Homeschool Summer School
Summer school. Does this conjure up images of being held back from your summer holidays, trying to pass classes that didn’t go well that year? While all your friends are off enjoying their break, you’re still nose to the grindstone every day slaving away at your school work? Well, HOMESCHOOL summer school looks a little bit different. At least in our house. Keep reading to see what we have planned for the summer!
Learning Never Stops!
I know that a lot of homeschoolers have different approaches to how they plan out their school year, and what they do (or don’t do) during the summer months. In my homeschool, it’s important for me to keep the learning happening – because it never really stops. What subjects we do, and what curricula we use, may all look very different in the summer months – but the learning is always happening. I don’t want my kids to think that “school” can only happen between 9-5 on weekdays during the months of September – June. I want them to know that learning is a lifelong adventure, and can happen anytime and with any subject.
We already school on a “3 weeks on, one week off” schedule – so we will keep that general timetable during the summer as well. My kids go see their father for a week to week-and-a-half in July, and possible another in August. So those will be natural breaks for them (and ME!). Otherwise though, we do school year-round.
Homeschool Summer School Keeps the Momentum Going
What initially got me to consider schooling year-round is the memory of those first weeks back to school each fall, and how long it took our poor teachers to get us all back on track and remembering what we learned the year before.
I love teaching my children, but I don’t want to waste their time (and mine!) by having to re-learn things we have already worked on. Taking a lengthy break seems to necessitate a lengthy review period once we get back into the swing of things.
Also, as I talked about in a previous post – we had a really hard year, we went off the rails, and I worked VERY hard to get things back on track. So to now be just getting our groove back – I do not want to bring that to a grinding halt. I want to enjoy this momentum we have going on right now, sit in the comfort of a smooth ride, and keep the learning happening!
So What’s The Plan, Anyway?
While I want to keep things moving in a forward direction, and enjoy being in a good place again with our homeschool – I also want to enjoy our summer. Being in northern Ontario, we need to take FULL advantage of these warm months while we have them!
So, a lot of our learning will be nature-focused – meaning PLENTY of outdoors time. We’re already on our “homeschool summer school” schedule – after a long and grueling winter, now that spring has sprung the last place we want to be is inside sitting at a table. Aside from our outside time, we’re also about to start our Learning About Birds study (from Simply Charlotte Mason). We live in a great area for birdwatching – our own backyard is full of all sorts of birds at different times of the year, so this will be a fun way to get our nature study in.
We will keep working at our math lessons – since we work year-round, we can choose very short lessons (which we try to do in all subjects a la Charlotte Mason), without runnng the risk of “falling behind” grade-wise. So we spend 15-30 mins a day on our math work or we may forego math lessons that day and play a card game or board game.
For our Language Arts this summer, we’ll just keep working on daily copywork and weekly dictation passages. A lot of reading – independent as well as books read together – will round that out for us this summer. My youngest has recently exploded in her reading ability and so I’d like to just give her the space to strengthen her reading skills and do a lot of independent reading (which really isn’t hard seeing as she wakes up with a book in her hand, and reads any chance she can get during the day).
Other than those subjects, we’ll keep going with a slightly-more-minimal Morning Basket routine. We’ll keep using Mali & Keela, some Shakespeare, poetry, penmanship, and our new favourite Morning Basket subject is our art study portfolios we purchased from Simply Charlotte Mason. I was planning to keep working on history – but we’re kind of tuckered out from our history rotation, and will be going in a slightly different direction in the upcoming school year, so I think we may just put the brakes on the history readings for the summer. I may reassess this idea as we go through the summer.
And that’s about it for our summer plans – still working on our lessons each day, but the biggest difference will be that it will hopefully be a bit more relaxed. I won’t necessarily be planning it all out ahead of time. I want to be able to just say “hey look, its hot and sunny and perfect beach day” and off we go. No worries about sticking to a schedule or timetable.
My Own Summer Learning Plan!
Since we will be relaxing a lot here, I’m planning to do some “homeschool summer school” of my own! I recently dug into Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschool Series, starting with Volume Six. I plan to go to Volume 1 next, and spend some time really diving into that volume, and then will hopefully start working my way through the remaining books in the series.
I’m also hoping to spend a lot of time this summer honing my blogging skills, writing more, and spending some time investing in this new venture of mine.
I have also been bouncing around the idea of refreshing my OWN math skills – it’s been an awfully long time since I first learned some of the things I now need to teach my kids, that I think it might be fun to go through some math lessons of my own.
And finally, what all homeschool moms will (likely) be doing this summer – PLANNING! I’m looking forward to some of the resources we’ve got on the docket for next year, and really excited to plan the year out.
Hopefully, with our summer homeschooling plan we can keep our momentum going, get ready for next year, but most of all ENJOY OUR SUMMER!
What do you have planned for your own “homeschool summer school”? Do you school year round, take a break, or something else? Let me know in the comments below!