There is a lot of discussion about summers in the homeschool world. Should I take a long break? School year round? Keep doing math? Spend all day outside? The choices seem endless and sometimes a little overwhelming. However, I love that each family can decide what works best and that can change from summer to summer.
Last week I shared a little about how we were going to focus on resetting our rhythms and routines over the summer to help us get back on track with chores, fitness, and Bible reading. These are things that I want to become ingrained habits that are a natural part of our day. In addition to working on those rhythms and routines, I had to decide how I wanted to spend our summer days.
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After such a busy year, I really wanted to be sure we had some down time to relax and rest. I have left lots of ‘white space’ in our calendar to play outside, watch a few movies, make lemonade, and just enjoy our time together. We will have the opportunity to spend some time enjoying time with our family down at the river: swimming, boating, and playing in the sand.
However, I know that my children do best with a little bit of structure. I have decided that we will be enjoying some focused time on a few ‘electives’ this summer as well as some family reading. In addition, we will be continuing to work on a few new reviews for various products, so keep an eye out for those.
My three oldest children have been learning instruments this year and I plan to have them commit some of their time this summer to furthering their musical goals. My daughter just moved up a level in her Practice Monkeys violin class and feels that she has a lot to learn to be successful in this level. Some extra practice time this summer should help her feel more confident and continue moving her forward. My five-year-old son is also working in the first level of violin and will hopefully be able to move to level two before the summer is over. My oldest son wants to play the guitar and had begun to learn but has not felt that he had the time to devote a lot to practicing. I am hopeful that this extra time will allow him to gain confidence. This also fits well into my rhythm and routine theme for summer because I believe that if he is practicing daily and making progress, it will be easier for him to fit that in when we start our regular school schedule in the fall.
We are excited to be spending some time at ‘art camp’ this summer. It is the perfect camp because we don’t have to leave home! It is included in the price of our regular art program, it has lots of option for various interests and ages, and I can fit in around our schedule. My plan is to get up in the mornings and work on our routines (chores, Bible time, and fitness), have breakfast and then complete and art lesson. Next, we will have snack and then the kids can spend some free time outside playing before we tackle out other projects and review work. Nana with You Are an Artist has so many wonderful art lessons for them to choose from each day can be new and exciting.
I do not want to lose the momentum that we have with reading and books. I am grateful that my children naturally spend time reading and I do not have to assign free reading but I want us to spend some time reading books together this summer. Some of these books I will read aloud and some of them I plan to purchase using my audible subscription. First, I want to read the Secret Garden. I found this great free family book club guide from The Read Aloud Revival to along with the Secret Garden and I’m excited to get started.
Next, we have been talking about reading Wonder and just have not gotten around to it. I plan to read it together and then have a family movie night to watch the movie. Finally, a couple weeks ago I shared about how much we love the Mr. Lemoncello books. When I went online to share the link with everyone, I found out that a new book had just been released: Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game. This should be a great light summer read that will make us laugh. I also have a few other books that we may find the opportunity to read and, of course I’ll be reading lots of picture books with my younger children.
Finally, I plan to have each of my three older children pick a topic or skill of interest to work on independently this summer. I really want to cultivate the skill and love of lifelong learning in them. I want them to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from deciding you want to learn about something and figuring it out. I believe that my daughter is going to learn more about photography with her new camera. We have some resources that she can use in our SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership as well as some free online resources. My 13-year-old son is wanting to take beekeeping classes to further his skill in that area. I’m not sure about the five year old yet but I’m sure we will come up with something fun for him to work on.
All in all, we are excited about summer. I am hoping that this flexible plan of fun with a little structured enrichment will keep things on a smooth track. We can further some skills, get some rest, and make some memories. I would love to hear more about your summer plans.
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Deals and Freebies
Last week for the Schoolhouse Teachers sale!
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!