we finished our school year near the beginning of may. two things contributed to that: one, i planned out the school year incorrectly and we basically crammed for 2/3 of the year. two, summer school.
loads of people have asked me WHY WE SUMMER SCHOOL. naturally, i’d prefer to spend all of our days doing nothing, and i’ve really enjoyed the big break in previous years. what i didn’t enjoy, was september.
most of the people who have asked about summer school, were moms. so moms– you know how it is: summer is so wonderfully spontaneous and relaxing, but then september hits like a sledgehammer with clubs and school and extra-curricular activities, and physicals and dental, and it’s all so suddenly out of control! the calendar can go from beautifully empty to several appointments and tasks squeezed into each and every day.
surprisingly, i’m not new to homeschooling anymore. anne just finished grade 2, and eli completed grade 4. that means that i’ve been homeschooling for… pfffff…. SIX YEARS! so i’ve endured several summers of “i’m bored”, paired with several septembers of basically a wasted month while we tried to get back into routine.
the kids have four basic elements to their day: morning routine, practice piano, reading, and workbook.
morning routine has been around for years! it makes our life much more simple, especially when the kids do it without me nagging them to get it done. our routine is: breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, read bible.
practice piano is pretty self-explanatory. right now they’re getting ready for their recital, but for the rest of the summer, i’ll just have them set a timer for 15 minutes and let them play whatever songs they want.
reading together with anne each day is great quality time, and very rewarding as i see her proficiency emerging. elliot and i have been reading through a book together as well, but it’s usually a case of me trying to keep up to him in our book, since he’s such a loveable little bookworm.
i love these books! they not only have daily activities in reading, writing, math, language arts, and social studies, but also have recommended reading lists, flashcards, incentive contracts, and a certificate of completion. best part: CANADIAN!! happy happy happy dance. i also love these books for the accountability they provide me with staying on track with the kids’ grade level expectations, should they ever go into the public system.
all of this stuff doesn’t have to take up much of the day. the morning routine, piano practice, and workbook can all be completed within an hour, if my kids are motivated. they’re not allowed to have free time or electronics until after summer school is done, so they’re usually pretty great about it.
when september comes, and the foundation built in the previous year is still standing firm, we are able to “just do school”. we are free to start at the beginning of the new grade, instead of trying to build on the past year’s crumbling foundation. it’s a small sacrifice each day in the summer, but a huge advantage that contributes to a longer summer for the next year.
we’ve also done oodles of fun outings, and i’ve been meaning to write a post about retirement too. it hasn’t been all about school around here, and i’ll fill you in in a later post. thanks for reading!
Entry filed under: homeschool.