The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
We “do summer” a little differently at our house…. after a school year that is full of activities and sports and lessons and commitments- we take the summers off. My kids don’t go to camp, we don’t sign up for tennis/golf/soccer/chess/horseback riding lessons…. we try (as best we can) to leave our schedules free. We sleep in. We eat all of our meals together. We swim in the pool. We play tag and fireball and a dozen other made-up games until the darkness (and mosquitos) chase us back inside. And then we’ll hang out and watch a Food Network or Discovery Channel show, or even watch a throwback family movie. We all look forward to this downtime…. with plenty of family road trips sprinkled in to explore new places and see far-flung family members.
But that’s not to say it’s all laziness and fun and games. Because I am also “THAT MOM” that requires her kids to do some summer homework. I know that if my kids don’t spend some time regularly reading, reviewing math facts, and having the chance to practice some key concepts taught in solving word problems and reading comprehension…. that they will struggle in the fall when it’s time to return to school.
Each packet comes with a log sheet, so they can record what they are reading and when they have practiced their math facts online. We’ve also been enjoying some family read-aloud time – I’ve been reading the book “Fablehaven” and my kids are loving it! They can list the family read-aloud time twice a week on their homework log, but they need to read on their own or aloud to me at least three other times a week.
For math fact practice, they are using several online programs…. IXL is the program that they have been using at school and we can also access at home, but we also are trying out mathfactspro and factmonster too.
To create the homework packets, I decided to purchase some workbooks that I felt closely mirrored what they learned in school this past year, specifically Singapore Math word problem workbooks as well as some Scholastic workbooks that work on practicing reading and reading comprehension. These books also get the kids to do some writing- which I like. I found all of these on Amazon.
In each packet I include 5 pages of math word problems….
And 3 pages of reading work. I just simply tore up the workbooks to assemble the packets in the way I wanted, focusing on the areas that I felt each of my kids needed to work on.
My kids love an incentive program (notice that I don’t call it a “bribe”!). So I have stashed away some fun drawing books, Minecraft books, and books of horses that I know my kids will love… and I will dole them out over the course of the summer to keep my kids motivated to work through their summer homework.
How do you approach summer homework and school review with your kids?
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me over on GreatFamilyRoadTrips- where I share ideas and itineraries to inspire you to hit the road!