Monday, March 31, 2014

Summer School? Seriously?

May and June will arrive and most kids will bound through the doors of some school building praying they do not see those empty halls for at least three months.  Parents will delight in the break from homework and fill the days with pool trips, camps, and clinics.

But we homeschoolers, well, let's just say we do things a little differently around here.

Near of the end of the school year we have finished several subjects early and already our load has been lightened.  When the final book is read and last workbook page is completed, we - well, we start again.

Yes, I admit, I do usually give the kids a week or two off but then it is time to get going again.

Seriously, how much pool and fun can one family take?

We thrive on schedules.  I am convinced that the key to peace and happiness is a schedule.

OK, maybe not, but you get the idea.  How many times do you hear people bemoaning the fact that they are ready for school to be back in session after just a few short weeks of summer fun?  All-the-time!

Why?  Because their kids are bored.  The parents are tired of playing tour guide and entertainer, are short tempered, and have run out of things to do.

It is a recipe for disaster.

I do not even want to go there!  So we don't.

We do summer school.

Yes, it is on a revised schedule.  (I am not THAT mean) But it is school none the less.  They all have summer reading and we require about an hour a day for that.  Some of the kids actually have to be told to get their noses out of a book!  We usually continue with math at a review level.  I am not pushing for the kids to finish school at age 15, but I also do not want to have to spend the first month of each "school year" having to review forgotten skills because of a three month break.  It is a complete waste of my time and theirs.  An hour or so in the mornings of work is not going to kill them, and at the very best, it is teaching them to be hard workers and diligent.

This year I have found a 10 week program for my 1st and 6th grader that reviews what they have learned in those particular grades.  Because it is broken up into days and weeks, it is easy for them to follow on their own and so they will spend about 30 minutes a day doing that as well.  My 10th grader will continue Spanish and begin duel credit online classes.

Will they still have fun?  Of course they will.  We do like to have fun around here, I promise.  Lots of field trips, time outside, and fun with friends.  But we also want to make good use of our time and continue to emphasize the importance of learning.  While it may not be an official "school day," everyday is about learning.  Even in the summer!

What about you?  How are you filling your kids' summer days?


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  1. Us, too. But it allows us extended time off. We take a two-week break in the fall, close to a month at Christmas, a two-week spring break, and have gotten in enough hours that we will be finished with this "school year" by May 1st! We are taking off a (much-needed) month of May. Then in June and July we will do school Monday through Thursday from about 10-12 each day. Then that leaves our afternoons for playtime, sports and swimming. My kids still kind of complain. But, when we are in Florida next week, I will remind them why we do this.

    1. Yep, Nicole! I love those extended breaks! We too took off most of December this year and loved it. I like your M-Th idea!

  2. School in the summer is very tough for us as my boy's friends all go to public school. Yet, it's a hill I'm willing to die on. ; )
    We have two weeks off in May (perhaps three as the boys tend to work faster at the end to get done sooner). Then we have three weeks in June that we do half days, 4 days a week. We will finish up any work that got put aside during the year, try out any new programs we are considering for next year, continue along in our math, and of course reading. They get the last week of June off (they have a scout even that week) and all of July. We start our new year in August.
    Even though it is a struggle with my boys, it is worth it as I know what happens if we take 2-3 months off at once. They aren't mature enough to see the value though.

    1. Oh my word, Cassie, did you read my daughter's post with the title Hill To Die On? She said she had never heard that before, though I could have sworn she would have heard at least her dad say it, but then you responded with it. Kind of funny! Anyway... You sound like you have a great schedule figured out! We tend to usually finish text books early May as well, but are behind this year and won't be done til June. Gonna have to readjust some. Once my kids got older, they did indeed see the value of at least reviewing during the summer. Stand firm! ;)

  3. We school all year round. I can't bear to think of how much fuss my 8 year old would give me if we had to review everything for a solid month (give her more than 4 days completely off and I swear her brain floats somewhere else). So, we do a shortened and revised work load during the summer. Mainly math and language arts, sometimes we throw in some science (usually in the form of nature science) or history if the children are interested. We don't take a lot of extended breaks throughout the year though. We begin our "official" new school year at the beginning of September and by May (usually) we're done with that year's text books ... after that it's just some simple review and reading and interest lead learning until the next September

    1. Your schedule sounds a lot like ours Chrystal!

  4. This is our (well, my) goal as well, and for pretty much the same reasons. My older kids (11, 9, & 9) are not on board with it, but as Cassie said above, "it's a hill I'm willing to die on." This has been our first full year homeschooling, so I'm trying to ease the kids into it. Hopefully the curriculum I'm about to switch to will help ease the transition for them. All three of them are serious bibliophiles (as long as it's not a textbook, LOL!), and we're about to make the switch to a literature-based curriculum. :) Thanks for the encouragement! :D

    1. Bekah, welcome to homeschooling! What are you switching to next year? If your kids are readers a lit based program will serve you well- it was great for my girls! You also may want to explore the 6 weeks on, one week off option. I know lots who do it and love the routine. Happy homeschooling.

  5. This is our first year of official homeschool for my five year old. I haven't decided what our summer school days will consist of just yet but we definitely plan on schooling during the summer! I'm leaning toward focusing on having more project based/hands on learning during the summer. I loved this post and featured it at this week's Anything Goes Link-up! :)


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