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How do you set goals and follow up to get it all done in the summer?

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So every summer I start out having all these great ideas.  Come the end of the summer and we're way off the mark with most of them.  Not that we are lazy; far from it, with work and summer camps and sports and family stuff.  But somehow I end up with a pile of to-do's that we never even touched.

 

I try to be "reasonable" and cut the amount of work, but that doesn't seem to change the result.

 

Do you have a specific daily work plan at the beginning of the summer that you follow?  If so, what does it look like?  Do your kids do it without a hassle?

 

Especially interested in experience with kids around 10yo.  I found it a lot easier to get things done when my kids were younger.

 

My main goal is to end the summer more or less where my kids are supposed to be at the end of 5th, if their teachers would have finished their textbooks and if they had actually learned and retained the stuff.  That, plus some summer reading.  It doesn't sound super ambitious, but because one of my kids is behind, it will require daily work.

 

Also - do you have a favorite "summer bridge" workbook?  This summer I ordered a couple different ones.  I received the one from Brain Quest, which seems pretty good, and will probably have my youngest use that while my eldest does more mundane Kumon workbooks.

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I schedule a certain amount of downtime at the beginning and end of summer where we don't do any school but I have a set date for starting up again and commit mentally to starting on that date along with setting an alarm and writing it on the fridge calendar.

 

Then I make sure that's when we start. Non negotiable. If I keep postponing the date then the kids smell blood and walk all over me. 😀

 

I also only schedule school stuff 3 days a week in the summer or 4 if we really need the time. School is done right after breakfast and I don't schedule more than we can get done in a 2 hour period unless we have a project that requires more time. I find if I schedule more in a day or we start later in the day it just doesn't get done during our summers.

 

We homeschool now but still stick more to a public school schedule for convenience.

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I always have plans but our summer holidays are only six weeks and Christmas and New Year take up a chunk of that.  By the time you throw in holiday care while I work we don't get much extra done.

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We have to do it first thing in the morning or it won't get done. Right now, my kids wake up and immediately start their required reading for an hour, then do their binder work. This eases them in, while also not giving them the chance to get distracted with something else. We will continue that in the summer, just with less binder work.

 

But we have the advantage of not having to go anywhere in the morning.

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Binder work - is that a pre-determined set of daily work?  Maybe I should put together a summer binder for each kid ....

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I have to set it up per week (usually I do this on Sunday) during the summer or it doesn't get done. I'm thinking of switching to a file box approach for the summer.

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Sorry, can't quote but yes, binder is preset work. Usually a weeks worth divided by day. Workbook pages, and notes for things like "read x for one hour" or "Do flashcards with mom".

 

They like knowing how much they have to do and can't seem to figure out planners. I like knowing they can get started without me if necessary.

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Last year, my son (then just past 3rd grade) did NOT get done everything I wanted him to get done. But he DID get enough writing done that we had good feedback on how to fix it once the school year started. We are trying again this year.

 

One of the rules has to be school work gets done before ANY screens or it just is not going to happen.  He doesn't want to do the summer bridge workbook.  I'm thinking of getting one anyway (probably 5th-6th because that has the math in it he needs to work on) just for the math pages -- it has a good assortment or problems and word problems to practice on.

 

I know I want him to keep writing, at least a little. I haven't figured this out yet.

And reading is going to happen regardless of what I do.

 

For my daughter, she's doing the K-1 Summer bridge workbook and we need to keep reading in the mix -- esp her reading of books.

 

I'm also aiming to keep her doing Xtra Math regularly because it is a good practice of math.  (My son has gotten all the way through division and I'm not sure if it keeps practicing older stuff or not. Its the practice on multiplication he needs to keep up on to prevent forgetting -- Quick multiplication of the basics.)

 

ETA: We live in Texas. It gets REALLY hot really quick. So I don't mind if they go outside to play before doing seat work. That is why the requirement to get it done before screen time -- not before play. And if they want to play outside, then play games, then put together Legos most of the day and get no screen time at all -- it won't hurt them for a few days. If DS was reading instead of getting other stuff done we'd need to put down a foot and demand some seat work because otherwise he'll put it off altogether.

