With the end of George’s school year fast approaching, I realized it was time to sit down to think through what we are going to do this summer. I need some sort of plan, or else the summer will pass and nothing will be accomplished. While something is better than nothing, I would rather feel like I am on top of things instead of always scrambling to keep up. That was how last summer went and I really did not like the feeling.
There are several reasons I am choosing to keep the kids ‘in school’ through the summer.
- They both do much better when there is a routine to things, a structure to their day. It does not have to be to the minute, but at least knowing what comes first, second, third, after lunch, before supper, before bed, etc. really helps.
- There are enough academic struggles without adding the summer brain drain to the start of school in the fall.
- I am wanting to add a bit more structure to Jack’s schooling ‘normal’ than we have been doing these past few months. He finally realized that “school is not so bad”, a direct quote, if you sit down and get it done.
- While I am not exactly sure which specifics to prep George for, the review he will get overhearing and participating with Jack is exactly what he needs to grasp some concepts he has been struggling to understand. Think of it as covert review. 😉 He may bulk at practicing flash cards, but if “Jack” is practicing flash cards, then it isn’t really “George” doing review work.
- It is a shorter time frame, so we can do some more ‘fun’ activities and subjects. Things like:
- free bowling and roller skating for P.E.
- trips to the museum for science
- local nature hikes and camping
- riding our bikes around town
- Adventures In The Holy Bible (by Your Story Hour) for Bible study
- learning to read maps and trace our path on road trips
- learning the beginnings of a second language (they have both asked to do this)
- reading programs (from libraries and other places)
While at the home school conference in Ohio a few weeks back, I picked up two workbooks, one for George and one for Jack. I was not planning on purchasing anything, only looking. 🙂 When I saw these workbooks, however, I realized they did what I was planning to spend a long time doing – review the past year and introduce the next year. For just under $20 I save myself a few hours of time and potential organizational chaos. It was worth it.
The workbooks contain 1 or 2 pages per day, as well as some extra activities you can do. It seems just enough to keep it active in their heads without making it feel too official.
Having a ‘new’ Bible study to do, is something I think they will enjoy. We worked through The ABC’s for Godly Boys last year. The kids enjoyed it and I hope to go through it again in a year or two. They will be a bit older and able to do some of the other activities.
I have plans for Jack this fall, and maybe George too if I can get my mornings in better order, to work on Foundations For Christ. I have had this for a few years, I believe it came in a Homemaking Bundle I purchased, and have been waiting for the kids to be old enough to begin working through it. Till then, I thought I would try something a bit lighter, but also something we already have the beginnings of here at home – Adventures In The Holy Bible. I had originally tried this when the kids were younger, but I was a bit too hasty; they were not ready for it yet. Seeing how they have both matured this past year, I can see them thinking this would be a fun change to what we have been doing. (Since starting this post, we have used it several times. They enjoyed hearing the stories and remembering the answers to questions asked.)
While all of this might sound like a lot to some, and not much to others, it is something that will work for us. The ultimate goal is to keep them thinking and not just coasting through the summer, to make the most of things we do to encourage their interests and imaginations, and to work on their characters. Have a goal for the summer will help keep me on track monthly, having monthly goals will help me weekly, having weekly goals will help me daily, and this all fit within the larger goal of what we hope for them to achieve in school and life.
As for me, I am going to start reading through some of Charlotte Mason’s books this summer. After all, it should not be just the kid who keep on learning.