Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Homeschool in the Summer (or Schooling Year Round)




While the rest of the public school world is celebrating the start of summer, Josiah and I have been hard at work.
‘Cause that’s the way we roll.

We have schooled year ‘round from almost the beginning.

At first, I balked at the idea of school all year long. I cried. I stamped my little foot. I remembered my own lazy summer vacation days (which always involved a book) and worried that Josiah wasn’t going to have those same fond memories. 

And then I wised up. 

Now. The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that it’s not “one-size fits all.” Which is a really good thing. This is why we homeschool, right? 

Some of you are little organized bunnies. Your ducks are all in a row. My ducks frequently leave home. They go on long extended vacations to Tahiti and other exotic locales. 

Lucky Ducks. 

Anyhoo. My point is that don’t feel like you have to try homeschooling all year long just because I (or other fruity folks like me) say it’s a good thing to do.

We all have to do what is best for our family. 

Here is a few things I had to consider. 

1.      Homeschooling throughout the year helps Josiah keep focused. He is dyslexic and we have found that we have to keep the school train a-moving. He needs constant practice and reinforcement. 

2.      We can take longer breaks throughout the year. Some homeschool families who school all year round take month long breaks (say around Christmas). Because our schedule isn’t set around the traditional school year, we can take time off when we need to. Sicknesses, vacations or just a much needed break…I am not so anxious to get through the curriculum because I know that I have plenty of time. 

3.      I do better in the summer. This is particular to my family. I have a number of pesky health issues. One of those is that my lower half is held together by pins and screws. I’m creakier in the winter. We still do plenty of school in the winter, but I sure move better in the summer. Which brings me to my next point. 

4.      Field Trips! There really is so much to do in the summer. I generally make a list of fun things going on and see if I can tie them into our school day. My guy learns by doing and seeing. Library programs, concerts in the park, trips to national parks and museums….these opportunities seem to ramp up during the summer months. I know that folks are just looking for ways to keep their school kids busy. I’m using those things for educational purposes. Even a walk in the park or the Botanical Gardens can turn into a nature study.

5.      I try and keep a variety of easy things I can assign to him when our days are busier. These include a few online sites or computer programs, a book of copywork to work through, a chapter to read, a list of approved documentaries on Netflix

This how I do it. Because I am always reviewing awesome products I have to incorporate those into our school day. Other than that I choose a few great reads. I then make a weekly plan. For example, this week looks like this. 

1.      Monday (grocery day, getting caught up from the weekend, review work)
2.      Tuesday - Morning School Work (also guitar and piano practice). If Josiah gets his work done I take him to the cheap movie later in the afternoon. This week we are going to see “God’s Not Dead.”
3.      Wednesday – Morning School Work, A Lunchtime concert in the park (we pack a sack lunch) and I promised Josiah I would take him to the art museum before we go home.
4.      Thursday – Reading Day. Every Thursday we go to a friend’s house and I teach a reading and writing class.
5.      Friday – Morning School Work. Troy (the Studly Muffin) is off on Fridays. We try and save the afternoon for a family activity. Last Friday, Troy and Josiah went for a morning bike ride on one of our local bike trails and then we went with some visiting family to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield (a local civil war battlefield). 

Keep in mind that our school year schedule looks quite a bit different. He has swim team practice and several other activities that keep us hopping. 

I know that in a few weeks we are going to take a week off for Cousin Camp. I also know Josiah is going to take a week and spend it at the farm with my Mom and Dad. Which means I can probably take that nap I've been dreaming about. Or follow my ducks to Tahiti.

How do you school in the summer?

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