Summer and school can mix
Well, Summer is finally here, the weather is perfect and the kids are out of school…well all except mine! Our kids are attending Summer home school…and no it’s not because they were bad or didn’t grasp things during the school year. Much of it (not all) is for purely selfish reasons…let me explain…
In previous years we have done a more traditional summer break and found that getting back on schedule was a nightmare (that doesn’t even cover it), and even though I consistently read to the children and they participated in summer reading programs, much of the first month back to school was straight review. After looking into this and reviewing my step-daughter’s work (she attends public school), I realized that much of a child’s first marking period, after summer break, contains a heavy load of review work. I know that many schools and teachers are trying their best to aid students by sending home work sheets and assignments over the summer break, to be turned in for treats and prizes, but because many children don’t do these assignments, the classwork is still heavy with review. One day it dawned on me…I home school and I can do things differently!
My husband and I thought that if we took a more “year round” approach, we would be getting ahead of the game by not needing to spend as much time reviewing with the kids after summer break. We also decided that a more consistent and realistic schedule would work for us and that taking smaller breaks throughout the year, would be easier than 12 weeks at once. Please understand that I was just as much to blame for the struggle as the kids were. Being self motivated as a stay at home mom and a home school mom is hard enough, throw in 12 weeks of lazy days, sleeping in, beach and pool time…well getting back on a school schedule was like a prison sentence, I seriously don’t know how teachers do it year after year!
I can hear many parents questioning this decision and I completely understand. How many of us have the best memories at the pool or park, riding our bikes and running wild during summer break? I know I do…so even though we plan on doing school during the summer, we have modified our schedule a bit.
During the summer we will be doing our normal chore and reading schedules in the morning (each child reads to me for 15 minutes) Monday-Thursday (to see more on setting chores for kids click here). On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after chore and reading time we focus on Math, English (writing, grammar and spelling) and then Piano, and by utilizing lunch for a couple of worksheets, we are completely done with school by 1pm. Wednesday is our sleep-in day, with our only commitment is to the kids’ piano teacher, though we aim to do our chores and reading in the morning, it is negotiable and can be missed if we have something else planned. Friday’s wake-up time is the same as a school day but right after breakfast we head to the movies, which usually also turns into a later park trip, and then the library on the way home, though this is even flexible as last Friday we chucked all of that out of the window and went to the pool for 5 hours! So, though we are continuing some schooling, our afternoons and evenings are open, Wednesday as well, and with Friday being an “up for anything” kinda day, the kids don’t even seem to notice that we are still doing school!
We have partially abandoned other subjects like History, Art, and Science for the summer, though as my kids do love all of those subjects, especially Science and Art, so I am thinking of doing projects instead of lessons once a week. Projects are always more fun and they can be done outside, which is always great! Just the other day we made a very basic drawing of the Solar System, which got the kids in a heated debate about Pluto and honestly, it was great…I love seeing the kids interested in different things!
This is our first year trying this and I plan to post some more about it, in fact I hope to post more about homeschooling in general, but so far Summer Home School has been a success! Have a great summer and check out my post 25 FREE Summer Activities for Kids if you are looking for things to do with your little one this summer.
Bet + fam 🙂