Tuesday, November 5, 2013

School...Year Round or Not (on your life!)

So, let's just get this right out there in the open. Being a home school mom I am totally not into (read-absolutely against) year-round schooling. For me.

If you choose to do it, I'd say you are a better woman than me. The reason the Barefoot Hippies have summer break is because I need a break. This is so not about my kids.

I'd have a pic of me by a pool sipping a mimosa, except there are none.=)
I want the freedom from schedule. I want the time to accomplish other projects. I want the unstructured-ness. I want to be able to do paperwork without wondering if the kids are doing their schoolwork or not. I want to live a portion of my year not as simultaneously as other parts. One task at a time-most of the time. I want the bigger chunks of time to devote to focused ministry.

Thus, we take almost 4 months off. Every year. We finish about Mother's Day and don't start up again until the week after Labor Day.

Which means we are schooling hard in the 8 months we have school. Compared to the public schools in our area, we probably take half as many days off during that 8 month period.

And we keep up informal learning throughout the summer. Here's just a few things we have done almost every year.

-I enroll the kids in our local libraries summer reading program. The boys both clocked in over 3000 reading minutes this summer. LC was pretty close to 3000. They read fiction and nonfiction. We read together in out literary lunches. I listen to them reading aloud.

-We visit museums and historical places. In the summer of 2012, we visited Greenfield Village 3 times and learned about farm life, colonial life, Edison and much, much more. We also visited Philadelphia and DC that summer.

-We visit our state parks and spend time in nature. Hearing birds, feeling the breezes, enjoying the water.

-LC did math this summer to reinforce the idea of addition and subtraction. It took 15-20 minutes per day-if she stuck to task. Freckles did multiplication tables. We used an app on my iPad. It helped he be much more familiar with them, but by way of a game.

-I have my kids write letters sporadically during the summer. It isn't the once a week schedule of the school year, but it dust make them brush the cobwebs off their writing skills.

So, those are some of the ways I've found to continue education without the formality of textbooks during the summer. It is a more laid back approach as befitting the season. But it also keeps us from losing ground.

How about you? Year round school or maximizing the summer break?

For some varied opinions on this topic, check out....
Lucinda-Why year Round Schooling is Not for Us
Chareen-Our Rhythm, Year Round Schooling
Julie-School Year Round?
Nicole-Repair and Prepare