After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer's Here and Here's the Plan!

Summer break started just yesterday for us here at the lab, and in an effort to ward off the "I'm boreds" that are sure to arrive by Monday, I've come up with a little plan :)  Our summer is shaping up to be a mix of pool and playdates, time to veg out at home and a few mini-vacations and one week of summer day camp for all three test subjects- all with a little bit of math and reading sprinkled in. 

I know we all want a break from the more regimented days of the school year.  And, yes, we do need a change!  However, I have discovered, for our family anyway, that it is best to have a loose routine even during the summer.  An hour or two at home in the morning for chores and some "school" work and then the rest of the day for fun in the sun is how we have managed a balance here for the past three summers.

For two summers consecutively, when the test subjects were 3, 5 and 8 and then 4, 6 and 9, we worked through the wonderful books and activities found in Five in a Row (FIAR).  We were all enchanted by the rich stories and vivid illustrations in these classic picture books.  We often did a few corresponding activities for each book, as well as watched the DVDs that were available for some of the books. I highly recommend FIAR for families with small children!

Last summer, in preparation for our great homeschool experiment, we worked through Volume One of The Story of the World.  We wanted to join friends who were embarking on Year Two of world history this fall with Tapestry of Grace, so we read a chapter a day from The Story of the World: Ancient History.  This gave the test subjects an overview of world history from creation up to the Fall of Rome.  TS 1 & 2 each completed the map work for each chapter, while TS 3 worked on the chapter's corresponding coloring page.  Over the course of the summer we did a few enrichment activities and additional reading from the Activity Guide, but usually only if we had a slow week.

For this summer, I'd like each of the test subjects to begin their day with a devotional time.  TS 1 & 2 will continue working a few minutes a day in the Bible curriculum they used all year.  (You can find the links for them here, if you're interested.)  TS 2 will probably finish his curriculum sometime in the summer, while I expect TS 1 will continue with his into the fall.  While the boys have their devotional time independently, I will spend a few minutes with TS 3 in her new Explorer's Bible Study.  

After the devotional time, I'd like the boys to do a page or two in their math books.  TS 2 will continue to work through his Math Made Easy workbook, which we used this as a supplement to Math-U-See Beta this year.  TS 1 will continue to work through the second half of the Math-U-See Epsilon book.  

While the boys work on math, TS 3 and I will review the sight words and phonograms she learned in Kindergarten.  She is also doing a lesson here and there on Reading Eggs, which we both love, so she will continue that over the summer.  

Finally, as I mentioned in this post, inspired by my reading in A Charlotte Mason Companion and Honey for a Child's Heart, I've compiled a list of read alouds for the summer.  If you'd like to see my complete list, along with some of my thoughts about each book, check out this post.  I will definitely add some picture books to the mix, but here is what I am planning so far:

  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White 
  • Homer Price by Robert Mc Closkey
  • The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  • Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John
  • The Light Princess by George Mac Donald
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
What are you planning for summer?  Feel free to post your plans in the comments or a link to your blog post there.  
Sharing a slice of summer with Heart of the Matter Online!
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