Warmer weather, longer days, colors blooming everywhere – it’s officially summer here. As we have wrapped up our books for the past school year, it is time to get on with a new schedule. We educate year round. I mean, why not? Life is constantly happening, why would we stop learning? I also am not a fan of the brain fog that comes at the beginning of the school year or the fight against having to sit and do some lessons after several months of play time. I learned that the first year we homeschooled. Now, we simply take off time as we need to throughout the year: for outings, field trips, road trips, visits, and holidays. During the warmer months, we put up some of our subjects on a former level – like Latin, Poetry memorization, formal history/geography lessons, and composition/formal writing.
I also allow for more child-led schooling during the summer. We frequent the library with a list for each of the children. I ask them to get at least one book in each topic: poetry, literature, history, biography, hobby/skill, and science. Those are the books they read during out quiet reading time. For the smaller ones who are still learning to read, I am loving the Playaways from the library, where each can listen to a classic children’s book on headphones. They’re enjoying Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Wind in the Willows, CS Lewis, and more. So wonderful if you don’t have the money to invest in books on CD; or if you have many children on different reading/learning levels and can’t read to everyone all the time. Definitely into making life more manageable.
I post the schedule though, not as something that everyone should be doing, but merely because it always helped and encouraged me to see how others structured their days when they had a lot to do, and many hands to keep busy. I also don’t really include a lot of actual times, because for us it’s more of an order of events than of a time schedule. Also helps me not watch the clock or ever feel like we’re “behind”. Life happens and the schedule is made to work for us, not the other way around.
6:30-9:30 Morning chores, Early school work (consisting of Math, Language Lessons, and Copywork)
9:30-12 Project of the week (skill or new hobby, research time) and free time
12-1 Lunch and afternoon chores
1-3 Quiet Time – required reading, audiobooks, art, crafting
3-4 Free Time
4-5 Help a buddy (the older ones get a younger buddy and supervise them so I can make dinner with my helper)
Evening Dinner, clean up
Evening Chores (2 children to a room for clean up)
Baths and Story Time
8:30-9:30 Bed – we do staggered bed times according to age
On Fridays, the children are starting up a presentation of the projects or subjects they learned about that week. Last week was our first viewing, still some tweaking to do, but it really was fun. Caleb created a nature house out of objects he found outside. He also put on a puppet show, which ran a little long, but he can work on it. His set and puppets were really neat though, and the little ones love puppet shows. Isaiah had some lego creations, as well as a drawing of the 9/11 attacks and a short description of why we should remember that day. Micaiah had a slide show presentation of pictures she’s been taking and editing. Nathaniel and Hannah had cardboard box buildings and pictures. Mikey just talked about someone else’s bottle rocket. Lastly Ian told us about his drawings. I was pleasantly surprised, and also made notes on how we could make the evening run smoother.
I also want to get back on track with daily devotions in the morning. To help spread the responsibility and thus ownership of it, I have assigned a day to each of the three oldest to lead a different day. Mornings are tough for me, but I really hope this works 🙂 It usually takes a couple of weeks for a new schedule to stick or work without constant supervision. Every day is a new day to start again!
What about you? How are you enjoying your summer?
(photo credits to my daughter, Micaiah)