Hello everyone! Welcome back to episode 4 of the homeschooling and loving it podcast. I love talking about summer – it’s my favorite time of year – I enjoy all of the outdoor fun and easy going days! But over the years I’ve come to respect the fact that my kiddos do need some mental challenges during the summer or I have to pay when we start the school term in August. Have any of you found that to be true with your own children?
If you’re interested in the statistics surrounding summer learning loss, be sure to check out our previous podcast episode! We talk all about those stats and what they mean for all of us as homeschoolers!
Last episode I gave you a challenge – a summer learning challenge –
And it has everything to do with reading! Because of course, the first part of the summer learning loss stats has to do with the loss of reading skills during the summer. But summer learning loss also affects children’s math skills – – sometimes losing up to two months of learned math skills. To me, that just translates to more work for me in the fall… and no way do I want that!
So, this week I have a second SUMMER LEARNING CHALLENGE for you!
Summer Learning Challenge #2
USE MATH EVERY DAY!
Just like reading, math can be a fun and natural part of a relaxed summertime routine. As you wrap up this school year, take some time to pinpoint
exactly where the kids might need a little extra practice. Make a list of the concepts or skills and then get creative about how you might be able to turn practicing those skills into something super fun this summer!
Here are a few of my ideas for using math every day with my kids.
Plant a garden. Work together to plan, plot, and then determine what should go in your garden. There are a lot of math skills in determining the right size – how many rows of veggies you’ll have and more! So much fun! Then peruse the garden catalogs together and choose their favorites to plant. (Don’t forget to get them to keep it up too – or you’ll be stuck with weeding all summer! – – but side note – – we found that old newspapers and grass clippings work great to keep down the weeds and keep the workload manageable.
Plan your summer vacation together – everything from budgeting to scheduling your days uses math! Let them get detailed – it’ll be fun! (Unless they have you eating at McDonald’s the whole time!)
Play STORE with the kids! Sure have them rob their toybox and set up a toy store on the kitchen table. Make play money and have brothers and sisters come to shop and buy what they want. There will be counting and making the correct change – all super math skills to practice with fun play! Check the show notes for a link to some awesome printable money!
Play board games! One of our favorites! This uses counting and adding and if you play games like Monopoly there’s lots of math involved! Be sure to check the show notes for a link to 21 Free Printable Math Games to use this summer!
Choose a Do It Yourself Project. Encourage the kids to learn a new skill whether it be woodworking for the boys or sewing for the girls… it’s a great way to use math and learn a new skill!
Plan a home remodel project. This is something that we love to do at our house! We’ve remodeled two 100-year-old homes and then built a new home and every time we get the kids involved. They learn some serious life skills that will serve them well when they have their own home, but they also have to use those math skills! Get the kids involved in your project from the ground up… budgeting, plans, shopping for supplies, and the actual work! You’ll make great memories and build skills your kids can be proud of!
Summer Learning Goals
Summer is the perfect way to use out of the box ideas to keep your kid’s minds fresh! As you develop your summer learning road map, always keep these fundamental points in mind:
Keep it fun!
Create innovative environments and schedules that inspire
learning and creativity.
Let your kids be the primary architects of their own summer
Establish goals for the months ahead, but be open to the
possibilities that they may evolve along the way.
Develop individualized learning plans that best suit your child’s
learning style and interests.
Have many resources on hand.
Get organized. Identify tools and systems that work best for
your family and use them.
See new things.
Meet new people.
Make the world a better place by broadening your child’s mind
and exposing her to important issues and volunteering opportunities.
Be realistic and creative when considering how to finance
Seek out natural, fun ways of incorporating reading, writing,
math and science into your regular routines.
Avoid trying to do too much. Focus on the specific needs and
desires of your family. Throw out the have to’s and focus on the WANT TO’s!
Making fun a priority… even though learning is fundamentally part of what you’re doing.
In creating artificial divisions between school time and vacation time,
we send our kids the message that learning is something unpleasant
we get to escape from in the summer. When families make it a point to
pursue learning opportunities enthusiastically throughout the year, we
are telling our kids that we value learning. We let them know that being
open to new experiences, knowledge and discovery is our family’s way
of life. It may look more sparkly, quirky and colorful in the summer than
in February perhaps, but the message remains the same—always, we are
individuals striving to learn, to grow and to try new things.
Learning doesn’t stop during the summer – it just looks different!
How can you bring math learning into your summer fun? I’d love to hear your ideas!!
As always – I’ve enjoyed chatting with you today – – be sure to join us next week for an author interview you won’t want to miss!
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]