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Previously, I informed the world that we homeschool our kids year round.  One reason we do this is to prevent summer learning loss.  Unfortunately, many kids come back to school in August, having forgotten some of what they have learned over the school year.  As a former public school teacher and a current homeschool teacher, I can tell you that learning loss is a little bit annoying!  Nobody likes to reteach the same thing….again!

But, while our family has made the decision to continue our learning all year, I realize that:

  1. Everyone doesn’t homeschool.
  2. Among those who homeschool, many are not willing to school year-round.

This post is for those folks!

Preventing Summer Learning Loss in One Hour a Day

While the kids might forget a few things, this summer learning plan will cover most of the important stuff…….

20 minutes:  Read aloud to an adult.

20 minutes:  Kumon Math workbook

10 minutes:  Xtramath.org

10 minutes:  Spelling Test in Spelling City

More Details

Read aloud to an adult:    The child must read aloud for a minimum of twenty minutes.  The adult chooses the book.

Kumon Math Workbook:  Kumon books are awesome because they focus on one skill instead of jumping around from topic to topic.   You can explain the format once or twice and they have an entire workbook full of similar problems!  Most workbooks available at local stores are mixed with all types of problems.  This means that you will have to do lots of explaining to them!  Choose the workbook based on your child’s grade and strengths/weaknesses.  If you aren’t sure which one to get, I recommend the Word Problems book that is associated with your child’s grade level.

Xtramath.org:  Xtramath is a wonderful tool for parents.  Previously, I wrote a lengthy review of it.  The short version:  it helps them master math facts.  It is free.  There aren’t any ads or pop-ups.  It only takes ten minutes!  If your child can master the basic math facts, then you will see a significant improvement in their math skills!  If you don’t like Xtramath, check out the review on the Flashmaster.  It will accomplish the same purpose, but it isn’t free.

Spelling City:  This free spelling website allows the child to practice the spelling words that they had over the school year.  The parent inputs the words.  (You can use leftover spelling tests that you have saved.  If you haven’t saved them, then just make up your own words for them to practice.)  The site offers tests and games for the words.  In my house, the child is required to take a test first.  Each day they take the same test until they have scored 100% two times on that test.  Once that happens, they can move onto another test.   When they finish taking a test, they can play games if they choose.   FYI:  This site has a paid portion, also.  The free version is sufficient, but they have more game options with the paid version.

If You Have More Than an Hour

1.  Read Silently:  Have him read to himself.  Mix it up:  fiction, non-fiction, poetry, how-to books, magazines, etc.  When he is done, have him tell you all about it!

2.  Typing:  Summer is an easy time to practice typing.  My boys like Typing Instructor for Kids.

3.  Read-alouds: You can read aloud to him!  Choose a book slightly above his grade level.  Snuggle up.  Enjoy.   Here are some of our favorite read-alouds.

The Logistics:  How to Get Them to Do It

1.  First Thing in the Morning: Before going anywhere, they have to spend one hour a day working on their schoolwork.  If they don’t do the work, then they are late to their activity.  Or, if you aren’t going anywhere, maybe no tv or video games until the work is done?  Get it done early so they can spend the rest of their day swimming, eating watermelon, going to the park, or hanging from trees!

2.  Set a Schedule:  If you know that you won’t enforce it everyday, then set a lighter schedule.  Maybe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday?   Then you could schedule your all-day outings on Tuesday and Thursday?

3.  Set a timer:  Set a timer to ensure that they are not doing too much or too little.

The Disclaimer

This plan is good for kids that are on track, slightly behind, or ahead in their schoolwork.  If your son is significantly behind, then you may need to increase the length of time that you work with him or include other subjects in which he struggles.

What do your kids do to prevent summer learning loss?