I was/am planning to HS my would-be 2nd grader in the fall, but I just found out I'm expecting baby #4 in January. So I am thinking about starting after a short break this summer.
I know I've seen some people posting about HSing through the summer and I'm wondering how well it goes, are the kids are receptive or not so much? I'm thinking that it might be more fun being that we can be outside all the time. But then I think that is distracting.
What does everyone think about summer schooling??
Jessie. Mama to (7) : (4) and : 22 mo
We do "school" through the summer, but we are very relaxed and mellow about school all year round. In the summer, we just do two or three things and just make a little progress, and try not to forget so we have to backtrack in the fall. This summer, we will do math, spelling, and I'm going to gently encourage the kids to do a little more independent reading--especially my soon-to-be 3rd grader.
If I were in your situation, and I wanted to make a smooth and pleasant transition to homeschooling, I'd probably NOT try to do many--if any--school-like things this summer. I'd have a lot of fun family time together, and perhaps start doing something lightly structured during the time you'd like to make your "school time" in the fall. Things like making playdough or oobleck together and getting everyone together to play with it, maybe read a book then, or herd everyone out for a walk. For me, the biggest challenge is maintaining my school routine, there are so many other things we'd all like to be doing. It is nice that i have some history with the kids of doing things together in the mornings, so when I want it to be school that we do, it doesn't come out of left field, and they easily agree.
Thanks for the reply Stacy, that sounds like good advice. DS1 is pretty excited about HSing so I am thinking I can ease some things in over time without going overboard. But I will likely just follow his lead as far as the summer months are concerned.
Jessie. Mama to (7) : (4) and : 22 mo
We just continue to 'school' all year long. Sometimes more indepth and serious than others. Although we are pretty unschooly to begin with. DS does have one online class that he loves and does all year long. Once you start HS you will see that 'school' takes on so many forms that you and the kids wont even notice that school is happening!
Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed
Seeking zen in 2014. Working on journaling and finding peace this year. Spending my free time taking J to swimteam
Homeschooling at our house is every day, every month. Of course, we are unschoolers and the kids are still young, but the idea can really apply to homeschoolers of every stripe. Basically, I feel that we can spread the learning out over the whole year. We take restful/lazy days after a weekend away, or the day after gymnastics and a trip to town, sick days and beautiful days. Regular events, (swimming lessons included) plus my work schedule, keep a natural rhythm to the week.
Are you the type who needs the daily structure because it keeps you in a good groove? Then I would definitely do less "schoolwork" each day and stretch it for the entire year, including summer. If you can more or less easily pick up after a long break, then by all means, take the summer off. It's never a break from learning, if you see it that way, just a break from desk (or couch) work.
Changing focus can be helpful if you still want to be more formal than we are, just center subjects onto hands-on outdoorsy nature and science stuff. When we go for walks in the woods, we take "science backpacks" with colored pencils, sketch books, magnifying glasses, measuring tools, and I'll carry binoculars and field guides. I let the girls lead, but you can be more purposeful, too. After all, it's what real scientists do: some fieldwork followed by compiling data.
Have a glorious summer!
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"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
Summer isn't all that different from the rest of the year. Just more sunshine and warmer outside temps.
My oldest was so excited to officially start school last year because the books looked so irresistible, that we started in July.
We just worked the read alouds into our bedtime routine after the littles were asleep (so it was also more one-on-one/two time for us) and the more active stuff during the day. Although granted, we don't do a whole lot of 'sit down and do that worksheet now and do this copywork next' kind of thing. I prefer to keep it fun. If they want to play with our interactive globe for 30 minutes, rock on (tonight my 5yo was all excited that he found Uganda - do most 5yo's do that?), if they want to dig a hole in a designated place and put in a canal with the scrap lumber they get to play with, we're good with that, too. They learn so much at this age by just observing and taking things in and being involved with life.
And honestly? We only technically have 6 weeks left of our school curriculum (yeah, we slacked off a good 2-3 months this winter with other busyness going on), but odds are after the garden's in we'll start up again because they love school - so much so, that sometimes I can use it as bribery to get good behavior or something. So then I can take some time off during harvest season for canning and such, and during holidays as need be from us just keepin' on keepin' on.