Edited by vonfirmath

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Yeah, I don't like to tell my kids not to play outside when it's nice out.  Must come from living where it's winter for half the year.  :P

 

Regarding writing - I found a library program that meets a couple times a month on Saturdays IIRC.  I'm not sure what the focus of those sessions will be, but I figure any writing is better than none.  I will also require them to correspond with their AHG pen pals.  Hopefully they will write in their travel & nature journals.  Grammar will be done via workbooks.  I was hoping to do some MCT - I always say that - but I don't know if it's realistic.

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At this age, we sat down and came up with goals together. We called math Math Club and picked a time that worked. Spelling was Megawords and the lad did a page a day in.that plus a keyboarding program for dyslexics. Reading has always been.the half hour after lunch cleanup. The school sent home a summer reading assignmemt, so that was done in the month before school started up again. Music was whatever they wanted to work on,at the usual practice time. Writing that year was outlining, as the school had completely skipped the topic. Following sixth, we remediated the essay instruction, as the school doesn't teach essay writng to gen ed.

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For this summer, DD's goals are set by her, mostly. She has materials to prepare and collect for a class she's teaching, data to collect and collate and analyze for her current research project, and books to review and pre-read for next semester's classes.

 

I'm doing my part by setting aside several blocks of time a week to do this work, usually at the college cybercafe or a coffee shop, and keeping her Student ID charged with money to use to buy overpriced beverages. She seems perfectly happy to work for several hours without getting distracted away from home, but has a harder time at home without the immediate deadlines to motivate her provided by outside classes and grades.

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For those of you who use the Summer bridge workbooks, would you recommend any specific ones?

They are too general. You are better off working on specifics in reading comprehension, writing, and math.

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I find the main thing is to plan for a real minimum.

 

This summer my only plan is for them to do a little math in the morning.  We have a swimming lesson at the lake at 10, so that will give us about 1/2 hour before that. 

 

I have other things I'd like to do, but they will be more opportunistic - I'm going to try and set them up so I can pull them out when the kids are bored or it rains or whatever.

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Yeah, I don't like to tell my kids not to play outside when it's nice out.  Must come from living where it's winter for half the year.  :p

 

Regarding writing - I found a library program that meets a couple times a month on Saturdays IIRC.  I'm not sure what the focus of those sessions will be, but I figure any writing is better than none.  I will also require them to correspond with their AHG pen pals.  Hopefully they will write in their travel & nature journals.  Grammar will be done via workbooks.  I was hoping to do some MCT - I always say that - but I don't know if it's realistic.

 

This is the case with us, as well.  One thing we always do in summer is try and get in nature study to make best use of the nice days.

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Ha, I forgot about this thread.

 

Might as well check in on where we're at.

 

1. Reading.  I bought a pile of good books for "summer reading."  I got the kids set up with 4 or 5 summer reading programs to sweeten the incentives per book.  :)  We continue to listen to audiobooks in the car.  So far I don't think my kids have done much actual reading, but it will pick up.  :)

 

2. Summer bridge products - youngest only.  I gave Miss E two bridge books and told her she can have $20 upon completion of each one.  :)  The books appear to be interesting and motivating.  Miss E has already finished a good chunk of each.  Next week her online Brain Chase program will start - that requires her to log reading, do some Khan Academy, practice typing, and a few other random things.  She is excited to start.

 

3. Math - eldest only.  I enrolled Miss A in Sylvan Edge, where they work on math for an hour 2x per week.  We like it so far.  It takes her where she is and goes at her own individual pace.  It's all in-class, no homework.  At home, I'm reading aloud some short math story books.  Math should get slightly more ambitious starting in mid-July.

 

4. Science.  About half of their day camps are science-themed.  I gave them each a nature journal to fill in as they see fit.  They receive 2 monthly science kits (Tinker Crate and Little Passports) which they use independently.  I have some ideas for later in the summer, but this is all we could manage so far.  :)

 

No progress yet on grammar / writing.  I had to cancel the first "writing club" meeting because of work conflicts.  :/

 

 

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