Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer School Goals

I want this summer to be fun and relaxing, not just for the kids, but for me too, so I'll be trying to keep everything simple and frugal!

Not wanting my children's brains to go to mush, or to hear "I'm board!" through the summer, I'm setting some simple goals for my children to accomplish, and setting up some incentives to help get them excited. Since it is still cool around here (60's) we're not really itching to get outside too much yet, so they are just happy for a change of pace.

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1. Reading- Summer reading programs are common all over the country, libraries often offer one that includes goodies, prizes, and activities through the summer. We've done those in the past, but not this year. Instead I'm having each of my big kids choose one book per month (subject to our approval, these will not be easy reading books) that they have never read, to read and then do a book report on. This may not seem like much, but it will give my avid readers some direction (and give them a writing assignment), and my not-so-excited-readers the push they need to sit down and read!

*both Mr. R and Mr. M have chosen "Lamplighter" books for the month of July. We LOVE these books, and I'll be doing a review and giveaway on them later in the week. In the mean time check out their web site. We like these books so much we decided to become affiliates recently, if you decide to buy any, please do so through one of our links! Lamplighter.com

While this is something my "big" kids can do on their own, I want my little ones included in these goals. My beginning reader will pick a simple book to practice and read to me, besides his regular reading lessons. My pre-schooler and toddler will be encouraged to ask each of their older siblings to read them a book every week (besides the ones I'm reading to them).

INCENTIVES for reading- I think I'll do a weekly treat (most likely of the frozen, homemade, variety) on Friday or Saturday if each of the older kids have read to each of the little girls, plus a bonus treat for finishing their chosen book and report.
2. Math- I'll be having the kids do drill cards daily on either addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to help them keep their skills up, or fine tune them. I'll also be doing some placement testing with them since we are switching curriculum and I want to be sure to be putting each of them at the appropriate level.
*these cards have been around for a long time, I used them when I was in grade school (homeschool)

INCENTIVES for math- Once they can show me that they can do their assigned card(s) in 2 minutes or less with 95% accuracy they will get to drop down to just once a week. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to add in some other sort of reward.

3. Geography- We will be working on identifying more of the states. Each child will have a goal set for them by me. Even my 3 year-old will be included in this, though my expectations will be fairly low.... Four states, that's it.... Specifically Oregon, California, Colorado, and Arizona. No, these were not chosen at random. These are states that have some meaning to her (she has lived there, will live there soon, or visits often), so she will be interested.

INCENTIVES for geography will involve baking and decorating something using this.....
The goal will be that they must each have their states memorized (and I will test on this) by the end of July. I want them to work together and be encouraging one another on this, so this will be an "all or nothing" one. I've set realistic goals for this, with something I know they are excited about. I'm certain they will get this one!

If all goals are completed before I have the baby (mid-August) I'll add in the bonus of getting to choose to watch a video during quiet time twice a week (which is big since this is not something we regularly allow).

What are the goals (and incentives) you have for your children this summer? Please link up to this post with your "Summer School" goals, or just a post on what you are up to this summer with the kids. Please be sure to link back to this post, and link to a specific post on your own blog. If you don't have a blog I'd still love to hear from you, please leave a comment here!

Oh, and grab my button for your blog too!

UPDATED TO ADD: Next week I'll be posting on "out and about" ideas that are free or inexpensive. Our area has limitations, but special attractions too... I'd love to hear about what you are finding to do out and about with your kids this summer!

I'm linking up to Raising Homemakers.

link up!


  1. I found that we HAVE to have something like this going on or else my kids will go CRAZY! We don't homeschool during the year but we can still do a lot of fun things at home when school isn't in session. Plus it makes the little one feel included and special to do the same things her brother does. This is an AWESOME link party I hope lots of people link up!

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words Emily, and thanks for linking up! I hope this link-up ends up being encouraging to other moms, and I'm looking forward to getting some ideas that we can use this summer too!

  3. This is great! We are working towards reaching our reading goals and more. Thank you bunches for participating in Fun For Kids Friday. I hope to see you there again soon.

    Jo @ SmileMonsters