Year Round Homeschooling: What We Do In The Summer

Summer Homeschool Plans

I cannot believe that it is July already! My big kids are out of public and private school for the summer. But what about Zakari? Do we put the books away for 2 months as well?

No, no we don’t.

What Did I Want Year Round Homeschooling to Look Like?

Early on year round homeschooling just made sense to me. I just had to work though how this was going to look for our family. 

I knew I didn’t want to slow down our learning during September to June. Zakari was completely capable of doing a full course load during the school year. But starting the next years curriculum in April or May didn’t seem right either. Some times children need those few months to mature enough to be able to handle the next level. So what should I do then?

Why We Homeschool in the Summer

Well wait! We homeschool in the summer?? What kind of monster am I? Kids need breaks too!
Whoa whoa whoa! I’m not a crazy slave driver. I do not have my 1st, almost 2nd grade son sitting at a table 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. 
Like many homeschool moms, I work from home. For me working from home is running a home daycare. But we still are able to get what we need done, giving my son even more free time then his public & private school siblings. 

What Our Regular School Day Looks Like:

Breakfast

Playtime/daycare activities

Several hours outside 

Lunch

Daycare kiddos lay down for nap or go off to preschool

Zakari and I homeschool for two hours with several movement breaks.

Daycare wakes up. 

Snack

Playtime/daycare activities

Outside till daycare kids are picked up. 

ABA tutor does 1.5-2 hours of ABA Monday-Wednesday. 

Supper

Family time 

Bedtime routine

Read aloud time till Zakari falls asleep (30mins to 1hr 30mins)  

Our schedule will look different come September. We will no longer be working with ABA. Zakari will start his Doman International program again & maybe a music class. But for the rest of the July this is what our average day looks like.

This year I have been blessed with the majority of August off. I’m hoping to be able to get a lot of school work done and even more outings in!

What We Are Using to Homeschool This Summer

For the last few years our main homeschool curriculum as been Bookshark. Last summer when we finished Bookshark PreK in April, we started Build Your Library Level 0 right away. This year I decided not to do a full curriculum from spring to fall. We had so many awesome resources I had hoarded collected over the last few years, to collect and purchase another full curriculum did not seem economical.

So I spent some time going through what we already had and I came up with this:

180 Days of Science: Grade K: In January we started working through 180 Days of Science for Kindergarten. We usually did a few pages a few times a week. But we still had some left at the end of June. So we will be working to complete this book.

180 Days of Spelling and Word Study: Grade K: Zakari started working though this book in the spring. We were really happy with the lay out, and how it is helping reinforce spelling basic words. It has been great practice for him. If you want to read more about this book you can check out my review here: 180 Days of Spelling & Word Study Kindergarten: Review

180 Days of Social Studies: Grade K: We also started this workbook in January and are nowhere’s near completing it yet. But that OK. I’m not in a hurry, but we would like to start hitting it 1-2 times a week. If we have to add it to our September line up that is totally fine with us!

180 Days of Reading: Grade K : This was another book we received from Teachers Created Material in the Spring to review. Even though Zakari is reading at a much higher level then this, the stories and comprehension questions are short and multiple choice, making them ideal for learning how to answer questions.

First Start Reading Books C to E: When we started reviewing First Start Reading earlier in 2019, I never imaged the impact it would make on Zakari’s spelling skills.

Sure as we near the end of book C, he really hasn’t learned how to read any new words, as he already knew them. However I can see the repetition and copy work are helping him understand how words are spelled out. In the short time we have been using this program, he has gone from not being able to spell at all(besides his first name), to being able to spell most 3 letter words, starting to spell 4 letter words and now can spell his last name too.

Rhythm & Writing Program

Usborne First Sticker Books

One thing I have noticed with Zakari is he has been able to control his impulses more this year. This has allowed him to be able to do more fine motor work. Last year he was unable to use stickers. If he did get the sticker off the sticker sheet, he would rip it, or mouth it.

