What Should You Do During Summer Break?

Boys, Homeschooling, Reading 2 Comments


I realize that many homeschoolers have a year-round school.  For me, I enjoyed a break from “formal school” during the summer.  I figured if God took a break from his work, I should take a break also.

Does that mean we quit “schooling”?

Of course not!  We simply took a break from specific curriculum.  As far as I’m concerned, I am always educating my children.

But the question comes up, “What should we be doing during our summer break?”

My first response is reading!  At any & all ages!

When my children were young, we read every afternoon before they took a nap or had quiet time.  We also read before bedtime.

As they got older, they used their quiet time to read alone.  We continued to read in the evenings as a family.

Let me share some tips for Summer Reading.

1.  Set Summer Reading Goals
My kids liked  awards.  To earn their summer reading award, they had to read a certain number of books or a certain number of books.  They earned many of our library’s Summer Reading Prizes.

As a family, we had reading goals.  One year, I told them I would take them to Schlitterbahn (water park) if they achieved our family reading goals.  We had a blast that summer  – reading & swimming.

2.  Consistent Time to Read Each Day
I’ve already alluded to this.  We had quiet reading time in the afternoon.  This allowed my kids to read their books and it gave me some time alone.  Whenever you choose to read, stick to it, especially on days you are at home.

There will be days when you have special family events and you may miss that day’s reading time.  Just make it up over the next week.

3.  Choosing Books
Let your children choose the books they want to read this summer.  They will enjoy their reading much more if they are interested in the books. If you have a son who doesn’t want to read, let HIM choose the books.  He’ll be more likely to finish the book.

Of course, you have the final say on a book.  If it’s inappropriate for your child, you should suggest other books you know they would enjoy.

4.  Audio Books
If your kids are struggling, get some audio books from the library.  Let them listen to the books.  If they are able, let them follow along as they listen to the books.  This is also helpful for boys who aren’t interested in reading.

You can also listen to books in the car.  We’ve listened to several Henty books.  I recommend Jim Weiss and Jim Hodges.  Both provide excellent recordings.

As an added bonus…you’ll be learning history!

5.  Read Together
If it’s not already obvious, you should be reading aloud, in addition to your children reading individually.  Family reading time is a blessing!  Not only will you be able to read and enjoy classic books, you can also discuss the stories.

I hope these tips help as you continue to read this summer.  Reading is not just for the school year.  Reading is a lifetime activity that you can encourage year-round.

Tuesday Tips – Getting Your Kids Going

Boys, Homeschooling, Inspire You Children, Kerry Beck, Moms, Parenting No Comments

Here are a few tips to managing the morning madness and get your kids out of bed without a battle :)

Ease Your Kids Out of Bed: Wake them up 5 minutes early and give them a glass of juice or something to munch on. Not only, will you get a little one-on-one time, you’ll also get them to sit up – which is 90% of the battle.

Timed for Morning Success: Set a goal at the beginning of each week (ie: You are dressed and ready at the breakfast table by the time the timer goes off.) For each kid that is they receive XXXX. You can either do it per day or they have to make so many per week. It could be a “prize” or free time or extra time with you, whatever motivates your children.

Check the Fine Print: Create a checklist for each child. After a job is done, they get to mark it off. Use either white boards and erasers or a chart with stickers. You get the idea…

Brush First, Play Later: One mom was having trouble getting her daughter to brush her teeth in the morning. So she told her that if she would brush her teeth without complaining, she would get a few minutes of computer time before school. Now, you may not like the computer but find something that your kid can do that’s fun and he/she enjoys! Motivate them!

Wednesday Words-Leaders Speak God’s Words

Bible, Boys, Raising Leaders No Comments

Do not say, I am a youth,
For you shall go to all to whom I send.
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.

Therefore, prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
Jeremiah 1:7,8,17

God is with us when we speak His Words, even when we speak to other Christians. We live in a time when Christians do not follow the principles of God’s Word so brave leaders need to speak boldly and unafraid of their hearer’s faces. God will deliver.

Can I Help My Students Learn Better with Fun, Engaging Lessons?

Boys, Homeschooling No Comments

Today I have guest author, Michelle Caskey, sharing ideas on how to homeschool boys through making lessons fun.

by Michelle Caskey

How can you help your students learn better? Fun learning activities for boys are easy to incorporate into your day with a little bit of creativity. Boys love active, challenging, risk-taking lessons that provide instant gratification. They learn much better with a kinesthetic, hands-on approach. They are much less tolerant of completing worksheets and sitting still for long periods of time than are girls.

When we first started homeschooling boys, we were so conscientious about trying to use traditional school methods. We had our boys sitting at desks for long periods of time and their schoolwork lasted all day long. We wanted our sons to receive an education that was highly superior to the one they would receive in a traditional school setting, so we really pushed our boys to learn as much as possible.

The first few years it was alright because they were young and most of our learning activities were games or crafts or hands-on learning – which was fun for them, anyway. Once our boys got a little bit older and their studies included a lot more reading and writing and math, we realized what we were doing wasn’t giving our boys a superior education. It was killing their love for learning. Our boys started to whine and complain when it was time for school instead of being excited about learning new things.

Homeschooling is so flexible and we needed to use that flexibility to our advantage. We learned how to introduce fun learning activities for boys back into our school day and our boys have learned to love doing their schoolwork again.

Here are some fun learning activities for boys which have really worked well for our sons:

  • Give them rewards
  • Incorporate surprising or silly activities
  • Make lessons into a game
  • Motivate them to want to learn
  • Reading tips
  • Fun, frugal activities that will delight your kids

Students learn better with fun, hands-on lessons. Your boys will also learn better when the learning is presented with strong emotions. Make lessons fun, exciting, happy, or startling and your sons will learn faster and remember their lessons longer.

Michelle Caskey is a homeschooling mom and the author of “Learn & Grow:
Hands-On Lessons for Active Preschoolers” and “Teach Me About God: Hands-On
Bible Lessons for Active Preschoolers.” For more information about
homeschooling boys or about her books visit her website at

Last Year’s Super Bowl Dip

Boys No Comments

I’ll have to try this one again…

Super Bowl Dip

Boys, Kerry Beck, Quick & Easy Meals No Comments

Super Bowl Trivia

Boys, Inspire You Children No Comments

How much do you really know about the Super Bowl?


Are You Ready to Party… and learn Math at the same time?

Boys, Homeschooling, Inspire You Children, Keeping My Home, Love of Learning, Math No Comments

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and you need to get ready for that party. Choose your favorite football snacks and let your kids make them.

Be sure to let them learn about measuring and fractions as you make your snack.

Here are a few Super Bowl Snack recipes:

Super Bowl Research

Boys, Homeschooling, Inspire You Children, Love of Learning No Comments

Try this Scavenger Hunt

Can You Really Do Art with Football?

Art, Boys, Homeschooling, Inspire You Children, Love of Learning No Comments

Of course you can! Find pictures of football logos and other logos on the web. Talk about what makes a good logo. Then let your kids draw a new logo for one of the NFL teams.

Be sure to have plenty of scrap paper for sketches, as well as lots of colored markers to make their logo bright and beautiful.