With the middle of May in sight, the “extreme planner” side of me has come to the forefront and I’ve been organizing our learning program for the summer.
Years ago I discovered that while summer can be a time for relaxation and plenty of unstructured time, the girls and I function best when we have at least a bit of a schedule and some planned activities for part of the day. It takes about an hour and a half to complete the work listed below, so there’s still plenty of time for swimming in the pool, going on outings with friends, etc.
When the girls were younger, I scheduled theme weeks and planned all our reading and activities around that theme. Now that my girls are older, I’ve moved away from the themed weekly plans and structure things a bit differently. (If you’re interested in seeing how I planned those theme weeks, links to previous years’ summer learning programs are at the end of this post, along with tips for creating your own program.)
As far as I know right now, we have six “free” weeks this summer when we’re not out-of-town,
participating in camps, etc. Here’s what our schedule will look like
for those weeks.
- Bible (10 min.): Personal devotions. I want to emphasize with my girls the importance of establishing the habit of daily devotions. I’ll let them pick from several resources we already have in our home and then we can begin our day by individually spending time with God.
- Bible Memory (5 min.): Memorize/review John 14:1-6 and Philippians 4:6-13.
- Math (15 min.) Alternate between Critical Thinking workbooks and Khan Academy. We have two workbooks, Balance Math and More! Level 2 and Crypto Mind Benders Classic Jokes, left over from last summer, so we’ll work on finishing those up. My 14-year-old worked on Khan Academy (a free, online math program) during the school year, so she’ll continue reviewing her pre-Algebra skills with that. I’ll also set up an account for my 12-year-old to review her 6th grade math skills and we’ll alternate between the workbooks and the online program.
- Typing Instructor (15 min. each)
- Piano Practice (30 min. each)
- Homemaking Skills: I’m focusing on cooking once again this summer. I hope to have each girl plan for and prepare one meal a week.
- Read Alouds for 12-year-old: Prairie School by Lois Lenski and Daughters of Destiny by Noelle Wheeler
- Summer Reading for 14-year-old. We’ll continue the summer
reading program we started last year with our teenager.
We assign her one non-fiction
book to read each week; she completes the book and writes a
one-page report on it. (She can write it like a regular book report or
in list form, i.e. “Ten Ideas I Learned from this Book” or “Ten
Principles I Can Apply from this Book.”) I’ll be sharing her assigned
reading list next week. As an incentive, we pay her five dollars for
If you’d like tips on planning a summer learning program for your children, check out How to Plan a Summer Learning Program for Your Kids.
Here are links to previous years’ summer learning programs.
Summer Learning 2014
Summer Learning 2013
Summer Learning 2012
Summer Learning 2011
Summer Learning 2010
Summer Learning 2009
What activities are you planning for the summer?
I like how specific your goals are! Are you about to finish up your school for the year? I really like how you're going to reward your daughter for her reading and writing.
We'll be doing school into June since we took so many days off during the year, and I don't mind at all. I plan for my older two to do a math worksheet on their addition or multiplication facts along with a little bit of writing on the weeks that we're home, too. We've got a good bit scheduled this summer, too. Oh, and we'll be heading to the pool twice a week.
Tracey Brewer says
We will finish school on May 29th. We are focusing on getting lots of school work done this month since we leave at the beginning of June to go on vacation with extended family and I really didn't want to have school to do when we get back.
Are y'all doing swim lessons or just playing at the pool?
Our end point for school is determined by a practicum I have to attend with CC. But I think we'll be done with all of our math lessons by then. If not, well, who cares! 😉
We are doing both swim lessons and playing at the pool. Swim lessons are great, but you need that time at the pool outside of lessons to really learn to swim.
Tracey Brewer says
Agreed – both of my girls took swimming lessons, which were great, but they didn't really get the hang of it until we moved to this neighborhood with a pool and they were able to have time to "play" and get very comfortable in the water.
We have a broad agenda. The kids have to come with me to the gym when I teach, and that ends up taking half the day by the time we leave. I want us to go to the pool more than we did last year. I think we went twice!!! :-O They'll do the summer reading program at the library & a math thing I found for free online: TenMarks (The info link is crazy long: http://info.tenmarks.com/rs/tenmarks/images/TMSMPFamilyFlyer.pdf?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokvqTIZKXonjHpfsX57ewtXqa0hokz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMSMJqNK%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7jMK81rz98QWxbj )
Tracey Brewer says
I checked out the link to the math program – looks neat! I might investigate it more as another option for my kids, too. Thanks for sharing it!