In our family, we continue school throughout the summer. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not a five-day-a-week all day every day school. We have some rules that keep it light and ensure we have time for plenty of non-school fun.
- We BREAK til after family vacation. Each year, our Classical Conversations community program is done by the end of April. Around mid-late May, we are headed out on a family vacation. Every two years it’s to see my sister in Arizona, with a side-trip somewhere like the beach in California, and the other years we take a vacation with my husband’s family.
- Caveat: Math MUST get done. We do work on math in May and throughout the summer. While I don’t believe you always have to finish the book, Saxon is a spiral curriculum. If you complete the book this year, it will be a second visit to the concept in the next level – instead of a first-time exposure. Finishing the book just to finish it – not so much. Finishing it to create a foundation for next year – absolutely! And finishing it because you were not honest about doing your math on several occasions – you betcha!
- Mondays are off for NRH2O. We don’t do school on Mondays in summer. That is the day we meet up with friends at the local water park. NO SCHOOL MONDAYS is an important summer rule!
- NO SCHOOL BEFORE 10:00AM! Unless it’s reading of course.
- TIME LIMITS ARE SET! School is either every other day or no more than two hours a day (outside of math). Often, we do it in the heat of the afternoon when being outside is not a thrilling idea in Texas anyway.
- Subjects are limited. See below.
- Unless work is truly needed in an area (math and latin), summer learning needs to be DIFFERENT in some way from the subjects taught during the school year.
- READING is required! LOTS of reading! Being read to, reading to each other, or reading alone!
- ART. There must be some art plugged into our summer. Fortunately, we have two violinists and a pianist. This summer, in addition, we are working our way through a fun Art Treasury book from Usborne Books along with a museum field trip or two.
- JUNE & JULY are summer school months. August is off limits due to mom prepping for the upcoming year, and the kids need another total break.
Here is a little of what our summer plans look like:
This year, we will be catching up with our spelling curriculum, Spell to Write and Read, for the older two and phonics for the younger two. Spelling is done twice a week for a maximum time of 30 minutes and often with blocks or other unique methods. You might be surprised at how much fun spelling can be when you add in fun (or funny) ways to show off your serious spelling skills! You can read here how Eden, our six year-old learned to read painlessly with this program!
Grammar is one we do in the summer as well, but if you’ve ever used IEW’s Fix It Grammar books, you know they are an enjoyable way to review grammar rules. This is also a twice a week adventure for about 20 minutes.
Map Drawing is something we attempt to do four days a week, but only for about ten minutes each day.
Latin is a subject we fell behind on in our memory work during the school year, so four days a week will be spent reviewing Henle Latin vocabulary and learning declensions for nouns for Aaron, who is 11, and conjugations for verbs for Andrew, who is 13.
As you can see, right now I have planned approximately one hour of school each of our four available days. Spending time together, we will pick back up with family time each day for about 15 minutes as well. Then reading will easily fill in the remaining time.
There you have it. This is our summer plan – simple yet plenty of learning will still take place! I’ll be the first to admit that we often accomplish only half of what is planned for summer, but learning takes place no matter what – and that’s what counts!
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Here are a few of our map drawing books and our spelling/phonics curriculum too!
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