Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Fun School

I don't normally do school work with the boys throughout the whole summer. We usually plod through until June & then take most of July & August (and maybe September!) off until we start back all eager to go in the fall.

However, this year I have decided to do a fun summer session. One reason is we have taken off way too many days over the course of this year & still need to get some more "official" days done before the fall. Another reason is the boys baseball schedule. This is their first year playing & I'm finding we are gone every evening. We have taken most of the month of May off but I plan to start back on Monday.

Here is my plan:

Baseball Unit Study - that seems to fit in really well doesn't it? I have been getting lots of baseball books out of the library & we will be reading up on the sport. Of course, B & N are both playing baseball so there is a practical aspect to it as well. Finally, I stumbled across a free baseball lapbook on the Internet & each boy will be putting one together.

Country Study (Australia) - this is something I read somewhere on-line. I want to say it was at Jeannie Fulbright's blog. She had said in the summer she had her children do a study on a country & create a notebook. I tried this one summer with B about two years ago but it never took off very well. However, this summer both boys will be doing a study on Australia. I picked the country this time so maybe that will help. I again found free lapbook resources for this over at Homeschool Share. They have "Pick-A-Country" templates you can use for any country. I also found some specific notebook pages for Australia. I spent some time on the computer the other evening requesting a lot of books from the library about Australia to read as well as a video called "Families of Australia." I think it will be a lot of fun.

Literature - all the boys are participating in two summer reading programs. One is being put on by The Order of the Eastern Star lodge specifically for homeschoolers. It's called Books for Bikes. The boys will receive on entry for each book read in to a drawing for a new bike. This goes in to July.

The second reading program is put on through the Books By Mail program that we use for our library. The two older boys did this last year & had a lot of fun with it. They received some really nice prizes when they were all done.

I have to insert here that I really love our Books By Mail program. This is done through our state library system out of Augusta which is about 1-1/2 hours away from me. Any town in the state that either does not have a library or has one open less than ten hours a week (we do not have one) is eligible to participate. I simply requested cards for all of us & that allows us 10 requests at a time & once they are processed I can continue to request until I reach 25 items out at a time. I can request from any library system in the state that uses the Minerva on-line card catalog system - I have quite the selection to pick from!

I even received a phone call this morning. I just requested cards for my hubby & my youngest son. They were calling to see if we wanted to sign J up for the summer reading program! I decided to do that & they handled it for me right over the phone. She even recognized my mailing address & knew the names of the older boys. THAT'S how often we request books! This is the library system I use most often even though there are two smaller ones nearby that we can use for free.

Sorry for the digression.... :-)

Math - we are going to continue using our Math-U-See books as well as doing more Calculadder drills.

Nature Study - I'm hoping to start teaching & learning more about identifying trees, birds, plants, etc. I just downloaded the free LBC-Nature Journal that is at CurrClick this week. If you hurry, you might get a copy as well. They do change their freebie weekly. You need an account to download but the account is free. I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter so you are notified of the weekly freebies.

We are also putting in a large family garden this summer so the boys & I will be helping with that as well. I suppose I shouldn't say "we" as all of the work so far has been done by my hubby's grandfather and father, but I have been told we can help as much or as little as we want so we will be getting in on that soon.

Field Trips - we'll do these as they come up. Next month we are heading to Leonard's Mills in northern Maine. It's a living history museum. One of the woman in our on-line homeschooling community asked them to put together a special homeschooling children's day for us. I'm very excited about going.

Bible Study - during the year my boys are involved with AWANA. J will be in the Cubbie program again next year & so will work on his book along with the other little Cubbies. N is in the Sparkies program - his last year there - will continue working through his book this summer to get a head start next year. He took two years to get through book 1 so I'm hoping he can at least finish book 2 next year. N will be in his final year of T&T and also took two years to do book 1 so he will be working on book 2 as well. He will also continue working on memorizing verses over the summer. While neither of them will be able to get any sections signed off over the summer, my hope is that if they work hard on learning them now, they will be able to easily get through a number of sections during the first few sessions in the fall.

Sign Language - the last thing we are going to do is learn sign language. I originally had planned to be either a teacher for the deaf or a sign language interpreter, but life derailed those plans. My plan is to teach the boys the manual alphabet and read books about being deaf & about Helen Keller. I also took out a number of DVD's from the library system about learning sign language. We'll learn as much as we can over the summer & I'll decide if it's worth continuing based on their interest. I'd really like to have us learn to sign a hymn & perform it in church but they weren't that enthusiastic about that plan when I presented it to them the other day. There is also a hold on that particular DVD so I need to return it soon.

So there you have it - our summer school session. Hopefully it will be as fun as I hope & not too much like regular school.


  1. Sounds like a great summer plan!

    Have you seen this website?

    It's free and seems good.

  2. WOW! That sounds like a BUSY summer! We are going to do a few things through June and maybe part of July and then take a good 6 weeks or so off before we start school.

  3. Wow, I'm inpressed! I wish I could come up with a good solid plan like that. I'm still working on how to come up with a curriculum. Getting there slowly. Bought, some benders today, to get myself started. :) Have a good week!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful plan. I think we'll have the month of June to finish TOG....then we shall see.

  5. Lisa, great plans for the summer schedule. I'm wondering just how much of NOTHING time my kids will be able to stand.

    If I play my cards right, they may just come begging for school work in the next few weeks.

    I'm delusional.

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