Since we had a difficult time getting the ball rolling again last fall once we had summer break, I decided to do summer school this year. It basically allows us consistency in our morning routine and around one hour of school work (if the kiddos stay focused). I made a deal with myself that whatever I scheduled them HAD to be able to be completed within one hour. So, here's what we are doing:
Robby Roo – 6 yrs, Entering 1st grade this fall
READING: Robby didn't show much interest in reading at the beginning of the year, so periodically I would work with him and then take a break. He knew all of his phonics information, letter sounds, dipthongs, etc. He just wasn't willing to take the time practicing reading to provide accuracy and speed. We would read little sections each day, and that was it. It was more important to me that he love reading than read early. By February, he was ready to go. He found a book that he liked, and it was just enough to give him the interest to work hard at reading. now he reads all of the time. My favorite quote from the last few weeks is "Mom, i love the stories where you don't know what happens next! Still, i figured he could do some brief review of phonics each day so that when we start All About Spelling in the fall, he will have an advantage. I am generally not a textbook/workbook style teacher, but this Phonics Review Student Workbook by Bob Jones seemed perfect to hand to him, and he can easily finish 2 pages in under 15 minutes.
MATH: I figure we can easily get through two math curiculums in one year. They say the first thrid of a curriculum is review. On top of that, I decided to stick with the same grade level resource but choose a very different type of resource so that if there was any concept the kids didn't fully grasp during the school year, it would give them the opportunity of learning it a different way over the summer and perhaps strengthen their weaknesses and inspire them with new perspective on the skills they have already mastered. Since we used Math-U-See during the school year, I chose Singapore for the summer. Math-U-See is very systematic and emphasoses word problems, while Primary Mathematics (Singapore Math) is colorful and full of pictures. It seemed like a good fit, and so far so good. He breezed through the first semester of material and is at least a third of the way through the second semester, and seems to love it.
COPYWORK: We have been using the Copywork books by Veritas Press which use cursive font, and are now in Book two. The kids were completing one page a day, but I noticed they were rushing through the page just to get it done, and it was looking pretty sloppy. Now the deal is that if they get it to look just like the example for half the page, they don't have to finish the page. Their work is looking beautiful now!
TYPING: The kids love the chance to play a computer game, so I figured, why not let them have fun and learn at the same time? Especially boys who struggle with fine motor skills at a young age, typing can be a much easier outlet for them. Robby begs to do Typing Instructor for Kids.
Becca Boo – 8 years old, Entering third grade this fall
LANGUAGE ARTS: Becca has an insatiable appetite for books. She not only reads at a high level, but comprehends. I have to hide books from her. So for summer reading, I am just letting her pick the books she wants to read (as long as they pass my screening). We completed Level 3 of First Language Lessons, Level 2 of All About Spelling, and some literature comprehenison workbooks from Veritas Press last year for her language arts study. I chose to have her do the 4th grade Daily Language Review from Evan-Moor to double check what she knows. It covers synonymns and antonyms, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, use of resources, sentence structure, etc. It has been interesting to catch things we haven't even discussed yet. This is the first thing she wants to work on each day, and it is hard to keep her to just one day's worth of work. Each review has 5 questions, making her able to easily finish the entire review in five minutes.
MATH: She completed Math-U-See Beta during the school year, so she is using Primary Mathematics Level 2 (Singapore Math). Since this is review of similar concepts learned in Math-U-See, she is moving rather quickly through it, and I am delighted that she is getting additional practice and perspective on the same problems.
COPYWORK: Veritas Press – (same as Robby above).
TYPING: I wanted Becca to be able to focus more on her creative writing skill as she moves into that stage, and not get hung up on how to type in the midst of it all. So I thought it would be great to teach her typing ahead of her IEW Student Writing Intensive she will begin this fall. Typing Instructor for Kids seems to be a hit!
OTHER THINGS WE WILL DO AS A FAMILY:
I am hoping to cover a lot of read-alouds that I had scheduled during the year and never got to. They are mostly related to History, Geography, or Lamplighter character books. The littles will probably play in the sandbox while I read.
ART: I wanted to be intentional aboiut getting out into nature, and about art. This Nature Drawing & Journaling resource seemed to hit the spot! Drawing, writing, and nature discovery all in one! Plus the instructor has a love for the Lord and how to use your nature journals to bring you closer to Him! Love it so far, and it is neat to see the kids have their own spin on the artwork!
MUSIC: I wish I knew more hymns. Since I don't, I thought this resource by Steve Demme (from Math-U-See) looked like fun! It tells the story of how the hymn came to be, and also provides a piano track for the hymn in case you want to sing along but don't have a piano player (or don't want to deal with all of that early in the morning!) The piano sheet music is also provided.
MEMORY WORK REVIEW: I purchased a black notecard box and created divider cards using the Scripture Memory System. Then I placed all of our Cycle 3 and Cycle 1 flashcards throughout the divider system, our scripture memory, character sentences, catechism sentences, etc. Basically, any memory work we have done in the past. It is working great! It helps me be more intentional about reviewing all of that information so we don't lose it! We sart with the daily tab which is all of the new information we are currently trying to memorize, then move to the day of the week and then the date. If we struggle with something, I put it back in the daily until we seem to recall it quickly, then the weekly, then the dates. Wish I would have thought of it sooner! We will also be flipping through the flaps of our My Memory Work Lapbooks with friends this summer to review CC Cycle 1, and complete the new memory Work Lapbooks that correspond to CC Cycle 2!
Outside of classroom study, we will be enjoying gymnastics, T-ball, hiking, biking, roller blading, and pretty much anything we find to be active outside with a young family. I am hoping to work in some field trips and form some new friendships! It should be a great summer!
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