Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Homeschooling in the summer?

Today was a leisurely morning of learning and fun. We got started early so we could head outside and play.
We gathered around the kitchen table (something we haven't been able to do in nearly two years! ahh...it's a breath of fresh air to have BabyZ finally able to cooperate with that)...

I was a little surprised that she is starting to draw little noses, mouths, and eyes.

After a quick (15 minute) Saxon lesson and drill sheet, we brought out the Harcourt Complete Curriculum workbook.  This is a comprehensive book we use from time to time.  It is one grade level ahead of NyGirl's level, and I like to introduce her to advance concepts once in a while.  Amazingly, none of it has been excruciatingly difficult for her, although she does get stumped once in a while.  I like that, though, because it makes her think.  "Mom, what are the DETAILS of a paragraph?  What am I supposed to write?" 

I love when I offer suggestions and her brains starts churning, and she just takes off from there.  I am starting to learn how very little teach-y moments our kids need...just teach-able moments- and those are surprisingly VERY different.  Two totally different things.  When I find a teachable moment, I plug in and explain, then step right back out and let her explore it a bit.  But before, I was just a teach-y mama- explaining every detail for what seemed like an eternity until NyGirl's eyes rolled to the back of her head in pure boredom.

I am learning, okay?  :-)

And another thing...I have had more than one person ask me why we "do school" in the summer.  "It just doesn't seem right", they might add. "Kids need plenty of free time to just enjoy the outdoors and enjoy summer activities".  And they are right (about the outdoors and summer activities part).  As for the "school" part...as I said in an earlier post, I just can't fathom why my children would need to take large, 3 month gaps from learning things they enjoy anyway, or to brush up on math skills.

I mean, it's not as if they are pinned down to the kitchen table ALL DAY.  At the most, it is ONE hour.  One hour. (Can we honestly complain about one hour of academic skills brush up?  Seriously.  The public education system has proven that that is the one thing NEEDED in their schools- parents who will work with their kids over the summer).  That's one less hour of television.  One less hour of mindless activity where eventually someone ends up in a squabble due to utter boredom.

I'm not saying everyone should continue with year round schooling -- no way (that is, not unless you really want to).  I mean, we mama-teachers need a break too, you know.  I got my break from April to May.  But funny thing, my kids started BEGGING (not just asking) to have school.

"MOM!!!!  Can I PLEASE go in the home school pantry and find a math activity book?  Can I PLEASE work on the geography puzzle?"

How can you argue with that???


So, here we are in the middle of the summer, early July, doing school. At this rate, I imagine our schedule will look like 3 weeks on, 1 week off for the remaining of the year.

Fun, fun, and fun...okay, before the day is over I think I may have ONE MORE post...(*hint- it's about lapbooking, and there just MIGHT be a YouTube video to go along with it...)

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