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We are in the midst…

May 29, 2008

of building and inaugurating for a new year of homeschool and life. Because our homeschool schedule runs from June to May, when most people are gearing up for vacation, we are gearing up for lesson plans and new curriculum.

We made the decision, to school through the summer, concurrent with our decision to homeschool. Husband and I believe in the value of 12 month learning. Not only for the drastic decrease in review, but also because it gives us and the boys the necessary time to stretch out learning where extra guidance is necessary and to shorten instruction where the material is all ready understood.

Additionally, our summers around here are quite hot. It’s only May and we reach temperatures of 90 degrees by noon. The boys are like droopy plants by 11:00 a.m., and they live in the house of a Mom and Dad who do not believe summer is for sitting in front of the television or playing video games ad nauseum. Tyrants, we are.

Probably so to some, but the other aspect of summer schooling is that we’ve found the boys are actually less idle–meaning less irritable with each other, less bored, less eager to seek out trouble–because they are engaged in a purpose. Children appreciate goals as much as adults. So we give them goals. And then we enjoy watching them work towards those learning goals and celebrate with them the meeting of those goals.

Our schedule during the summer usually works out to up around 7:00 with breakfast and playing outside till about 10:00. Then inside for a couple of hours of school. Lunch around noonish, followed by room time. Room time = children engaged in quiet activity such as listening to books on CD, drawing, reading, building with Legos while Mom studies, reads, or lies down. (I highly recommend the room time thing.)

Then about 3:00 we try to play at a friend’s house or visit a neighbor’s pool almost until supper. After supper we finish lessons with Dad and read aloud as a family. Since the boys are motivated for the 3:00 activity, we usually easily finish three hours of work within two. The fourth hour is done after supper. If for some reason a child doesn’t finish his work, then that’s what he does during room time.

Following this schedule last year gave us the opportunity to take a long break in the Fall, when the weather is gorgeous. By December, we switched to having school four days a week, leaving Friday for review, corrections, or field trip things. We finished our attendance by March 12th, and spent the remainder of time finishing curriculum. The boys have had almost all of May off for individual pursuits and special events.

I realize that this schedule might not work for some homeschooling families, but it has been a boon to us, and we’re very grateful to be inaugurating the school year again.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2008 2:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your homeschooling day/schedule! We have decided to homeschool our daughter, but, as she is only 3, we are still a few years away from anything “official.” So, right now I am in the process of researching various methods, curriculum, and schedules. And, I love hearing (reading) about what veteran homeschool families do.

    ~Veronica

  2. May 29, 2008 5:57 pm

    I also loved reading your schedule — even though we don’t homeschool. It’s always thought-provoking for me to see how others live their lives; there’s so much wisdom out there.

  3. cellista permalink
    May 29, 2008 7:26 pm

    Thank you for posting this!! I want to adjust our school year so it’s more like this, people look at me like I’m nuts though when I say I want to start school in June and be done in April. We have 2 1/2 weeks left to this year, and we’re being so productive right now, now that some outside classes and some of my commitments have ended for a while (I’m a musician). I almost don’t want to stop, but I do need a break and need to do some planning for next year. My boys also do so much better with structure instead of one long summer break and it gets hot here too and I just don’t even want to be outside.

    Thanks for the glimpse into your schedule. I’m seriously looking into shifting our school year around as you have done.

    You have a beautiful blog too!!

  4. May 30, 2008 3:39 pm

    I LOVE routine.

    We are just working ours out for summer, but the school year routine we had was very calm. We limit our kids to a max of two extra curricular activities at a time and only because they tend to overlap. In reality, they are only involved in one thing at a time. The major thing for us is that we don’t schedule ourselves out of the house on school nights. Our evening routine is very comfortable.

    Your lifestyle sounds so wonderful!

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