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My Top Five Choices
Do you remember the first day of summer break as a kid? I was full of joy every time school got out. Sleeping in. Relaxing. Watching extra television. Bike rides. More play time with friends. Summer is a blissful time for kids. But, now that you're the parent you probably think of summer a little differently. Maybe you think...how can I keep my child busy this summer? Do we need pool passes? What camps can my child attend? And, maybe you've even thought about doing a workbook or two through the summer to keep your child up to speed academically, or help out with the subjects your child struggles with during the school year.
Learning at home during the summer can be really rewarding, and I have researched some fantastic curriculums for young learners that I would like to share with you. This past year, my husband and I decided to home-school our son, and I got the privilege of looking at most major curriculums on the market. My top five choices are listed below and links to their websites can be found in the references at the end of this article.
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Yes, you read that right! K12 is a company that runs an online virtual academy as well as offering materials for home schooling families and even summer courses. What I like about K12 is that the courses blend computer animation and educational games along with solid teaching and prepared teacher materials. K12 tracks student progress, will lay out how much work to do based on your schedule, and will tabulate scores on quizzes and tests, and an overall grade. You could purchase a summer course (which they offer discounts on periodically) to teach your child French, Spanish, German or even Latin. Or, you could purchase an academic course, like Math or Language Arts, and work on that through the summer. K12 is more pricey to purchase than other curriculums, but I know many families that say it is worth the extra expense.
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Handwriting Without Tears
I recently learned about this incredible program that does what the company's name says, teaches young children to write their letters, without tears! My son is a lefty, and he doesn't enjoy writing. The company specifically targets lefties and those children who may not enjoy writing, or never learned correctly. They have fantastic manipulatives. Wooden letters, little slate and sponge (for a neat writing activity), special paper, and other optional kits your can buy in addition to the workbook. The workbook is filled with great ideas from beginning to end. Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade students who need extra practice with handwriting would really benefit from this curriculum.
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If you are looking for a Christian curriculum for the summer that is basically a work book approach to learning, this would be one of your best options. I like A beka because it is a Christian based program. The workbooks are very reasonably priced, (actually one of the lowest prices of curriculums that I found), and they are brightly colored. You can also buy a teacher's guide with each academic subject, and there are optional activities that can expand the learning process too.
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Bob Jones University
This is another Christian curriculum that uses a workbook approach along with a teacher's guide. The program looks solid, and I liked the little reading books that come with the Language Arts curriculum. You can even get preschool level reading books. The price seems reasonable as well.
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This is a unique company, as it puts together curriculum packages for you, and features a "whole book" approach to learning. With Son Light you can get the best of many different curriculums because they combine them for you. For example you can get a package with the Handwriting Without Tears and a Saxon Math book (both of which I think are great). They are like a wholesaler of material. This method saves you time because you are not hunting down each and every 'best' material. They take the guess work out of the process.
With all these great choices, I hope you'll find a perfect fit for your child's summer learning!