It’s almost the end of the year for school kids all over the United States.
I’ve heard some moms and dads complain about what to do with their kids while they have off for the summertime. Sure there might be a family vacation or two, but that won’t keep the kids quiet and entertained through out the whole summer.
I’ve also had many friends comment to me about how they could never do what I do, stay home and educate my child, because it seems like a lot of work, and they lack patience of focus to do that job. Really they’ve said they NEED a break from their kids.
Bottom line: I like my kid. I love teaching her and enjoy learning with her.
And yes, it’s a job! I have a job that makes even less than a public school teacher! I’m a homeschooling parent. I don’t get a tax break for buying books to educate my child. I don’t get to write off supplies, field trips or school lunch, and yet- pay taxes for many other children to attend public school, and have access to education.
This is my choice, and I’m ok with it. I also know that I choose to fund my child’s education out of my own pocket, because I find education to be important. I really want what I believe to be best for my child and our lifestyle.
Education is important.
So we school at home and provide education for our child. We have control of our time, and can specialize our subjects to meet our child’s wants and needs, while focusing on the things that are important. We’re heavy in math and language arts, writing and spelling. We also talk about life subjects like morality, ethics, making good life decisions and general philosophy. We also use the world as a place to learn not just about, but from. We think having life skills, learning to take care of yourself and basic needs, and coping with the world around us and the people in it are also important. Oh, and using common sense, street smarts and book smarts in a combination to make each day count.
You might be thinking it sounds like a lot, and it sounds like it’s all the time… it kinda IS. We really never stop learning, and true I do tend to go a bit overboard in the explanation of things to the kiddo, but I want for her to have a good general understanding about things so she can further delve into any and all subjects and topics, and most importantly, to do so because she has a want to.
Not every day is met with enthusiasm, some days are tough. But you get out of it what you put into it. We have goals, deadlines and expectations. We learn about many different things, some that aren’t covered in a conventional traditional public education system, and some that should. 😉
So homeschooling and summertime… the whole reason I’m writing about this today.
Truth is, I don’t think that having an entire summer off is a good thing. 9 months of learning, 3 off… that’s a good amount of time to get lazy, or forgetful. Also, in the real world, what kind of job, besides working in the public school system, do you get the entire summer off?
From as far back as we’ve been homeschooling, I tend to require and expect, to have a little bit of school work done during the summer time during “summer vacation.” On weeks that we don’t have a planned summer camp or weekly classes, we put in just an hour of book work every other morning.
Part of this it to keep the learning going. It’s keeps good habits up and makes it a bit easier to transition back to school once “summer vacation” is over.
Does the kiddo like it? Not really at first. But there’s an understanding of WHY we do things this way. And honestly, we take some additional vacation time off during the “school year” while most other students and kids are in school. It’s realized then, that the extra work pays off.
Throughout the year, we tend to do bookwork 4 days a week. One day a week is used for outings, field trips, socialization and taking tests. Summertime we scale back but we still have goals.
One thing that the kiddo does year round is read. Reading is a great habit. So she reads about 15-20 min every night before heading to bed. Most of the subject matter is for fun and not educational purposes; the important thing is that she had a good reading habit.
From these good habits, her time online has been shifting from silly youtube videos to actual content for learning about tertian subjects. Once a month we pick a topic to research and report on. That won’t stop during the summer.
We’ll be enjoying the summer just like all the other kids do, we’re just making sure to make good use of additional time when we have it to be productive. We have our lazy days and are looking forward to some time at the pool and watering holes, we’ll just get a little math and language arts done before we head out! 🙂
What do you like to do during the summer, besides enjoying the pool or lazing indoors in the AC? Comment below!
Happy Summer Everyone.