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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Is There an Advantage to Homeschooling Over the Summer?


Are there advantages to homeschooling over the summer months? Dr. Clark advises on that and shares ideas on motivating active children to read and what a parent should consider before having a child skip a grade.

Is there an advantage to homeschooling over the summer?

Very definitely. There are many benefits to continue some homeschooling in the summer.

Some children may need to continue their studies, especially in areas in which they are likely to forget their lessons. Some subjects need to be regularly reviewed, such as math, grammar, and reading. Some moms like to schedule time each summer morning to review one or two subjects.

Brief writing exercises, such as a description of a vacation trip or a visit to the zoo, are especially important and can be fun for children to do. Reading daily is also very important, even if the books are easy and below grade level. And encourage your children to talk to you about what they read.

Be sure to take books along on a vacation trip. There is always time on vacation to read something interesting, such as in the areas of science and history. Take along games that will help develop a strong memory. Keep their brains active, even on “vacation.”

How can I motivate my 5th grade son to read? He is very active, and does not want to sit down and read for his book report.

You might read part of the book with him, perhaps taking turns in reading the paragraphs. Encourage him to read some “events” in the story which may appeal to him.

Be interested in the story yourself, even making comments or asking questions like: What do you think he should do? Is he being a good Christian in the way he talks or acts toward other people in the story?

Before television and computers, young and old spent time reading, thinking, and discussing. Today, with everything so easily presented, including opinions of right and wrong, good and bad, many young people don’t want to take the time to read and think about the message in their reading.

Consider giving a reward to your son if he would read a story to a younger brother or sister. See if your home schooling group has or would start a book club. Many libraries have children’s book clubs, encouraging the reading of good books, even offering ice cream “rewards” for young readers who give a brief “book report” to the librarian.

Another idea is to ask your son to write a short story about one of his “adventures,” such as playing on a baseball team or going fishing with Dad. He could read it to the family after dinner some evening.

I have liked the Seton Math 8 Practice Problems. Do you have any for the 7th grade?

Yes, we do. Because so many parents have called us asking for math workbooks for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Saxon textbooks, Seton has produced math workbooks for each of these three grade levels.

The workbook problems are strictly for basic math skills, with some word problems and a few geometry problems. Also, these problems are based on the grade level, so they do include fractions and decimals and other similar math problems as presented in the textbooks that they support.

The workbook pages may be used as additional problems for drill or to replace the problems in the textbook for those students who have difficulty copying problems. There is plenty of space to work out the answers, so students do not need to rewrite the math problems in a notebook.

Math 6 Practice Problems Workbook is for Saxon 65, Math 7 is for Saxon 76, and Algebra 1/2 is for Saxon Algebra 1/2.

The set of two workbooks for each grade level total about 150 pages each and include Answer Keys. The workbooks are listed as an option when you enroll online or they can be purchased through The workbook sets cost $15 for each grade level.

My daughter is doing so well with her math. What do you think about her skipping a grade level for math?

We are happy to support your final decision on your daughter’s math level. However, there are some points you should consider. First, the math books are “building blocks” which depend on the student adequately understanding the previous “blocks.”

Second, if you want to move ahead a math level, we suggest that you start with the math course that is associated with the student’s grade level. Then, have the student take the chapter tests and once she passes the tests for that course, move forward to the next grade level.

Teacher’s Tip

Why You Should Submit High School English Work Online

Some Seton families by circumstances or choice are not internet users. The option to mail in work for grading is specifically for them.

For those families who can submit work electronically, however, there are several benefits for the family and for Seton. This is especially true with high school English work, which generally takes longer to grade than other courses because of the essay and research report assignments.

  1. Grading electronically-submitted work is faster and easier for graders than grading mailed-in work. The more families submit work electronically, the faster the grading turnaround times are for everyone.
  2. When a student has a question on grader comments, it make a counselor’s job easier and the help more efficient when the work was submitted online. Electronically-graded work is instantly accessible to counselors and makes the assistance they can offer easier and better.
  3. We are not able to keep copies of mailed in work, so the copy we send back when the work is mailed in is the only copy of that graded work available. If it should happen to get lost at your house or, in rare cases, in the mail back to you, there is no way to recover that work. This is not a problem with electronically-submitted work, which is permanently saved in our system.

When you know the process, uploading an assignment usually takes less than a minute. You first click the gray “Courses” tab on your MySeton page, then click the course name, locate and click the name of the assignment you wish to submit, and then click the picture across from the assignment that pops up an “Upload assignment” message when you hover your cursor over it.

Every time you click to upload an assignment, a FAQ form will pop up to answer any questions you may have about the uploading process.

We appreciate the assistance to Seton and to our families which results from submitting high school English work online.

About Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Director of Seton for more than 25 years. Dr. Clark left Mater Dei Academy and began teaching her children at home at seeing firsthand the opportunities and the pitfalls of private schooling. Meet Dr. Clark | See her book
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