Summer, summer, summer. Public schools are getting out for the summer, pools are opening and parks are getting full. No longer can you assume the family at the park at 10 am is a fellow homeschooler; and now the school playgrounds are fair game. Now is the time of year when the discussions among home school families start talking about “do you school all year or will you take a break?”
I’ll be honest, this is our first official “summer” and I feel our plans changing under my feet. I had planned (ah the best laid plans of mice and men…) to school this year from Aug 1 to June 1 having all June and July off before starting up again in Aug 2012. Well, then life happened. Isn’t that always the case?
Daddy got as job transfer; so our family will be moving either the last week of August or the middle of November. So if we move the last week of August, there is no way school is starting August 1. If we move in November school in August, September is going to be ok, but then you have to think of the time off in October and November. So the move is going to effect when we get to the table and really dig into our school work.
Beyond that, I find that I don’t want us to stop. I really enjoy our homeschooling, and rather than stopping I find myself wanting to challenge Big Brother all the more and actually start pushing him as we move into solidly First Grade level work. Big Brother is really an emergent reader and we need to keep reading every day (I should not that most people I know that take summers off, public school families too, usually do reading and math daily all summer too) if anything we need to read more, not less; and we are just mastering math facts (addition) and that can’t be left for very long. Ok so we are doing reading and math most every day all summer. Big Brother really enjoys history so there is no reason to stop THAT; read-a-louds and hands on activites. His handwriting really needs more mastery, so we can’t just take 8 weeks off from THAT either. We do memory work and Bible work all the time as an element of our family’s faith as much as we do it “for school”. Pretty soon the question becomes apparent: what, really, are we NOT doing all summer. Grammar, so far, Grammar is the only subject that has been tabled for the “summer”. Also the structure is good for us. Even if we do not get to the table everyday because of other commitments; on days we are home having that activity on the list really helps fill the day and keep things “normal” for the boys.
Granted we will have a lot of summer activities going on : VBS (2 of them), pool family pass, zoo family pass, various park days and play date get together that we are part of, nature club, and nature play dates. Thus, we won’t be doing 2 to 3 hours of table time each day like I strive for “school year”; but I really think we can honestly say we are schooling all summer. Again, not leaving off the books I feel is a good thing for the boys, keep them in the habit; help them keep moving forward so we do not have to repeat a lot of material in the fall. Also we’ll be adding more art, especially messy art that can (should) be done outside, and more science labs and hands on “play”.
Summer Activities: (see more here)
- VBS: the boys are going to two VBSs this summer; one that is at the church we currently attend and a second one that is in the small town right by us. They are back to back weeks in June; I’d love to find a VBS for them in July. Might have to look into that.
- Pool: we’ll be getting a family pool pass again. Zero entry, and a cool slide in the kids section keeps us happy for hours.
- Zoo: we have a family pass again this year, if momma gets it together maybe we’ll do a bit more talking and thinking about the qualities of the animals and their environments and not just look at them and giggle. The zoo is a bit of a drive, but done right I think we can get there once a week.
- HEED Club:
- Nature Scape Play Dates:
- Little Ninjas: for Big Brother goes all summer, and if we do not move till Nov he’ll take the fall session also. Once we move I think I will try to enroll him in a more ‘real’ martial arts program, but this kids program is great and I am seeing improvement in his body control.
On Going School:
- Phonics: We are one Exploring the Code book 1.5; and I hope to have book 2 done or mostly done by the end of the summer.
- Math: MATH FACTS – we are drilling, and practicing, and learning all the addition math facts up to 10+10.
- History: studying the ancients with Story of the World Vol 1 both the text and the activity guide. Bibloplan year one; and also the reading list and activity suggestions at GuestHollow. YES that is THREE resources I am pulling our history work from. It is amazing; with 3 books lists to pull from I am finding things that we can get from inter-library-loan and also things that catch the boys intrest and are on their level. It is more work for momma, but makes things more complete for Big Brother without creating more work for him.
- Social Studies: we are starting with Vikings and their discovery of “America” after that we will be looking at the native population, then start with the earliest colonies (Jamestown, Roanoke); that should take all summer. We are using Truthqest for our book list and a lot of ‘Net research on the part of momma.
- MORE ART (check out some of my ideas here)
- MORE Science
So I guess, though it is not what I planned, nor what I expected: we school year around (with limited changes for the summer). Gee I did not think that was going to be my answer!