5 Ways We Make Summer Learning Fun

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While structuring summer break isn't a good idea for young children, you can still find ways to make summer learning a fun time. #language #languagedevelopment #MERLD #homeschool #specialeducation

One of the hardest things to balance as a mom of two MERLD children is knowing when to pull back and when to push.

Here is what I mean:

Sometimes we need to give the brain a chance to sort through what our MERLD children have been learning and let all the pieces fall in to place.

Sort of how a computer defrags.

And just as after the defrag is done the computer runs faster, so I have found that after we’ve pulled back for a season and even see a regression, my children tend to make giant leaps forward.

To balance pushing forward and pulling back, I make summer both fun and learning.

5 Ways We Make Summer Learning Fun

Because I don’t want my children to forget what they’ve learned during the previous school year, I choose less structured activities that promote learning.

This also helps to keep them off of devices.

This summer we’ve set a limit of 1/2 hour each of video games and TV a day.

We are also using these summer packs this year by Year Round Homeschooling. I love them because they are super fun, and yet they keep my kids learning throughout the summer. 

1. Reading Contest

Each day I require 20 minutes of reading.

My oldest reads quite well, so we’ve begun simple chapter books. My youngest is just beginning to read, so he’s still on board books.

They are free to spend more time reading, if they want to.

I have printed off this board game template by Notebooking Fairy to create the contest, so that after every 5 books, or chapters, they move forward one space.

After so many spaces they win a prize, and when they reach the end they will get a big prize and each Friday they give an oral report.

This helps them build both receptive and expressive language skills.

2. The Splash Math App

Each day my kids are required to spend 20 minutes playing Splash Math.

It was a bit of an investment, buying this app, but it has been well worth every penny! My kids even ask to practice their math with it, and it has helped reinforce everything they’ve learned.

This doesn’t count toward their 30 minutes video game limit.

They love Splash Math, plus it uses the same concept as Math U See, which we use for homeschool, so that is a plus.

3. Summer Camp

We have found a great church camp for grade-school kids that my kids love!

They look forward to going, and it is a wonderful opportunity for them to be surrounded by language.

Not only that, it is a safe place for them to grow in their expressive and receptive language skills with a caring and gentle staff.

4. Family Day Trips

During my husband’s vacation and on his occasional days off, we take day trips, such as to the nearby hot springs or to the Sea.

Getting away from our daily surroundings presents new opportunities for expanding their vocabulary and discussion.

Afterwards, I often ask them to give a written or oral report of our trip.

5. Read Alouds

This is one of my fond memories from my childhood.

We read:

I loved those times so much!

We started doing read alouds earlier this year, starting with a Croatian translation of What Would Jesus Do.

My kids loved it.

I followed my mom’s example and would often stop at a suspenseful part in the story, creating even greater interest.

This summer we are starting The Boxcar Children.

I can’t wait to see how this helps expand their concentration and listening skills, as well as their receptive language.

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