Summer learning

School’s been out for about a week and a half here. We are enjoying days of sleeping in (as much as you can with a one-year-old) and no homework. The girls spend lots of time outside on the swing set and riding their bikes. But when they play inside, what do they play? School!

They play with their dolls, and every time it’s school. Or if the neighbor kids come over, they get busy making each other worksheets and quizzing each other on math facts. What can I say? They love school.

I think they come by it naturally, though. I have to admit, I used to be the same way. One summer my friend and I set up a little camp for some of the neighbor kids to get ready for kindergarten. And even now, I sometimes browse around homeschool blogs just for fun.

So this summer, the girls and I have decided to do a little bit of school work on mornings when we don’t have other plans. I found this great history book called The Story of the World, which is a four-volume history written in a really engaging way for kids. The chapters are very short and story-like and my girls are really enjoying it so far. There is also an accompanying activity book that has maps and ideas for crafts to go along with each chapter.

This morning we learned about early nomads who lived in tents or caves. The girls each made a “cave painting” which was a lot of fun. They are always up for getting out the paints!


While I read the day’s history chapter, I have a page of What Shall I Draw? open for the girls to do. I have always found that I can listen better if my hands are busy. This book shows kids step-by-step how to draw all kinds of different things. Even Sydney (4 years old) has been able to be successful with minimal help from me.

This year in school, both Georgia and Audrey had some history in their Social Studies classes. Unfortunately, both of their textbooks were extremely dry and they started to think that history is boring. I absolutely love history, so this summer I really wanted to bring the girls back. So far it’s working! I asked them today what they thought of this history book. They said that they really like it, and I reminded them that it’s not history’s fault if they have a bad textbook, it’s the writer’s fault for making it too boring. I think a few interesting field trips to historical sites will help me this summer, too!

What do you do with your kids to help them avoid the summer slide?

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4 comments to Summer learning

  • Nikki

    That is adorable! I have two boys who have no interest in playing school. We recently went to Storybook Land and they have an old style school setting, my 5 year old sat in the seat to listen to the kids at the front of the class and kept raising his hand to ask when lunch was :b

  • Courtney

    Great idea. Our summer has been jammed pack with vacations, VBS and day trips! We are finally reaching days with nothing planned. Soon weeks after LL's bday, so this post has inspired me to do some planning for the lazy days ahead!

  • Nichole

    Thanks for the book suggestions! My sister was just looking for some ideas for her son so I'll be passing your recommendations on.

  • [...] summers past, I have taken a very structured approach to summer learning. But after a difficult fifth grade year, Audrey was feeling quite burnt out with [...]

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