Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer School

We homeschool, and like lots of homeschoolers, we do things a little differently. One of those things has been to do school over the summer. I know it sounds mean to keep the little cherubs indoors during the best parts of the year slaving away over their workbooks, but I've learned that turning them loose seems to equate madness, bickering and almost complete stupidity. Don't get me wrong - I love my children, but I've seen what unfettered freedom can do to them. It's no good thing.
So, summer school. But it's gonna look a little different to the summer school I remember (you know, remedial, boring and generally summer-ruining). It's going to be structured but relaxed, fun yet meaningful. The kids are even excited about it, which kinda shocked me. So here's the plan...

First, the girls will be doing a fun, inductive Bible study (How to Study the Bible) that they've had some experience with 3 days a week, and some writing assignments from the Institute for Excellence in Writing the other 2 days. All the kids will spend some time working in the garden each day, be it weeding, feeding, pruning or harvesting.  It'll be a great opportunity for them to learn to care for these plants we have (maybe they'll be less inclined to rip them apart, anyway) and even do some pest/weed identification and elimination. The big girls will have a reading list that they can work from and spend some time recording thoughts and information in a reading notebook (inspiration found here), while Noah continues with his phonics book.

Now, for my favorite part. I am compiling a list of hymnwriters that the girls will read about, get to know, learn the music of and present on. With their piano teacher's help, they will (hopefully) be able to play a hymn by said writer in 2-3 weeks. For instance, the first on the list is currently Isaac Watts, who wrote "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross". Both girls will do some reading on their writer, but one will concentrate on practicing the music while the other prepares an oral presentation, which they will both have ready in 2 or 3 weeks to give to the family. Abi already knows this particular piece and Anna should have little trouble picking it up, so Anna will play and Abi will speak. Then, with the next writer, their roles will swap.

I'm really excited about all of this, though the plans are still coming together. Hopefully, we'll be ready to start next week. We've even moved our schoolroom downstairs a couple weeks ago, which means we can work downstairs when it's too hot to be upstairs or outside, and we can work in the afternoon when the little ones are in bed without fear of disturbing them.

So, that's the plan. Like all plans, it's up for renegotiation and last minute changes when needed. Coupled with this idea for directing our time in the morning, I have high hopes for a fun and productive summer!