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Beat the Summertime Blues
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Summer is exciting for most kids, but it can be stressful for parents. How often do you hear the words "I'm bored" during the summer? If your home is like mine, I dreaded those words. We had worked so hard in May to finish our school year so we could have a break. It's only the 1st week of June. How can they be bored already? Now that summer is upon us, what are your plans?

Every year, my boys and I would search for short activity books to keep them engaged. Nothing we selected held their attention until we found BJU Press Homeschool's Vacation Stations. These are great tools to help your student review the concepts they learned throughout the year. They will be taken on an imaginary "vacation," traveling and exploring places like The Old West, the Outback, or Egypt, and exploring the ocean or the jungle. They are designed to take just 15 minutes each day, and the work is presented in a theme so the students can learn exciting facts along their "travel journey." Each one has ten weeks of lessons, and each day is only two pages. They are age-appropriate reviews for K5 through 6th grade. These books were easy to use, and my boys looked forward to them every summer. They were even a little sad when they found out Vacation Stations ended after 6th grade.

Another way we fought the boredom was by spending time reading together. I searched for books that we could check out at the library. Sometimes we had to go to several different libraries to check out extra copies of the same book, so we would each have a copy. Each day we spent at least an hour reading to each other. As someone else read, they could each follow along with their copy of the book. This helped my oldest be more patient with my youngest, but it also helped strengthen my youngest's reading skills. One summer, they even begged to come in from the pool to finish the book we were reading! Fostering the love of reading can happen anytime, even if you have students of different ages when you encourage out-loud reading.

Another resource for finding reading and review work was unused worksheets or reading books left over from their BJU Press Homeschool curriculum. We left some review sheets in a folder specifically for summertime completion. Additionally, the BJU Press Homeschool elementary reading curriculum includes BookLinks or novels. We would save at least one of these for summer. It was a great way to encourage silent reading.

Another summertime blues buster for our family was using Lego bricks. Each family member is a huge Lego fan, and we would keep a bin of used Lego bricks in our living room during the summer. Building with Lego bricks can help inspire creativity and imagination. Even if you haven't used one, you can often find a large box of a non-theme with 1000+ pieces at your local retail store for $20-40. These colorful bricks can promote healthy competition from separating them into colors for each student to using all the pieces in the box to build something together.

Keeping your students engaged and happy can stimulate their imagination, creativity, and curiosity regardless of where you find your resources. Giving my boys just enough to engage them helped them build memories together and beat our Texas summertime blues.

Meet the Author

Amy Booker, HomeWorks by Precept Consultant & Homeschool Mom


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