My son was crying the other day. Whining about what a horrible summer it's going to be. I had just put up a 3 month calendar and schedule for the summer and he was freaking out. "Summer school! We have to do school in the summer?" I got the idea from my friend, Pam. Her kids are super smart (probably because they inherited their parents' smart genes) and I asked her once what she did with them to make them so smart. She told me she did Mom School in the summer. When she told me what her summer school schedule was it sounded very similar to the homeschool schedule I had for Trevor. The more I talked to Pam about it the more I realized I could totally do it. And I am going to do it. Even if my kids complain or cry or whine or throw super bad temper tantrums. We are going to do summer school this summer. End of story. But what about having fun and giving them a break from school and letting them run and play and be free and be KIDS? They will get to do all of that. Before starting homeschool, I didn't realize how much teaching and learning could get done in such a short amount of time. There will be plenty of time for my boys to swim and play and relax and enjoy their days off from school. But I don't want them to forget what they learned. I don't want their reading levels to plummet over the summer or for them to go back to school in the fall not remembering the math skills they worked on so many months before. It's not going to be all day, every day, but it is going to be a good chunk of our summer. My kids are smart, but they are not the best students. I know where they struggle and where they excel. I know I want them to work on certain things over the summer so they can go back to school and feel confident and smart. I want them to start off the school year knowing their stuff and not falling behind. I want them to enjoy school because I taught them at home how to enjoy learning. And it's not going to be all books and worksheets and tests. One of my favorite new websites is X-tra Math. It's free and it's all about memorizing simple math facts so kids can do their math easier, faster and in their head. The website even tracks your child's progress and sends you a weekly report. Each session only takes about 5 minutes so it's quick and easy for your child to do every single day. Another site I love is Easy Peasy - All in One Homeschool. This site is so awesome. I used it a lot with Trevor and we both loved it. It's broken into subjects and grade levels so you can find lessons and activities for your child. Everything is on this one site. There are links to videos, worksheets, books, games, puzzles, music. There are even great alphabet videos and activities for preschoolers or younger kids.
My kids might not like the schedule they see and they might fight me on "summer school" in the beginning, but this summer I am not backing down. When the going gets tough I am going to have to be tougher. Even if my kids think I am the worst summer mom ever I am sticking to what I think is best for them. And by the end of the summer I hope they will have learned more than just reading, writing and math from me.