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Tuesday
Jul102012

[LEARN] SUMMER SCHOOL AT CASA SHIM

PHOTOGRAPH BY SALLY J SHIM

Although the boys are on their summer vacation I'm a bit old school and think that studying and learning should happen year round. So in order to prevent rusty brains upon returning to school we have a mini Summer School going on at Casa Shim. I think there should be a balance between learning through play and exploring as well as sit down put-your-nose-in-a-book type of learning. The former seems to be an easy one for us since the boys could spend hours playing at home or at the beach and the latter is often achieved through reading books on their favorite subjects. Since the boys only have a few hours a week of Korean classes at the international school they attend (and we want the boys to become fluent in Korean) we hired a private teacher to come to our home twice a week. We really lucked out because their teacher is amazing and although Appah and I could teach some of the basics of Korean to the boys there is something to be said about hiring a professional. She really engages the boys and makes learning fun. They have homework every week and I'm also getting back in to studying Korean so it is a family affair. I love how in the summer we have more time to do fun things like Robotics class (which the boys LOVE), speed skating lessons, swimming and doing science experiments at home. If you have any recommendations for fun things to do with kids over the summer, please share! I'll be sharing our SUMMER LIST 2012 soon. 

Side note: I was recently contacted by K5 Learning to review their online math and reading program. Although there are many online educational sites out there I found several of the ones that had been recommended to me seemed to be more entertaining than educational. (I admit I am a bit picky when it comes to anything educational related since my graduate studies were in Educational Psychology.) But I'm going to let the boys use the K5 Learning program over the next six weeks and I'll let you know what we think. And if you have any favorite online educational sites, please let me know.

This is a blurb about the review: K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

Reader Comments (3)

I think it is so great you are having your boys learn Korean. They will appreciate it so much when they are older!

07.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

You make it sound so easy!

07.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSmart phones

My son's school utilizes the KidBiz3000 (http://www.achieve3000.com/literacy-solutions/grades-2-12/elementary-school-grades2-5) online education program to teach its students reading comprehension. The program provides condensed versions of news articles simplified for elementary school students. After reading and listening to each article, the kids answer a series of multiple choice questions. There are also polls, thought questions (which require lengthier responses), and math and geography activities. The number of activities that the children have to do depends on their grade level. My son was in second grade this past school year, so he only had to complete the multiple choice questions and polls. I like the program because it tests for depth of understanding instead of just regurgitation of facts, and because it keeps kids informed of current events. My son has speech/language delay, so this program was challenging for him, but through constant participation, he's become much more confident with his reading and writing abilities.

His school also uses the IXL (http://www.ixl.com/) online education program to teach math. The program organizes its activities by grade level and concept. While verbal abilities are emphasized in reading directions and word problems, this program is very graphics-based, making it great for visual learners (like my son). Given your background in educational psychology and your experience as a parent, I'd be very interested in hearing what you have to say about these two programs.

07.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

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