Every year that we’ve been homeschooling (which is 9 years, officially, now), we have had year-round school. I don’t follow the typical school-year, because I like the flexibility of having vacations anytime we need them, instead of just summer and Christmas. It’s easier for us to to take a week or a month off whenever our family needs it (like when a new baby comes, or during an extended illness).
But this year, I have made an Executive Decision: no summer school! Shhhhhhh! I haven’t told the kids yet. Now that I have 4 kids, a summer break is sounding like a good idea. I’d like to have a little time for myself to do things I haven’t been able to do, such as read a book, scrapbook, sew for pleasure, or just . . . hmmmm . . . the possibilities are endless!
So, no rigid school schedules for us! However, I couldn’t possibly let the entire summer go by without any learning. Ha! That would go against everything I believe is great about homeschooling! But, I have a simple plan. For my girls (ages 8 & 12), one math lesson each day, and 1 hour of reading each day. When they finish a book, they will do a book report. That’s it! It’s not too rigorous, but it will keep them from being completely bored. I will also let them choose the time of day they do their assignments, as long as it’s before dinner. In the summer, I’ve always been willing to let them play outdoors in the morning and come in for school in the hot afternoon hours.
Side note: I’m anti-boredom. I don’t think there’s any excuse for being bored. I haven’t been bored in years. I don’t allow my kids to be bored, either. They have plenty of options for free time, and if they run out of ideas, I always have a few suggestions. : )
Back to summer school. Chloe, my 8-year-old, loves Magic Tree House books. Recently, I found that Random House has an awesome website to supplement this series, so this will probably be where the majority of her reading and book reports come from: http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/magicth/index.html
Claudia, my 12 year old, has many interests. I will let her choose her books (with approval from me) for her “school” reading, as long as they are history or science related. They can be historical fiction or non-fiction, biographies, or reference. Of course, her free-time reading is her choice.
Nicholas, my 3 year old, LOVES dinosaurs. So, I will continue to read to him about dinosaurs, and we might even make a couple of lapbooks for preschool fun.
In the next couple of weeks we will have an end-of-school celebration night and I will officially announce our summer plans. I’m already excited, and I think the kids will be, too!