Summer Was Made for Writing
Homeschool mom, Alexa, got her son’s standardized test scores back at the beginning of April. She became concerned when she realized that his reading and writing scores were almost 15% lower than they were this time last year. The report showed that his biggest drops were in areas of grammar such as subject-verb agreement and verb tenses. Naturally, Alexa wants to see her son improve in these areas, but she doesn’t feel that she should necessarily wait until September (when she traditionally kicks off a new homeschool year) to address the gaps.
Truthfully, there’s no reason for Alexa, or any homeschool parent, to wait until fall to build writing skills. In fact, summer is often the absolutely ideal time to focus in on improving abilities in grammar, sentence structure, paragraph construction, or even essay writing. There are three key reasons why summer is a sensational time to find a shady spot and get writing:
- Without the distraction of multiple subjects, students can focus in on finding their voice.
- Summer vacation is just the right amount of time for students to hone the specific writing gaps they may have.
- Having an academic focus during the summer months keeps the brain from going mushy.
Making Writing Your Summer Focus
Many homeschool families report that they like to save one subject and make it their “poolside project” during summer break. Sometimes, they will save science for summer because they can make all the experimental messes they like in the great outdoors with far less cleanup. Other families put their energies into history in the summer months because it’s so easy to pick up and head out on field trips to enhance their geography and social studies lessons. But for families who choose to turn their attention to writing, online summer writing courses mean that your homeschooler can easily fit in writing improvement between park outings, barbecues, and road trips. In fact, with a mobile device and internet connection, an online summer writing workshop can even travel right along with you!
Closing up Those Writing Gaps
Whether you homeschool year-round or take a traditional summer vacation, eight weeks tends to be about the average that families set aside for a break from their regular schedule. While that may not be enough time for an intensive overhaul of your child’s writing issues, it’s the perfect amount of time to target and improve an individual writing skill such as:
- grammar and mechanics
- writing complete sentences
- forming a well-structured paragraph
- learning to use the writing process to plan out and draft an essay
Preventing Summer Learning Loss
Studies show over and over that students who don’t keep academically active over the summer months tend to have a more difficult time getting back into the swing of studies in the fall. While every child needs a break from a traditional school schedule, having at least one subject to focus on during the summer prevents the type of academic setback common to many students. Writing assignments — especially ones that challenge students — are the perfect antidote to the learning lag that often accompanies a long summer break from school.
Originally posted on Homeschool.com.
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