Homeschool · Motherhood

Sweet Summertime (and our Sabbath Schedule)

“Arise. Shine. For thy light has come. The glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. “

Isaiah 60: 1

Photo: Tennessee Summer Sunrise by Brent Michael

Sweet, sweet summertime. It is becoming a favorite. These past few weeks have been restorative. Resting, praying, planning. Listening to God where he is leading us in our homeschool journey. We school year round, taking a break in December and June. The kids are enjoying this time off. The streets are filled with children again and mine are thrilled to have playmates. I am currently enjoying my coffee in a quiet house while the kids ride their bikes. After many years of crazy chaos, I am soaking in every minute.

We will begin to slowly ease back into school in July. Probably starting with “Morning Time”, Language Arts and Math. Then adding Science and Preschool in August and History in September. Leaving plenty of room for swimming or when friends come knocking to play. I hardly ever say “no” to playtime. Children learn so much through play at this age.

 I learned pretty quickly to embrace a laid back homeschool style. Childhood is way too short to become a slave to workbooks. Its a big reason we switched from 100% Abeka to a Charlotte Mason style of learning in our first year. (We still occasionally use Abeka workbooks for my daughter.)

I’m finding that a relaxed homeschool creates a more peaceful environment for all of us. Each of my children have their own set of strengths and struggles in school. If they are struggling with a concept, we back off, and revisit it another time. It never ceases to amaze me how they can pick right back up where we left off. Often times grasping the material much quicker than before. They just needed time.

I realize now so much of my schooling as a child was busy work or “seat work” so the teacher could assist other children. Or as Charlotte Mason would say, “twaddle”.

Have you read “Mere Motherhood“?

It’s a good one.

Back to our year round schedule. July and August can be miserably hot in the south. I noticed last summer our kids were staying inside more and more after Independence Day passed. So I figured might as well make our time useful while we hibernate inside and start schooling.

I plan to break up our year round schedule into 6 week segments or units. So on 6 weeks. Off 1 week. Repeat. After a semester (3 units) we will break for 6 weeks. This times out nice in that we will take our big breaks from Thanksgiving-New Years. And again from Memorial Day-Independence Day. I feel like I only have to plan six months at a time this way knowing I have a break coming. I also noticed that my kids retain their schooling better when we don’t have one huge break in the summer (less review needed). That may change as they get older when we travel more as a family.  But for now… while they are little… year round school and structure has been best.

How do you schedule your year? It is such a blessing to be able to adjust it around our family’s needs!

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