Summer is quickly approaching here in Minnesota. All over the nation, and parts of the world, we are in lock down still due to COVID-19. I personally understand that these restrictions are going to greatly impact how we spend out summer.
Two years ago I decided to switch our home school schedule around, a lot. I determined that instead of having a true ‘summer vacation’ I would instead build in breaks throughout the year and do a form of year round home school. It was a bold move but with baby #3 due in July, he came in June, we knew that keeping the kids going as long as possible through the year would help when we had set backs due to teething, sleepless nights, etc.
It truly has been a wonderful option for our family. We are able to travel to various places and not have it negatively impact our school term. We also do not suffer from the lag that occurs from one year to the next. So in the spirit of preparing for summer school I wanted to share with you what we are planning for this year.
Summer School Options
These are our favorite programs that we will continue to use this summer as we explore new skills and interests. Some of them have affiliate links and others just a refer a friend link, just letting you know.
We are also keeping our fingers crossed that maybe, just maybe, we will still get to do swimming lesson this summer.
This is by far a family favorite. And yes I do let my kids use knives (yup the real ones). I have to admit that it is not only a favorite because the kids love getting to learn how to cook but also because they become more self-sufficient. Win-win for the household.
Through this program my kids have learned to do so many different kitchen skills. They are a big help at meal time simply by covering the task of peeling any vegetables that I need.
My oldest is extremely confident in the kitchen. He is great with a knife and can cut multiple ways. Mixing and stirring are skills he mastered early on. Since then he has conquered flipping items and everything. This summer we will be making the final push to cover stove top skills with my oldest. Our middle son, who is six now, will be working his way through both the intermediate and advanced levels. The baby will be cutting up bananas with a butter knife.
The best part about this program is that if your purchase at the VIP level you get lifetime access! That’s what I purchased way back when we only had two kids. It’s a great value for a product you can use again and again with your family. I plan to someday teach my grandkids with this same program.
I have decided to keep the kids going with this program online for a bit until I know that we are right on track with where they should be grade wise. Yes, I am one of those moms that makes sure my kids are meeting the state standards for their grade…within reason.
We will be using Time4learning over the summer on a daily basis but in a very small capacity. It will probably be 4 language arts lessons, 2 math lesson and either a science or social studies lesson depending on the day. Programs like this are always wonderful to have for those rainy days.
There is no better time to get into drawing and exploring the things around you than the spring and summer. Well at least here in Minnesota that is the case.
We will be taking to the woods, garden, barns, tress – you name it to draw, explore and paint what we see. We often take a bit of time to learn more about what we found and have drawn. Grabbing our nature bag is super easy and we always keep it stocked with our favorite sketch books, pencils, charcoal, paints and brushes.
Gardening and Selling Products
My boys learned to propagate plants this winter. My spider plant was thriving and I thought it would make for a fun science lesson. Now…thirty plus new plants on my counter later I think we are ready to have them start selling the products of their labor.
The boys and I did some research after taking the cuttings. We calculated out how much dirt they would need, the number of pots they would have to buy and price compared to those plants found in stores locally. They were planning to sell them at our free Farmer’s Market in town on Saturday mornings but then we had COVID-19 start. Now we are going to attempt a roadside sales table once the weather settles down. It will be a great lesson for both of them on sales and business building. They have loved learning more through the tv show Biz Kids. They both have things they are working towards and this will help them achieve success. #savingsgoal
Ok it’s geology but it’s more fun to call it rock hunting.
We have an active quarry down the road and the owner is awesome! He not only dropped off a huge amount of black dirt for my garden but also gave us permission to explore and check out the rocks when no one is working in the quarry. I don’t know who was more excited the kids or the adults.
We ventured to the quarry two weekends ago and it was amazing. There are river rocks, agates and tons of other things. We have started giving them fun names so it’s time to learn the correct ones for sure, so I’ll need to get a few of these charts to help us out. I even found a fossil!
This may also inspire us to pull out the gold pan we were given for Christmas a few years ago…
What I want my kids to learn this summer
The biggest take away that I want my kids to learn this summer is to have fun while learning.
Learning does not need to occur only when they are sitting at a desk, or stuck at the computer, or inside of a building. Finding the joy for learning through those things surrounding them on a daily basis is so much more important than a location.
Creative outlets and new experiences can help them to grow as people and I hope that they can find their passions during these easy going summer months.
How are you preparing your kids for the summer ahead?