So, when you homeschool summer takes on a new meaning. Now, when my kids went to school, we always did the Summer Bridges to Learning books over the summer so they never really had a whole summer off. It kept their minds fresh, and prepped them for the upcoming year. When they go to school you don’t really know everything they learn so these books are a good way to review without you having to know. But when you homeschool, you know everything they have done, everything they have learned, so summer becomes one more way of adding to that knowledge. Instead of using books, we simply look for things to do that solidify that knowledge that they have already learned, and what I am planning on teaching them this upcoming year. Extra field trips, if you will, become the way to go for summer. You might be thinking that we take lots of field trips over the course of the school year so what is the difference? Well, there is not actually much, except that they are viewed differently by your children – or at least mine. Going to the beach, the museums, etc. become fun summer trips instead of field trips strangely enough, and although they are never actually in school or out of school in that they go to a building and someone else teaches them, there is a difference for them. And they are constantly learning without realizing it. Perfect example – we went to the Springs in Longwood the other day and my daughter spent the day catching minnows and looking at algae, etc. – not realizing that this was a precursor to the marine ecology unit that we are doing this year!
This week many of their friends are heading back to school, and the rest will go back next Monday – which is one of those moments that my kids love – they get a kick out of everyone going back to school when we don’t have to! We will start on the 24th, but only half days. We are going to add in math, some reading, basically get back into the swing of things with about a week and a half of half days, and then the Tuesday after Labor Day we start back full time. That is one of the things that is nice about homeschooling is that I don’t have to expect them to jump right back into full days and the challenges that come with that – half days give us a chance to start each of the subjects slowly and get back into it at our own pace.
Will I always homeschool? Probably not, but I have to say, I am truly enjoying the process for now and it works for us. But when it doesn’t, we move on to the next step and the challenges and rewards that come with that as well.
Here’s to another great year!