The bittersweet ending of our Classical Conversations Year has come and gone. Our end of the year with fun parties, egg drops, and airplane races are still being talked about. The kiddos are not so happy that we didn’t have CC this week. Yes, we can sleep in a little on our community day now and no I don’t have to figure out lunch for the family next week but….I guarantee for the next few Tuesday’s, the kids will be sad that we aren’t heading to CC.
IS THAT HOW IT WORKS IN YOUR HOME?
As we finish up our CC year (though we continue with homeschooling for another month or so) we look to our plan for the rest of the school year and summer ideas to enrich and encourage our CC learning this year and into next year. So I thought I would share some great summer ideas for Classical Conversation families to use. These are ways we continue to gently learn throughout the summer and encourage growth in what we have learned with CC throughout the year and prepare for the upcoming CC year that will begin in September.
Here are some of my great ideas for CC families to use this summer:
DRAW THE WORLD
One of the things that all CC students work on is geography. We learn a LOT OF GEOGRAPHY! And drawing the world is something that the Challenge kids get down pat as they move through the Challenge program. So why not spend some time this summer working on your drawing skills. Continue cartography throughout the summer. Draw or trace maps, depending on your child’s age. You can continue with the year’s geography or get a little ahead by preparing for the next cycle of Geography.
Since we are wrapping up Cycle 2, we have been working on drawing Europe. This Draw Europe book has been such a help with drawing Europe this year. Or, if you are ready to put Cycle 2 behind you and move on to Cycle 3 preparation, consider purchasing Draw the USA and get a head start on drawing the US.
STUDY THE PRESIDENTS
Those kids know the President’s don’t they. But do you have time to spend on the Presidents, learning about them? We really don’t. We spend 2 weeks learning all the Presidents with our classes at the end of the year and maybe a week working on a President or 2 for presentation but truthfully, there is too much to do at the end of the year to do a good read or study of the Presidents. So, one of the things we like to do to keep our year going and enjoy the summer learning is picking out a couple of the President’s of interest and learning about them. We are studying Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan this year (I let each kid pick a President). Then, if we have more time or interest, I pick a 3rd President to learn about over the summer.
Summer learning of the President’s is usually done slowly and gently. We typically get books from the library and read about them. We decided to pick up Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side (Heroes of History) to use to study Ronald Reagan (you’ll be able to read my review of this book shortly) to read and we are reading Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original (Heroes of History) as well. (Then we will watch Night at the Museum because, well, Teddy is great in it! And my kids love the reward of completing a study with a movie!) We also will listen to the President’s Song periodically. Since we are studying Ronald Reagan this year, we will probably end his study with a Ronald Reagan movie – how fun will that be!
You can find some great coloring pages to go along with the President’s here. My kids like to color while I read. And you can check out this site for great kid-friendly biographies on the President’s as well.
We continue mental math games and Board Slam over the summer. The kids enjoy Board Slam and we are getting my son involved as my partner. Though he is still 2 years out from Essentials, I think the prep is good and he’s doing pretty well already.
There are other fun summer math games to consider too. If you like board games for the family, consider Sequence for Kids and Tenzi Dice Game & 77 Ways To Play Tenzi. These are fun. And, if you want to get some more books for your summer reading program, you might be interested in the Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure) or What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? to work on math skills and reading at the same time.
But I digress. So, how about some more fun math games so the whole family can brush up on their math skills.
If you have invested in the Essentials program and want to keep some of it fresh, consider copying charts over the summer. But since that seems more like work and less like summer, we tend to work on little things like question confirmation and diagramming a little but mostly have fun writing over the summer. Consider using writing prompts over the summer to keep your student writing. This is the best way to keep them engaged. You might pick one dress up to focus on and work on that each week or over the summer as a whole if you are new to Essentials or just completed your first year of Essentials. Don’t get carried away, just keep it simple and keep them writing.
You can find some great writing prompt ideas HERE and HERE. Or make up your own. Remember, it’s about writing not about WHAT they are writing about. Keep it simple and encourage them to use their imagination and be creative!