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Last year I read a tip in a blog I follow. The writer gave the idea of having your own summer camp for your children with you, the parent, as the camp director. It was just what my three daughters and I needed to add structure to our summer.
Each week, I choose a theme. Last year we studied dinosaurs, the solar system, Mexico, American pioneers, ocean animals, and dogs. This year we started with princesses, real and in fairy tales. We kick off the week with a trip to the library where my daughters participate in the summer reading program and look for books to borrow, while I use the card catalog to find books and videos related to the week's theme.
Once at home, each day goes like this: One two-sided sheet of "home school work" which means pages from the math workbooks the teachers sent home and/or pages from Summer Bridge Activities workbooks, which specialize in keeping children's skills alive over summer vacation. Then we read from the themed books I found, do a project (art, drama, field trip, video), and then while I work in the afternoon, they each read silently for an hour.
This "Camp Laffalotta" was such a hit last summer, that my daughters were asking about it weeks before school let out this year.
By Katie from Tucson