Bridging the Gaps!

summer learningEveryone has struggles now and again… even the best of homeschoolers. So, don’t let it get you down if your kids have a few learning gaps.  I know when I find out my children have a few weak areas it really gets me down.  There isn’t any one else to point your finger at and say – Why? There is only yourself and your thoughts of “What could I have done different?”  I have been there many times, but I realized that it happens. The question is, now that we know there are some issues… what are we going to do about it?

Summer is the perfect time to bridge those gaps in your child’s learning. If you found that they have weak areas as a result of a standardized test, then most of your work is already done for you. You simply need to take the test and find the sub sets where your child scored low. You can focus on those particular areas during the summer to try to strengthen the areas that were troublesome.

I like to do this with my own children each summer. Yet, I personally also like to have the summer as a time for me to recoup and refresh myself. If I can’t recover and refill my mother’s heart I will be of no use. I seriously use the summer to do that. That doesn’t mean that my kids get off scott free with no schooling. Ohhh… no way! I have tried to find ways that they can still get the remedial work they need without it stressing me out or requiring much thought on my part. I love to use online summer programs that fit the areas that were troublesome especially homeschool science.  I set it up on each of their computers that the favorites bar on their browser has all the link to the summer review programs that I want them to use. This allows them to individually access these websites without asking me for help. Granted, they don’t do school everyday, but they do it whenever they are bored or it is raining! I look at it as automated summer homeschooling!

What do you do to help your kiddos bridge their gaps during the summer?

Making the most of your Summer Time!

summer homeschoolSummer is my favorite time of the year. I enjoy not having the regular school responsibilities, and the great time we have traveling and seeing our family. Yet, as an education professional I know that statistics clearly show that children lose a portion of what they learned the previous school year, if they do nothing educational during the summer.

So, as I plan our summer I am trying to include a few fun ways to keep the education or at least some of their thought processes functioning! We have a big load of fun stuff happening this summer and I know the kids will be very busy. Yet, with all of the summer adventures I want the children to continue to use their minds so they don’t lose what they have learned.

My plan is to incorporate a little fun learning first thing in the morning. To accomplish this we will simply be using the Time4Learning curriculum for about an hour each morning. I have several old computers, so each of the kids can get this task accomplished rather quickly before rushing off to whatever big adventure the day holds.

We enjoy Time4Learning as a summer curriculum because it is highly motivating and is about the only thing that can keep my children’s attention during the summer… especially when thoughts of playing are assaulting them! Time4Learning is great to get accomodate those who are struggling as well as those who are gifted. You see, when you purchase a subscription, the grade above and below your child’s current grade is made available to you. The lessons that your children do are also tracked which makes it great for you to follow their progress. All in all – to make the summer enjoyable for me… Time4Learning is the winner.

What plans do you have for your homeschool this summer? Are you going to try to challenge your children… even just a little?

Keeping their brains active… School in the summer?

We typically aren’t homeschoolers that school in the summer. Summer is usually pretty sacred to me! I love to have time to get my mind and heart refreshed and renewed. Yet, my children do seem to forget some of what they learned during the year if we don’t do any schooling at all. This year I’ve settled on using the Internet to help keep their brains fresh while giving me a much needed respite from teaching. In years past, we have used the online curriculum that supplements our homeschool during the regular school term. This year, however, I am using Vocabulary Spelling City to help them keep their brains sharp.

Up until now, we have enjoyed this curriculum from a purely spelling point of view. I enter their lists, and they practice and test over them. Yet,  this summer I plan on taking advantage of the wide variety of specialized lists that Spelling city has to offer. They have lists that cover just about every math and science topic as well as lists for SAT Practice and even lists that help you learn the state capitals. There are really fun animated games that can be played, and even a test at the end. All of this can be monitored by the parent, and the software automatically keeps track of your child’s progress. That sounds like a winner to me!