There’s been a bit of discussion in my Twitter stream recently about summer homeschool plans. Do you take the summer off? Do you plow ahead at full steam? Continue but in a different gear? We have always, always, homeschooled through the summer, but that doesn’t exactly mean we’re groaning under the weight of textbooks and worksheets in the house while the birds are singing outside.
In the summer, I’m completely free from that and any nagging sense of “well, if I wrote it on that stupid form, I really should try my best to get to it.” Instead, we are free to make lilac jelly. We didn’t make a lapbook or track anything in a notebook. We didn’t fill out a single worksheet or even jot down a single note. We did, however, make jelly. We learned what pectin is and why you have to put so much sugar in the jelly. We found a whole list of edible flowers and looked up when the more interesting ones bloom. We’re thinking of planting a significant amount of violets and roses for the express purpose of making jelly from their petals.
That, you may say, isn’t exactly homeschooling. It’s life with children. Intentional life, I would stress, noting that this is what homeschooling is all about.
The only real difference is that I free us from record keeping. So our plans for this summer?
- Mouse is working on reclaiming several old flower gardens and planning a bird and butterfly garden to fill out where the grass took over.
- Inspired by the natural playground at Pioneers Park, the children are planning a natural play space as an extension of their forts.
- We’re learning the names of all the farm equipment that now surrounds us.
- We’ll be getting to know our “neighborhood” with numerous day trips to the various attractions here in southeast Nebraska.
- We’ll be learning about our own small tractor, its history, and its maintenance.
- Hopefully, if we can swing it, we’ll be starting our own beehive yet this spring.
- Soon we shall have our geese. They’ve been delayed twice already, so I’m a little nervous this might not work out, but I’m still holding out hope for this May 25th date.
- And of course, there are our chickens, a daily source of entertainment, protein and education. Especially was we move rapidly toward our first slaughter date. We’ll see how well one can process a chicken using primarily tutorials found on the Internet!
So yes, we’re homeschooling straight through the summer. But there won’t be any groaning, or longing stares out the window. If all goes as well as it has in the past, the children will not whine about their assignments again until August when they think our homeschooling starts back up.
When I do summer school right, they very rarely notice that’s what they’re doing.
So what are your plans for this summer?