Now he can scan a sheet of stickers for the right sticker, remove said sticker, and place it in the right spot in the book. If the sticker rips its by accident, and he no longer even tries to bring it to his mouth. These sticker books have become very enjoyable to him, often how I coax him to the table to the table to start on school. Once he has warmed up using these sticker books, he is more then happy to start working on other assignments.

Preschool Beginner Math: for 2-4 year olds This is a program that I did purchase for summer. It is written by a YouTuber that I just love, Jady A. While I know Zakari is well past a Preschool math level, there are some concepts that must be know in order to really thrive with Math. So we are going to quickly power through this book to make sure there are no holes in his math education.

This is especially important with children on the Autism spectrum. They are notorious for grasping higher level concepts and having no understanding of another concept on a much lower level. This mean it can be quite easy for us teachers to just assume they know something.

At the end of the school year we started working through Houghton Mifflin Reading: Student Edition Grade 1.1 Here We Go reader that I got in a used Calvert Grade 1 curriculum pack. While we didn’t use a lot of the pack this year, I really liked these textbooks. So this summer we are reading 1-2 stories in these books 3-4 times a week. I’m hoping that come September we can dive right into the Grade 2 books, but if we have a bit of the Grade 1 readers that’s OK too.

Houghton Mifflin Reading: Student Anthology, Grade 1.2 – Let’s Be Friends

Houghton Mifflin Reading: Student Edition Grade 1.3 Surprises 

Houghton Mifflin Reading, Student Edition Grade 1.4, Treasures

Houghton Mifflin Reading: Student Anthology Grade 1.5 Wonders 

The Sassafras Science Adventures: Volume One: Zoology:(NOT IN THE VIDEO) This is not something I planned on using this summer. But while at a fellow homeschool mom friends birthday party, she lent me The Sassafras Science Adventure Vol 1 & 2. I planned on holding onto it for the new school year, but once I got my hands on it we landed up diving right in.

Can you believe I even found the teachers guide at the thrift store this week? It was a sign that we were meant to work though this curriculum.

Summer Reading Club

Zakari with his 2018 Summer Reading Club Haul

Last year we were introduced to Abby’s Usborne Summer Reading Program. This worked out so great for us because it made sure we were keeping up with our reading during the summer. It also give us the chance to order books on the American side of Usborne. I was surprise to see the US side of the company was a much larger selection then the Canadian side.

So when I saw Abby’s video this spring saying she was doing another Summer Reading Club, I jumped on the chance to join again. We just complete the program and Zakari logged 1900 minutes. 500 more minutes then last year. Plus so many family members this year generously made pledges. Stay tune for an Usborne Haul video.

Outside plans

Of course a large part of our summer will be enjoying the great outdoors. We live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, infamously know as “Winterpeg”. So I have promised myself to get the kids outside as much as possible, knowing that the upcoming winter will come fast and as usual hit hard.

So far we have hit 2 splash pads, been to a few different beaches 3 times, and have been to two pool parties. Plus we enjoyed many hikes and park visits.

Upcoming Doman International Appointment  

In a little less then a month, we will be meeting with Doman International via video call. In the meantime, we are getting ready. This means hair metal testing, blood work, and sending stool samples off. I’m also sure that in a few or two I will receive a packet of forms to fill out.

I’m excited to meet with the team again and start planning for Zakari’s upcoming therapies. This is it, them and us, figuring out what makes Zakari tick. He has come so far, and I know since IAHP and Doman International split, Doman International has been using new programs that were not available when we last visited. Plus Zakari has grown and developed so much already, I”m sure he’s reading for a whole lot more.

One program we will not be doing is patterning. As much as I understand the benefits, I could just never get a team together to do it enough to make it beneficial for Zakari. So I’d rather focus my energies on programs we can make work.

Few Days Away

Last year we took the kids down south to Grand Forks, North Dakota to go spend a few days at Canad Inns hotel. There we are going to get the bulk of our school supply shopping down, pick up some homeschool resources at the border parcel pick service, and spend tons of time at the water park.

You can read more about our trip last year here: Traveling With Autism: Mini Vacation Grand Forks 2018

Homeschool Mama’s! What are your summer plans?

I always love hearing about how other families spend their time during the summer. What do you do? Please share in the comments below!

Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}
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