Monday, June 18, 2012

Lazy Summer Learning

Each year around May, many of my friends say they begin dreading the long summer months with kids underfoot. As a homeschool mom, that's when I start looking forward to the mini-break our summer vacation provides. Not all homeschoolers take the summer off, but most of us modify our schedules, at least a little, during June, July, and August.

I don't want my kids to completely forget everything they've learned during the summer, so I've tried some lazy learning methods throughout the years. One of the most successful has been simply playing an educational song each day during lunch. I don't ask them to be quiet and listen. I just put the song on a loop and play it at medium volume while everyone is eating. Before we know it, everyone knows the song. Here are some of our favorites that are especially appropriate for summer learning.

Another lazy mama's method has been to read something to my children that I want them to memorize, every single day. I don't even suggest that they memorize it. I just require that they listen to me read it. It's amazing how quickly the human brain can remember something it's exposed to regularly. We've learned lots of poems, the preamble to the Constitution, a long list of prepositions, and U.S. presidents. Bedtime seems to be a good time to do this. (My younger kids like that, because it means they can stay up "a few more minutes".) If you can repeat it again at breakfast, that's even better.

Only choose one of these ideas at a time. It's summer, after all! I think part of the success has to do with the lack of pressure and the minuscule amount of time and effort involved. If it's easy, you're more likely to do it every day.

Have fun learning this summer!

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