Easy summer learning

This week I’m thinking about what school our kids will be doing this summer, besides yard work, and hanging out with friends, and summer jobs. For years we took summers entirely off school, and I have to admit that way still sounds appealing. But then I remember about the math-forgetting, and the wandering around bored, and I return to the conclusion that mixing just a little school in with all the down-time works best for us.

One of our teens will be reviewing algebra in hopes of acing the COMPASS and being able to skip one college math class. Another is planning on studying for the Psychology CLEP.  Two other teens will be putting in a little time each day studying Spanish.  As for the youngest two, it will be multiplication and division all the way.

Our current third grader is just at the age where not having her math facts down cold is slowing her down. I’ve had her write down the facts over and over, and do some work with flash cards, but still any math fact higher than the 5’s takes a LONG time to answer. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine, a fellow homeschooling mom of 7, she said, “Oh, you ought to try Reflex. My kids love it!”

reflex math

Reflex is a web-based math fact fluency system that uses a variety of games and rewards to teach kids, and to get them to like math in the process. Your child begins by creating an avatar (a computer picture of them) whose features and clothing they get to choose. The program then starts with a simple game to assess what facts your child knows, then customizes the learning experience to focus on facts that your child still needs to learn. As kids progress in their learning, they can unlock new games which keeps things interesting. They also earn points to spend on clothing and accessories for their avatar. My 9 and 11 year old daughters LOVE it, and have been begging to spend time learning their math facts on Reflex.

Reflex offers a free 2-week trial, so that you can see how their product works and if it is interesting to your child. My first plan was to let my daughter just do it for the free two weeks. But she enjoyed it so much (and still had so much to master) that I went ahead and bought it. A one year subscription for one child is $35. I’m planning to make this be my 9 year old’s math curriculum for the summer. She is thrilled to be doing something fun on the computer, and I’m thrilled that she’s finally learning her math facts. The only down side I’ve found is since the program customizes to what a child knows and doesn’t know, two children can’t share one profile. You have to buy each child an individual seat. But other than that, this is a great software program and my kids are thrilled that I listened to my friend’s recommendation!

Do you do summer enrichment with your kids or do you take summers entirely off school?

Oh, and before I forget to share it, here’s me and my clan yesterday. Everyone was home– and smiling– all at the same time! Be still, my heart….
With all 10 kids  :)


*Reflex gave me a free subscription for my second daughter in exchange for blogging about this program.


  1. Kristen Penny says:

    This sounds perfect for my 10 year old! He is finally where he needs to be in math at school and I don’t want him to lose his progress over the summer. The way I think about math is it is like music–you need to practice everyday to make progress. I asked my son if he could imagine not practicing piano all summer and then trying to perform a recital. That is what going back to school in the fall is like for math!

  2. Just wanted to say your daughter’s hair cut is adorable on her. You use their names infrequently enough that I know Amanda and Erika are the older two, but I’m not 100% which is which. I’m thinking it is Erika behind you with the shorter hair, and that is who I mean.

    Reflex sounds fabulous, but about 10 years too late for me. 🙂

  3. Kimberly says:

    Homeschool Buyers Co-op(free) has 44% off for 3 students as well as a discount for single students if anyone wants to continue after the trial.



  1. […] A homeschooling mom uses Reflex and says her daughter “is thrilled to be doing something fun on the computer, and I’m thrilled that she’s finally learning her math facts!” Read her full review. […]