Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer School Sum Up

This week has seen the end of our summer school and the beginning of "proper" full-time homeschool. Overall, I'd say that summer school was a success, though it didn't exactly go to plan... (for an overview of "the plan", visit here)
We moved our school room from the dining room to the "study" - a large, unused bedroom in the subterranean level of our split-level home. It has plenty of room, a computer in a closet, and its own bathroom. It also has windows, which can make or break a basement-type school room. So far, being downstairs has worked well for us - it was cooler in the hotter parts of the day, no one would disappear for 20 min for a "bathroom break", the rest of the house wasn't awash in school supplies, and I could keep a better eye on the little people playing in the family room down the hall. The plan is to continue down there, though it might be a little different in the winter months - it can get pretty cold down there! I may need to step up my persuasive arguments on why we need a pellet stove downstairs. :)
Doing work in the afternoon also worked well for the limited summer requirements, but now that we are back to full time, that simply won't work. The afternoon's work, though, consisted of :
  • Bible study - this went very well and I'm so glad we did it, even though we didn't finish
  • finishing the year's math - we were able to finish at an unhurried pace and I think it served the girls well, overall
  • writing exercises - this happened very little. I think I was often too tired in the afternoon to keep on top of it, but it did serve to reintroduce the concept for when we do it this year.
  • reading list - this did help to direct their reading a little but we didn't stick to it the way I thought we would. We also didn't use the reading log very much, but they did read some books that they wouldn't normally have chosen and got into them, so I'm pleased with that.
  • Hymn writers - we did spend some time learning about Isaac Watts (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross) and John Newton (Amazing Grace), but we didn't do as much as I would have liked. This was, in part, because there is a shocking lack of juvenile works on these people - there's not even very much in the way of picture books. Book publishers, note the gap! The upshot is that we missed a few people that I wanted to cover (I really wanted to look at Horatio Spoffard, the writer of It Is Well), but there's nothing stopping me from doing it another time, and the girls did learn two new songs this summer that they are still playing.
Now, we're back to the real deal. I'm certainly glad we were able to dabble a little in some gentle summer school, but I'm even more glad to be back to a normal school schedule. I guess that means that the summer was a sufficient break for us, since even the kids have been looking forward to doing some new school work.

What were some of the things you particularly enjoyed about your summer, school-related or otherwise?

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