The following post is from Shannen of Middle Way Mom:
Do you homeschool during the summer? Should you homeschool during the summer? Right along with the question of what curriculum or resources you will use is the nagging question of what should your schedule look like.
So, as the typical school year is wrapping up, both new and veteran homeschoolers are asking themselves, “Are we going to take a summer break this year?”
Other People’s Thoughts on Summer School
We worked through the summer our first couple years, and by the way people reacted, you’d think I was abusing my child! It’s not the most popular approach, but I would argue that other people’s reactions aren’t a good resource for decision making. Know why you want to use the summer for studies or not. Whether other people like it or not is up to them.
Much more important than others’ reactions is the weather in your area! I hear the Texas summers can be insufferable. In Minnesota, they can be the perfect time to get out and explore the world around us.
In our technology-laden world, it’s even more important than generations past to make an intentional effort to get outside. The patterns and systems in nature can’t be rivaled by technological advancements, and should be experienced first hand. Want to make it educational? Bring resources with you to learn about nature, weather, and anything else you want to know. My rule of thumb is if the season is enjoyable, put down the book. If you know you’re not going to be able to go outside, you might as well get some bookwork done.
Know Your Goals
Goals are so much more than completing a book within a year, a fact that took me a couple years to figure out for myself. I want my children to be curious yet disciplined.
What does that have to do with summer?
I take the middle road and ask that my oldest daughter have something that stimulates the mind going throughout the summer, but I let her have lots of free time to explore as she chooses. She knows if she’s glued to the TV, then I can come up with things that will be more beneficial. Of course, the benefits might be entirely my own, so TV naturally becomes self-regulated. It’s a beautiful system.
Not Quite Caught Up?
Maybe the school year hasn’t gone very well. It could be a move, family emergency, or just a lack of discipline. As your student gets older, it gets harder to just roll things into the next year, or just forgive things never done. Sometimes you need to use the summer to make sure the fall starts out on a clean slate.
I’d venture to say most long-time homeschooling family have needed to work through a summer to catch up a bit at some point in their homeschooling. Life happens, and part of the beauty of homeschooling is that you can make adjustments.
Whether you’re taking the summer off, a more relaxed schedule, or pushing right through, just make sure you’re doing it for your own reasons. You know what’s best for your family!
Are you working on school this summer? What are your summer plans?
|Shannen homeschools her teen daughter, focusing on earning college credit while in high school, and is getting ready to start the homeschool cycle again with two little ones. You can find her blogging about how they homeschool high school and everything that goes along with it, plus meet up with her on Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.|
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