We always choose a few basics to keep our brains engaged and avoid the summer slide. It has been documented that in countries like the US where students have an extended break from school, students lose on average 20% of the gains in reading and 27% of the gains in mathematics they made during the school year. It is one reason why the first 4+ weeks of many curricula and the first month of classes is spent reviewing past concepts the students learned the year before, but have often forgotten. One way to combat the summer slide and the wasted time spent re-teaching concepts at the beginning of each new school year is to maintain some academic practice during the summer. In our homeschool that looks like this:
- 20 minutes of reading daily - many of my kids choose to read more than this, but this is the minimum.
- Math Mondays - everyone does a math practice page, game, or activity on Mondays.
- Writing Wednesdays - everyone writes something on this day. For my high schoolers this is usually writing to an essay prompt, while middle and elementary school kids have different options according to age and ability. Again, I have some kids who write much more often than this. One teen is working on a second novel, while another is deep into writing fan fiction currently. One child likes to write poetry.
Wednesday was our first Writing Wednesday of the summer. I printed out the June writing prompt calendar from Write Shop for some of the kids, and the June essay prompts from Write Shop for my three teens. I received a variety of writing papers back through the morning.
- Samuel wrote about what he would do with $500 just to spend on himself.
- Mason chose an unusual pet and wrote why it would be a great pet.
- Caleb described his favorite time of the day and what he likes to do then.
- Oliver explained why he would choose a castle to live in over a houseboat or jungle hut.
- Daniel wrote an argumentative essay about why he did or did not think we should develop robots to replace human jobs in factories, warehouses, and fast food restaurants.
- Emma also chose the argumentative essay prompt about robots replacing human workers.
- Joseph wrote an expository essay on why he would build a house in a peaceful valley, instead of building on the beach or in the mountains.
The day was quiet, lots of playing, building, and painting. The four teens went to the church for youth group in the evening.
Thursday dawned with lots of rain that hung around all day. The kids voted on our Tulip tie dye kits for the summer and I ordered them on Amazon. Most of the kids chose the Celestial colors, with a smaller group choosing the Shark Island colors. (Those are affiliate links to Amazon, as usual.)
The washer was repaired today for just under $200 and it is so nice to not need to hand wring out the clothes.
Friday sunshine. Young women smores night at our house.
Saturday was our first swim of the summer.
Sunday Caleb had an accident involving a paddle ball and his eye that landed him in the Urgent Care. The eye is scratched and we're not sure yet just what to expect. Supposedly it will heal well, but as of Monday evening he's still very uncomfortable, light sensitive, and has taken several naps - which is very unnerving with a 10 year old who quit napping many years ago.