Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Homework...

Being a mom and being a teacher is often an interesting combination.  Sometimes it's very hard to be on the other side of the "teacher desk" and other times I enjoy being able to reinforce an amazing teacher's requests.  I am not sure my children appreciate having a Teacher Mom in the summer...there is summer homework.  My primary purpose for summer homework is to maintain skills and habits, so that they boys start school in September where they left off in June.  {There is interesting research regarding how children lose skills over a long vacation...particularly the number of words a child has in his reading vocabulary!}

In our house summer homework is found in four distinct categories...
#1 ~ Skills Practice
Each summer, since Connar was in kindergarten, I have purchased Summer Bridge Workbooks for the kids.

These are great workbooks, based on national standards for reading, math and writing skills.  Each day there are 4 activities that teach or reinforce basic skills.  The daily assignment doesn't take long, but the kids practice skills they need to remember and stay in the habit of thinking. 

This summer, Aiden is completing a Summer Bridge book but Connar is doing something different.  He's working out of a daily math skills workbook and then working through a Web Quest that he chose.   Web Quests are inquiry-based lessons that utilize web resources.  Connar chose one on rockets...he's doing research now and will soon be prompted to design an investigation around thrust and Newton's 3rd Law!

#2 ~ Reading
Reading is the single most important thing kids can do in the summer to maintain current skills.  Aiden is participating in the summer reading program at the library and Connar is working his way through "a really long book!"

#3 ~ Fitness
My kids are typically very active in the summer and I often use movies and video games to slow them down and take time to rehydrate.  This summer Aiden was invited to participate in soccer conditioning with Connar's team.  One aspect is daily conditioning homework.  The coach created a calendar with jogging, sprints, crunches, pushups and footwork skills.  Awesome!

#4 ~ Teachable Moments & Field Trips
This is my favorite!  I'm a nerdy mom and I like to take advantage of cool opportunities to explore our world.  Whether we're visiting a local museum or investigating life in a pond, I try to find a Teachable Moment every day.  The boys also love helping create posts for my Science blog, The Science Mommy.  Yesterday, they spent the whole morning working on a bottle rocket that launches off a tire pump.  Their teamwork and persistence was fun to watch.  Connar even documented their project with my little camera, so their rocket experiment will show up on The Science Mommy next week.

How do you keep your kids thinking and wondering during the summer?

1 comment:

  1. WE love these summer workbooks and since we do them every summer, it's no question as to what we do after breakfast every day:
    Summer Workbook, Daily Reading, a Job, then off to play for the rest of the day- My favorite :)


I love hearing from my readers...please leave a comment!