We’re not year-round homeschoolers. I know year-round homeschoolers and admire their tenacity. Several times a year I consider the merits of homeschooling. In later December and all of May, our homeschool efforts are rather lax. In August, as we tire of the heat, I consider starting school, nixing the idea as we head out on vacation or to see our friends on a traditional schedule.
In short, it’s not going to happen. I do, however, have some conviction that a bit of formal education should occur in the summer. Both my boys are finally read abundantly. My older goes in fits and spurts and prefers nonfiction and comic collections, while my younger prides himself on devouring fiction. There skills have long been high enough that I’ve not worried about their summer selections. In return, they don’t concern themselves with what I read, although picking up a book and sitting down seems to say,”Come talk to Mom,” in a way only rivaled by me taking a phone call.
Math, however, is not a spontaneous activity for my guys. Okay, my older uses plenty of math in his chemistry and woodworking explorations, and my younger spouts off with mathematical witticisms. But in the house, if you’re pre-geometry, you must dip into the Math Can regularly during the summer. Click the link if you want the long story, but in short, the Math Can is a can of math problems. Randomly pick 15 pieces of paper from the can each week, and complete them. Easy peasy. No putting unwanted problems back. Help from mom is okay.
My older continues work on ALEKS Pre-Calc. He had a less-than-productive year (can you hear the tears and agony in that clause!?), and thus math continues. ALEKS, an online math program I’ll review soon, does NOT involve mom, making it an ideal way to keep working when mom needs a break from formal instruction. He’s fine with the arrangement of at least 3 hours a week online, and I know he’s filling in the gaps.
I had grand visions of reading Susan Wise Bauer’s The History of the Ancient World each morning to the boys, but we’ve only made it through the first chapter. Since morning means something different to each one of us, and since the mornings we all rise early are karate days, we’re unlikely to meet this goal of mine. Perhaps we just have the wrong book, but it’s a bit early in it to make that judgement.
I’d love to report that the boys have academically oriented summer plans for hours of independent study, but unless Star Wars Miniatures and Minecraft are far more academic than I’ve seen thus far, I’m unable to make that claim. My older says he has some woodworking ideas in his head, and chemistry is still a regular weekly feature with his Science Friday pals. Pair that with plenty of meteorology self-study, and I feel a bit better. My younger is consuming Erin Hunter’s Warrior series at a startling rate, and that’s leading to field trips to local libraries, since interlibrary loan isn’t connecting him with the goods quickly enough. He remains my history buff, and he has bursts of reading and watching videos about ancient, medieval, and modern history. He’s still quite the sponge.
But what am I doing over the summer to keep my skills sharp? My domestic prowess (insert snicker or snort here) receives daily work-outs, but this summer extends to some larger projects aimed at maintaining this 70+ year abode. I’m keeping three blogs now, having recently added Asperger’s at Home (parenting and homeschooling my younger son, who is on the autistic spectrum) to my list of places to write to avoid writing for publication other than my own blogs. So far, it’s serving that purpose quite well, thank you. Readership is slow to build, but hopefully it will catch more followers as time goes on.
I’m also trying to run regularly, which now means three times a week. I don’t like it yet, but those in the know saw that will come with time. Along with some infrequent yoga and plenty of yard work, not to mention the usual karate, I’m sweating more regularly than usual. That’s something.
Oh, and I’m planning for next year. In addition to planning for my kids, I’m teaching a co-op class for high schoolers using NIH materials. We’ve used some of them at home a few years back, but planning for more than my child takes a wee bit more preparation than I manage for an audience of one. I’ll update those plans here sometime before the end of September.
That’s our Sorta Summer (Home) School plans. They are not considered a binding contract and can be thrown out window at any time for vacations, diversions, field trips, and shiny objects. After all, this is summer. We plan to enjoy ourselves.
It’s that time again. Share your summer plans for homeschooling. Or for not homeschooling.