Many parents worry about what’s commonly called “learning loss”, especially over the summer break. But the beauty of homeschooling is that learning never stops. Whether you’re spending your summers on a beach, hiking in the woods, road-tripping throughout the country, or relaxing in the comfort of your own home, there are so many opportunities to keep your children discovering their world and applying the skills and knowledge they learned throughout the school year. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Witness nature in action.
If you brush up on your caterpillar identification skills, you may be able to spot those in the wild (check near or on any milkweed plants you may find) and bring them home for a little science experiment. If not, there are many mail-order programs that will safely ship you a caterpillar and a habitat. Tape one of our life cycle charts on the wall and each couple of days, ask your children to identify what has changed. Older students can keep a butterfly journal and younger ones can draw or dictate a description to you. Every day brings something a little different, and children will love marveling at God’s work and witnessing all the changes as the caterpillar metamorphosizes. Need a less-interactive idea? Go birdwatching at a local park or in your neighborhood with the help of these fun identification cards!
2. Read to win
What’s air-conditioned, full of books, and free? Your nearest public library! Children will love getting their very own library card and checking out books. Most libraries even have summer reading programs and even award prizes. (And we all know children love an incentive!) Libraries are a great way to cool down on a summer day in between playing in the hot sun.
3. Grow, grow, grow!
It seems like summer is the time for growth spurts, and we’re not just talking about your children. Summer is a perfect time to take the opportunity to show your children the miracle of God’s world. Why not plant a vegetable, herb, or flower garden (get some help from this handy guide)? Also, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs are quite happy in pots if you don’t want to dig up an entire bed.
4. Fortify reading skills
On a day spent indoors, let your children explore their creativity by helping create a blanket and pillow fort as a cozy reading nook. Pop some popcorn, grab a new Abeka reader, and let their imagination go wild. While they embark on their own adventure, they are also maintaining those reading skills that they worked on throughout the year.
5. Unleash their creativity
Arts, crafts, and hands-on projects are a great way to keep busy hands and minds occupied. Set up a temporary station for supplies and materials that they can engage with when the mood strikes or when a day calls for an indoor activity. Summer Fun with Amber Lamb or any age-appropriate art books will help growing minds learn age-and level-appropriate skills from grades 2nd-6th.
6. Gamify the basics
Whatever grade your child just finished, solidifying their foundational skills will provide an easier transition into the next grade level. Utilize flashcards for memorization skills or even create games to enhance the fun of learning. If they win the game, you can award them with a prize or rewarding activity.
We all sigh in relief when we finally reach a summer break from school, but keeping your child’s mind active is essential for a successful start of the next school year. Check out all of Abeka’s extra helpful resources to keep your child engaged this summer break.