not independent readers each day to read them a chapter book (we're starting My Father's Dragon) and stacks of picture books they pull from the shelves or we bring home from the library.

The kids are free to choose when they do their chores and summer learning list but that if it isn't finished before lunch there are specific consequences triggered (like missing out on Kindle time during Mason's hour and a half afternoon medical care). It is always interesting to see my kids as individuals and how they handle time management. Some dive right into the work to get it out of the way, others do 1 task then a break, then another task, until it is finished, and there are even those who put it off and then push through things right before the deadline. To each their own!


  1. My kids can't be completely free either. We are doing a project based summer. My kids would tell you that means we are doing lots of work around the house and reading. They are also going to a few camps/dance classes. The reading list is great.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Can you please share your list for Oliver? My middle one is actually a decent reader but not confident in his skills so chapter books overwhelm him even though I think he can do that.

  3. We have a summer schedule as well because too much freedom here usually means lots of fighting between the kids and lots of screen time that I'd rather they play outside. I love your book list and the fact that you have reading basically daily. I just implemented a quiet time before bedtime that must include reading in some form or another ... either for school or for their own pleasure. They seem to be enjoying it so far.


Please remember to speak kindly. Unkind or inappropriate comments will be quietly deleted.