Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer learning begins... with Spelling!

There will be lots of tree-climbing, too!
Now that our Grace-girl has officially completed first grade and we've taken a few weeks off, I'm busy planning for our summer work (don't tell her it's work) and even thinking ahead to fall.  Our main shortfall this year was that we didn't focus much on spelling, though we did make major strides in reading and grammar, which will ultimately help with spelling.  This summer instead of working on "writing" we are going to have some spelling fun!  She'll also get some printing practice in there without realizing it, just to keep us going before cursive starts in the fall.

During the school year we run a fairly classical school, but in the summer I prefer a more organic, Charlotte Mason approach.  We do a lot of gardening, bike riding, hiking and natural observances of the world around us.  We do still accomplish some formal education in the midst of that as I absolutely hate the idea of having to re-teach something we've already learned!  If you add it all up it looks like a lot of school time, but most of this is organic learning time for our whole family.  I imagine we will actually sit down for "school" less than 2 hours a week.

  • Bible Study- The girls and I read a Bible story every morning, discuss, and pray together.  We also work on a new memory work passage every month or so (45 minutes/week).  When Matt is home he joins us or leads us.  Prayer and worship time are also regular moments in our day.
  • Grammar- One lesson per week from our First Language Lessons book, plus review of the first grade memory work (20 minutes/week) so we don't forget!
  • Spelling- One or two lessons per week which will mostly be a review of first grade (20 minutes/week).  See below.  I might just find a cheap summer supplement book to work through to have an end point in sight.  I think this will be a good school activity to take camping.
  • Reading- Our wonderful library's summer reading program will serve as an inspiration and motivation for summer reading (90 minutes/week).   We will also be attending a few of the summer reading program activities (there are many) and regular weekly (or bi-montly) Storytime for Baby Rain.  Our library reading fuels our decisions for other subjects of study and can sometimes lead us to a unit study tangent.
  • Math- we'll be starting Singapore Math in the fall, so we are mostly reviewing and solidifying skills over the summer with a focus on problem solving, critical thinking, measurement and integrating science.  We'll do some flash card work but we also like to include lots of fun games as part of our math time (90 minutes/week).  Some of our favorite math-oriented games are Monopoly, Rummikub and Catan games (Catan Kids, Settlers of Catan and Starship Catan).
  • Science- One weekly nature study using our Anna Comstock (Handbook of Nature Study) and library books (45 minutes). Includes writing practice, drawing and observation in her nature journal.
  • Classical Conversations- It's important to not completely forget everything we learned last year, so we will review cycle 1 memory work during the summer (about 60 minutes/week of mostly auditory practice in the car) but we'll wait to start cycle 2 until we get to September.
  • Art/Music- These occur naturally at our house as we lead worship at church and work with several instruments.  June is a motivated student of drawing and will no doubt fill her time easily with art projects and fun craft projects as the motivation and occasion arrives.  

In my quest for more spelling practice, I looked for some free online resources and I've listed some interesting-looking ones below.  Do you have others you like to use and want to share?

Zaner-Bloser- nice printable worksheets to practice writing words.

TLS- lots of different worksheets on many topics, among which are spelling.  Fun!

Grade Spelling- this is a fun interactive site for spelling practice.  Not a pressure-cooker, just fun activities and age appropriate spelling word lists.

Enjoy your summer!  Enjoy learning!  And don't forget to do both at the same time!


Anonymous said...

You do some flash card work but you also like to include lots of fun games as part of our math time (90 minutes/week). So I think you can try Superflashcard app at with its well - organized and great databse.

Veronica said...

A free spelling site I really enjoy is

They have spelling lists, reading comprehension sheets that go along with the week's words, and many other language worksheets.

Since we don't have the money to purchase curriculum, I've been blessed to find things that will work.