Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

No birds, how about school?

I wanted to tell you my bird story today but it has been cloudy all day and even though I tempted them with peanuts, the birds were few and far between. And I want to have a picture or two to tell my story.

 The squirrels and chipmunks, however, enjoyed the treats.

 I would like to talk about school, instead.

 For the first time ever I have decided to try (I said try) schooling over the summer.

It didn't go over so well with my little student, however. She assumed she was getting a summer break and then I sort of dropped a little bomb on her yesterday.

"Summer break? No, daaahling, we are going to keep doing some school every day during the summer."


I won't bore you with the histrionics that ensued.

Eventually she got over herself and we did a little math, handwriting, and state history. She even enjoyed herself a little during the study of Delaware. Today we did a little more math (started a new book), phonics, some handwriting and more state history.

In my opinion, it's totally doable, especially with one child (we can just pretend like those other big kids aren't home, which isn't hard since they sleep half the day).

But we have never done year-round school in our house. We have always, since day one of homeschooling, had a child in school-school. and so we followed the school calendar and schooled for nine months, broke for three months, give or take a week or so.

I can see the benefit, however, of schooling year-round, like not reviewing so much math and English, and having easier days every day. We can concentrate our efforts on social studies and science during the summer months and work on Language Arts, math and Latin during the school year. We can do more sewing and cooking during our weeks (not every day, just a couple times a week). I am not really starting a new year in most subjects except math, and that's just because she finished her grade 4 book and I happen to have the grade 5 book I think we'll use. Mostly we'll finish up what didn't get done, like state studies and some science, and start a new phonics book as well.

I just wonder, if not having a summer break will be particularly hard on us, or will it be better? I have nothing to which to compare. I like summer breaks, but they are sooooo long...longer than the winter drudgery. At least in the winter you can snuggle up on the sofa together and read or sew or watch movies (I'm a winter kinda gal). In the summer it's so hot it seems between having to drum up something to do and the heat, I'd rather just go to bed (or drink maragaritas).

I just wonder what you do? Have you done both? And if you do school in the summer, what do you do? Start a new year? End the year? Stuff that didn't get done during the year?

Just curious...


  1. We will continue with a bit of school this summer, too. This is our last week, and then we will have the next two weeks off. Then, we will begin our summer schedule, which hopefully will include writing/penmanship, math and reading about three days per week, for a shorter period of time. I hope to plan some more projects and outings, too. But I am with you, summer is not my favorite season. It is hot, and I just like the structure of the school year better than the chaos of the summer. I know many people would think that is crazy, but that is just how I'm wired.

  2. I am just beginning our homeschooling adventure. My daughter is going into 2nd grade (she did Kindergarten and 1st grade at the local Catholic school). And my son is ready to start Kindergarten (but took two years of preschool at the local public school). Since I'm a little nervous about making sure we "keep up." I decided to start our homeschooling here in June. I figure this will give us time to "keep up" or "catch up" or just "take time off for fun activities later" (if the Spirit so moves us). I honestly have NO CLUE what I'm doing, but we are on day 2 now. My daughter (who is a joy to teach and LOVES schoolwork) is clicking right along. My son has done some math. . . But I am hopeful. I am hopeful that doing "school work" will keep our afternoons from being "boring" (as often seems the case in summer - especially since the baby naps and we cannot go anywhere during that time). Homeschooling seems so fluid that I imagine if we finish the books I have so far I will just get more and I'm guessing the years will flow together. But like I said, I'm new and really have no idea how this is going to work.

    Spring is my favorite season - warmer but not sweltering. Summer is just hot and the AC runs all day - driving me nuts (and costing a fortune!) Plus there is all the pressure to go to the pool, which I just see as a skin cancer nightmare (oh and I have five kids and only two can swim, that might have something to do with it too :) But I digress. Good luck with your studies. I hope you enjoy them. And if you think of it, feel free to say a prayer for us as we venture out into the unknown here.

  3. We do year round schooling with the summer being a more laid back session. I've often used the summer as the time to introduce cursive writing (in between 2nd and 3rd grade usually), work on penmanship for everyone else, and continue with math. When you spread out a math book over the course of a whole year, you only have to do math 3 days a week and my kids really like that instead of everyday. This year we are doing the same... handwriting, math, and science. Maybe some spelling review too.

  4. When we first started homeschooling, Tony was being deployed every other year for a year. So we schooled while he was gone and took our breaks as we needed them.

    I think I am going to start this next school year in a few weeks. The baby is due in August and Anna was actually upset that she wouldn't get to start being a 3rd grader for months yet. I have no idea how Jack will take this news!

  5. Little Brother has a Cub Scout buddy who's homeschooled (along with 2 of his 5 older brothers. The others are all high school/college age). I love these kids; they're welcome here anytime. ANYway...this kid was here the other day and I mentioned that LB would be done school soon, so he can visit more. His mom said that he has school all summer.
    Having spent time around these kids, I will say that year-round school (it's their norm) hasn't hurt one bit and most likely has helped them. They're quite smart and know how to use what they know. Add in respectful, interesting conversationalists and just plain clever...no Street Urchins there.
    I hope you and Faith enjoy your school-in-the-summer experience.

  6. I've done both. As the kids have grown, more camps or lessons (swimming) have been included in the summer months, so naturally there is less time for school. This summer, I am having my daughter do a bit of grammar/editing and I hope to start earlier than normal with everyone else because baby is due in August.

    When I've done a more formal schedule in the summer, it's included science, math, and handwriting. Reading every day with new readers is important, I've learned, or those phonograms are too easily forgotten.

  7. Sarah, Faith was shocked (and pleasantly surprised, I think) to learn Anna is doing school this summer. Thank you!

  8. Tell Faith that her friends in Minnesota are still schooling, too. Now if only that neighbor girl would stop ringing the doorbell so much...

  9. In grade school in Switzerland, we never got more than 5 weeks off for summer vacation. I always thought the 3 months in the summer in the USA was waaay too long. I always forgot everything over the summer. With the boys, we just do such an "unschooly" schedule all year, that we might as well keep going through the summer. We have to do this especially because we seem to be moving every Christmas and that takes a good month or two away from any type of organized learning.

  10. We journal, keep up with math facts and read..a lot. ART too! I love art.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!