Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer School is in Session

You read that right. I'm being a mean mom this year and making my kids do summer school. It's not because I think they need the extra work. Well, that may be part of it.

Here's a secret...we school year-round although my kids don't realize that. In the past we've typically taken so many days off throughout the year that I needed to school virtually year-round in order to get all of our days completed.

This year I've done a much better job of keeping us on task so we finished "early" - in other words right around the same time as most other families. I have to tell you it was a great feeling to know we were done and the stress of getting in those last few days is gone!

As for our summer session, I started us right at day 1 so we'll have a head start on our 2014-2015 school year. I will plan some long weekends and vacations. I'm not so mean that my boys won't get some downtime and playtime. But they also won't have any loss of learning from taking off too long of a break.

We're just sticking to the basics - the three "R's" really. Each day they are doing math, writing, Bible, and reading. My two younger ones are continuing with their piano lessons through the summer for the same reason. Their martial art classes are also ongoing.

My oldest actually got a bit excited when I suggested he work on writing a short novel this summer. I am using the student workbook from National Novel Writing Month to help him plan it out.

I also signed them all up for online classes in history. They are doing an Overview of the 20th Century via CurrClick (this is the link to the same class being offered this fall). It's a "hybrid" class which means they actually only have two live classes. Once at the beginning and once at the end. The rest is self-paced. Right now we're working on the history of modern travel.

My two younger boys are also doing an online class on chemistry. I'm certainly learning some things in that class! I was helping my youngest son do the worksheets for one of the lessons and I had to have my middle son help us out as I couldn't figure it out! It's been a while since I've had to mess around with electrons, neutrons, protons, and atomic numbers.

Overall it's not a ton of work. Although, don't ask my boys. They would vehemently disagree with that statement! We will be taking lots of day hikes and enjoying summer. We just got back from a vacation to visit relatives at the beach. My younger boys are going to be spending a week in the northern Maine woods with hubby doing a canoe/kayak trip. They will have plenty of time to play and enjoy their summer.

Beginning after Labor Day we'll start adding back in all of their regular activities and subjects. For now, I just want to keep their skills up.

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