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
That said, DS (7) doesn't enjoy summer break, lol. And I require some sort of break.
What we typically do is wrap up the school year in early June, then move onto "summer activities" for June and July. After we get back from vacation in July, we start the next school year, but we only plan for 2-3 days a week of any sort of formal activity, giving us the flexibility to vacate our hot house, lounge all day in the pool, or whatever, on those really hot days. By late August, we usually end up settling into a routine of school every day, trying to complete it early enough in the day to take advantage of the cool mornings.
"Summer activities," at least this summer anyway, are mostly going to be fun science experiments, fun math games (we have a book of polyhedron dice games, and tangrams), and learning to use our new microscope.
We school year-round. We take time off when we need to and make sure we get the required number of days for our state. We finished Kindergarten a month ago or so and started the First Grade curriculums.
My kids are doing school year round Mon-Sat though we are laid back about it, and we do take time off as our needs require. The older ones have assignments they need to complete but it never takes more than 2 hours, leaving the rest of the day at their disposal. We sometimes do very structured lessons with the younger kids which they love-- most of it is fun stuff like music, games, reading. My kids do better with a lot of structure and scheduling so I continue through the summer mainly to keep them busy and occupied. They also help out with chores and cleaning which is "required" on a regular basis.
I do school year round on a fairly normal schedule, except the very few half or full day camp weeks they are doing.
If you are not unschooling, I think it might be a great idea for you to roll right into the summer, as it will take the stress off if you want to take time off when the baby comes. You could declare your school year June-May or July-June and know that you'll get your state required attendance in (if any).
My kids are 6 and 7 and I've found over the years ... and still today ... it helps to ramp up seat-work gradually. Also do not overestimate how much seat-work they need. Homeschooling, even quite aggressive (as I believe compared to many of my friends I'm quite aggressive in the amount of written work I give my kids) does not take very long. I'm not unschooling, but the value of what they do in their free time is not lost on me.
I live in Arizona. It can get up to 112 here...and most summer days are definitely hovering around 100. (And? Our pool? Coldest one in town. Go figure.) We are going to keep on keeping on during the Summer just because it is SO DANG HOT. I know others who do this as well, taking their break during the Spring when it is nice outside. Besides, it keeps ME on schedule...which we really need around here.
Planting/carrying for a veggie garden
Nature walks / nature scrap books / journaling
And a world cultures unit where we are going to do one country every week or so. Food, culture, related art activities, and so on.
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
Thanks so much ladies, I love hearing about what everyone does and it's so helpful to me as I go about planning. So, what I've kind of decided to do is be very relaxed. We are going to do a lot of reading, he is a really good reader but I found PS was giving him books he just wasn't interested in so I want to focus on stuff that he likes and letting him go at his own pace. I've found some chapter books he's interested in and he's started reading them on his own and I want to go with that.
We're always spend a lot of time outside doing nature studies, just never really calling them that, and I think the idea of a scrap book/journal is awesome so I'm totally stealing it. And we were planning on doing some world culture things too. I'm getting really excited for it and I just wanna scoop him out of PS right now!
Jessie. Mama to (7) : (4) and : 22 mo
We homeschoool year round and love it. I have fiund that there are so many educational things to do during the summer. We use the 6 weeks on 1 week off year round set up we take extra days when we need to though we just use that as a rough guide. I have 4 kids and when ever I added a new born I usually took more time out torward the end of pregnancy that after the baby was born. I was just so tired and uncomfortable at the end I did most my teaching from the couch. I usually only took 1 week off after the baby was born and 2 weeks before. I would just put the baby in a moby wrap and go on with my day. Good luck!
we do take the summer off in regard to record keeping ( i live in a highly regulated state). but aside from that, the kids do keep up with reading and math daily. in late august, we'll start up with all subjects and our new curriculum.
homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
We hs year round- we don't generally do things like reading or math outside though. We hs whatever time and day we feel like it. We cover 2 subjects on a bad day, 4 subjects on a good day and no subjects on a rotten day. Dd is 11 years old.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)