Schooling in the Summer?!
When I pictured having kids I had no idea what I was in for. I never imagined that busy summer days with my children could be so full of love and joy. I cannot imagine a better life than raising these little hooligans. Are you having a good summer friends? I hope yours has been filled with sunshine and laughter.
We finished 2nd grade and 4th grade with relief that a break was here. During the respite we did what everyone does in the summer; jam pack our days with adventures, plans, and preparing for the next school year. It only took me about two weeks to be excited to start back up, so I spent the rest of our break preparing for 3rd, 5th grade and, hm…pre-pre- school. I am glad to get a good head start before any online classes and clubs start. As it is we still have piano and baseball through the summer, the latter filling all our evenings during the week.
We usually start our days with school but the beauty of schooling through the summer is that in addition not having a significant memory lapse in learning, those days that are too hot to enjoy the outdoors can also be spent productively.
Somedays during the summer we don’t school in the mornings, but head out and pick fruit or hike before the 90 degree heat does us in. Then, we will spend the heat of the day leisurely getting our work done. Here is how our school day breaks down:
- Breakfast/ animals chores / get ready for the day
- Morning basket
- Individual time with mom
- Combined subjects altogether
- Solo work time
Keep in mind this is the schedule for most days, but once our clubs start in the fall along with a few online classes, the evenings will also start to have their own schedule, in addition to juggling things around one morning a week. It’s a blessing to be so flexible with our schedule, particularly if a great opportunity opens up, like C’s IEW writing class, offered by a stellar veteran teacher on a invitation only bases- that’s something we will gladly change the schedule up for! Another great thing about homeschooling- we aren’t tied to one particular option. We can search out the best solutions for any given subject, a schooling buffet, if you will.
I can bet some of you are wondering, ”what does your toddler do this whole time?!” Well, obviously she just quietly plays by herself, sometimes asking for different Mozart CD. Just kidding!! She’s such an easy kid, I really don’t have any complaints, but that might be because I don’t expect her to be anything other than a toddler. We have her own little ”school basket” she plays with, and she loves to do her ”work” stations that I’ve discussed before in a previous post . During individual time I will occasionally have one of the big kids ride bikes with her, push her in a swing, or read her books. If they are really patient with her and put in extra effort, they have the chance to earn “special time coupons”. These coupons can be cashed in with me or Husband for extra one on one time at night. During most of the day, between helping spell words or reading aloud our history book, the big kids work on their own. I relish the little moments of summer with Pickle during these times. Sometimes we eat blueberries or raspberries off our bushes while I push her in the swing, or chat with the chickens while collecting eggs, or we putter in the garden counting how many slugs we’ve caught in the beer trap. The bigs are at an age where I need to facilitate chunks of quiet time for them to get their work done, rather than having to be so hands on with each subject. Sweet backyard times with Pickle are a win-win.
I think it is super important to always keep yourself in a growth mindset. In my case I need to stay positive and avoid stagnation with homeschooling and our health. If I get lazy or unmotivated, we all suffer! Naturally I think the best way to expand skills, mindsets, and knowledge is by reading. Hey, it’s not just my opinion, seriously! So, to stay excited about homeschooling and to stay vigilant with our health I make sure I’m always reading at least one ”work” book aka, something that’s educational. Here are some books I’m reading right now;
The Dirt Cure – highly recommended if you’re ever on the fence about focusing on food over medication, or if you need more encouragement to stay the course of healthy food choices. Written by a pediatric neurologist mother.
Let Them Be Kids– light hearted and full of good reminders. Particularly good if you feel like you need some parental encouragement, or a few tips and tricks.
How the Irish Saved Civilization– brilliant book. I haven’t been this hooked on a book in years. You’re never too old to learn history. Can’t recommend this book enough.
I think reading three books at once is probably enough don’t you? Well, three, not counting the book I’m reading aloud to the big kids, the dozen or so picture books I read to the toddler daily, and all our schooling read alouds. Reading is certainly the heart beat of this homeschool family, let me tell ya.
I hope this is your best summer yet folks. It has already been one for the books for us and it’s only half way through! We look forward to more adventures, bike rides, school projects, and sunny days at the beach.