Summer Homeschool Learning Favorites

Raise your hand if you homeschool during the summer!

We do, and while we stay on course with several of our subjects, we like to mix it up a bit with new programs and curriculum that the kids will have FUN doing.  Here are our favorite picks for making learning enjoyable and helping the children get excited about subjects during the summer months:

First Favorites Comprehension Guide (Vol. 1 and 2), Veritas Press

If your kids are involved with the summer reading program at the library, or any of the company programs that reward kids with free books, why not double the value and have them go through a learning curriculum like First Favorites from Veritas Press?  Simply read your children classic books like Curious George, Corduroy, The Little Engine that Could, and Frog and Toad are Friends; then have them complete fun activities that allow them to refine their art, penmanship, and phonics skills.  This is a fun course that can be done in those boring times when it's too hot to go outside.  I use some of the activities for the younger kids, too!  (Volumes 1 and 2 are available for $19.99 each at

Cuisine R-Evolution Molecular Gastronomy Kit

If you've ever watched the Food Network, you've probably wondered how they make food into foam or fish into noodles.  As it turns out, there is quite a bit of science involved, and since we love to use the summer months to get caught up on science labs, the Cuisine R-Evolution Molecular Gastronomy Kit fits in perfectly with our goals!  The kit includes everything you need to get started (minus the food, of course): utensils, additives, and a DVD with recipes.  

This exciting activity will give you hours of interaction with the children to help explain why algae extracts do what they do, and how it can all taste super delicious!  Perfect for the aspiring chef, but suitable as a week (or more) worth of science lessons, this was one of our most enjoyable science sessions yet!  (This genius lesson in emulsification, spherification, and gelification is available from Molecule-R for around $59.)

Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments (O'Reilly Media)

If there's one thing that really irritates me about some homeschool science books, it's that they assume you are fully equipped with a school-sized lab and have more equipment than most families can afford. The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments doesn't do that; in fact, it's a very practical and approachable method to teach kids of any age some of the most important biology principles they'll need to know!  

The illustrations are so easy to follow; any parent can facilitate these lessons.  (More capable tweens and teens can do so with adult supervision.)  Used with most any textbook, it's a great companion for filling in the gaps for required lab hours.  It also keeps parents organized with the easy to decode supply lists, and gives you the tips you need to create successful experiments every time!  (This full-color, must have guide has over 380 pages and can be purchased directly from the O'Reilly Media store for $36) 

*Samples received of some of these items to review.  Opinions are 100% my own.