When you’re a homeschooling mama, you know that learning takes place all day, most every day. For most of us, some days have more structured, formal- type learning. Those are the days we “do school” here at our house.
But learning never stops here at the Hill House. There are paper airplanes to fold and garden boxes to set up and plants to keep watered and breakfast cookies to bake.
All of those things require an ample amount of instruction if my little people are helping me.
Why do my new Mother’s Day flowers have to be watered every day?
Why are we putting compost in the garden boxes? How did we get the compost in the first place?
Why did this paper airplane fly farther than the last one?
Why am I measuring these ingredients in the breakfast cookies? Why don’t I just guess how much butter is needed?
You all know how this goes. These scenarios are probably played out in your homes every day too.
Do we take a summer break?
I am often asked if we take a summer break and how long it lasts. Readers also want to know if my kiddos do worksheets and printable-type activities during that break.
Yes and no.
We certainly do take a summer break. And I’ll be honest in saying that if May 31st (our last day of school) doesn’t hurry up and get here, I might go a little crazy. Being the teacher, I have out-of-school fever pretty bad.
We will take several weeks off and then resume in mid-July. This schedule works great for my family and the season of life we’re in. Will we always break this way? I doubt it, as life has a way of changing things up on us.
Will we do school at all during our summer break?
If we’re talking ‘formal’ school with planned math lessons and things like that, the answer is a big fat no. I’m looking forward to not having to plan weekly school for several weeks.
However, we’ll do what we call ‘life school’ every day all day, as we usually do. Life School is the type of learning I described at the beginning.
Creating a Summer Notebook
This post contains affiliate links which help support free worksheets and printables published at Mama’s Learning Corner. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
So that leads to another question I’m often asked: How will you keep your children from losing what you’ve taught during the school year?
I make them personalized Summer Notebooks.
These Summer Notebooks are worksheets and printables that I know they would enjoy. I bind the worksheets with our beloved binding machine and my kiddos think they’re the coolest things ever. They truly love them. Anytime I bind anything in a notebook, they’re hooked!
The key (like all of homeschooling I have found), is to make them fun. If they think the workbooks are supposed to be schoolwork, they’re less than thrilled. So I make sure I call them “Summer Notebooks.” 😉
In my 8-year-old son’s packet, I put:
- word searches
- definition matching (from our history studied this past school year)
- pages with writing prompts (write a sentence and draw a picture)
- math practice (I’ll have to sneak it in. This is really the only subject that he needs reinforcement through the summer.)
- journaling pages for their summer thoughts and activities; some have simple prompts at the top and some do not
- a few pages of Bible verses and some Bible copywork
- crossword puzzles
- fun logic-building pages
In my 6-year-old daughter’s packet, I put:
- tons of color-by-number addition pages
- color-by-sight words
- math facts (she is in love with math facts right now)
- writing prompts
- several pages of blank lines – she loves to write names and practice writing letters and numbers
- coloring pages
- several easy reading pages
- ‘What Did You See?’ pages – for keeping a record of items found on nature walks
We’ll also do a Themed Resource Packet this summer
The Packets are literally packed with ideas and we enjoy working through them together. June’s Resource Packet will be on a person who invented several neat things (hint, hint!), so we’ll work through that one together very slowly on our time off. We’ll do projects and enjoy the online learning links and You Tube videos.
Time to Play
My kiddos don’t view the things I have planned for summer as “school work.” My kiddos do much better when there is structure to our day, so I will have an hour (maybe) of structured learning time using the things described above, but it certainly won’t be intense like our typical school days. I’m looking forward to some relaxed, lazy summer days.
So there will be plenty of time during our summer break to play in the sprinkler, take swimming lessons, play in the sandbox, and ride bikes. My children’s biggest jobs this summer are to just be kids. Explore the nature around them and make up games to play with their baby dolls.
I can’t wait.
If you’re interested in making some Summer Notebooks for your own kiddos, you can purchase the 2012 Worksheet Packet for only $9. It includes 200+ worksheets, printables, and printable games published at Mama’s Learning Corner during the 2012 calendar year. It’s a steal for all that is included.
If you have your eyes set on a unit study this summer, make sure to check out Mama’s Worksheet Packets and see if there is a topic that fits you child’s interests.
They are extremely well-priced at $1.99 for 12-15 printable pages centered around a particular topic.