Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1st Day of Summer- Are We On Break Yet?

Seems like the question we are asked most frequently this time of year is, "When are you out for summer?" or "When are you done?"  Because we're asked this question so often, it's been on my mind.  When are we out?  When does this homeschool family call it quits and take the summer off?  When do we say, "Enough of this learning business, I'm taking a break."  Hmmm....not quite sure. 

I've always hoped learning would be something we continue to do and want to do.  So much of our day is so unlike a public school experience there's not a lot to take off from.  Our kids don't get up at 6:00am or need to be somewhere by 7:00-8:00am.  There's no panic rushes in the morning looking for backpacks, socks, or missing homework.  There are no lunches to pack.  There's no carpool schedule.  We're just here at home during the summer as we are the rest of the year.

In the mornings, during the regular school year, we read from Catherine Vos's Children's Bible.  I can't imagine not doing Bible just because it's summer.  After Bible, we read what happened today in history in the American Patriot's Almanac.  We learn something new and the kids enjoy knowing what happened on the given day in American history, so we might still do that one over the summer.  Following the history tidbit, we read from the fiction and non-fiction book(s) we're enjoying.  I can't imagine not reading to our kids for a whole summer!  The rest of our school year mornings are spent doing activities like reading, science, doing experiments, cooking or baking, doing historical projects, talking, spending time together, playing games, making art projects, cleaning, learning math, silent reading, going for bike rides, nature walks, field tripping, and going to the library.  Most of this is doing life together and learning.  I don't want to break from these things.  I love learning with our kids and spending this time with them.

I know our kids would love to take a break from math, but we're still working on that over the summer too.  Sorry guys.

There are a few things we will do differently over this summer break.  We're taking a break from our American history studies and focusing on our family history.  We'll be following two books for this along with websites on genealogy.  As we study the pioneers in our families, we'll also read about pioneer life in some Laura Ingalls books.  It's been a LONG time since we've read them and it'll be good to revisit.

I hope our kids won't be too disappointed that they're not completely getting the summer off.  I wouldn't want them to get bored.  We'll stay busy, learning and having fun in the mornings.  The afternoons will be spent at the beach or poolside with friends.  I'm sure we'll squeeze some educational field trips in too.  That's what summer is about!  Family, friends, sunshine, and of course FUN!

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