View Full Version : Summer School

05-05-2003, 10:45 AM
I was wondering what schedules are being used for homeschooling? A schedule like public schools, 5 days a week, 9 months a year? 6-7 hours a day? Year 'round school? Or something else?

I am considering year 'round or else an abbreviated schedule during the summer (2-4 hours a day for 3 days a week). I am really tending toward completing the year the end of May and doing 9 weeks of summer school on special projects like gold mining, bird watching, salmon migration, trees, and insects. I.E, things that we can get out and get hands-on that we cannot do during winter months.

Would love to hear what others are doing for schedules and any ideas for summer teaching topics.

05-05-2003, 07:52 PM
We are on a public distance ed. program, so we are kind of locked into the regular school summer vacation schedule (the teacher is off, and the new year's work shows up at the end of Aug.), along with the report card schedule...so I plan to do a summer program of unit study, library reading club, general exploration without the emphasis on writing everything down, and the other stuff that annoys the kids. I also intend to work extra hard on phys. ed, given that my kids are getting to the age for structured games, instead of just running! Also teaching the kids a little more about swimming. I would say that we do a year round schedule, but we use summer and a month in winter (around the kid's birthdays and Christmas) to vary the program and keep it interesting.

One thing that we really look forward to each year is the Leonid meteor shower in August. It is warm enough to lay out all or most of the night...hopefully the kids are a little quieter this year (the poor neighbours!).

It's been a bit of a long year, with several family things piling up on us, so it will be nice for everyone to get a bit of a break and do things that we WANT, instead of following the schedule (which we do enjoy, but freedom for a bit is fun too)!

Oh, yeah...and I think I might just clean the house, go through the junk, etc...but there are still a few weeks of schooling left, so I am not going to think about it now...give myself nightmares! Oh, and look into interesting things to do next year, general prep. work.

I have also been thinking about taking a few courses myself, work towards a degree by distance or college (we've a good system here, real universities offering distance courses, etc...none of the "train for a new career in your own home" garbage). So I may look into starting up while the time commitment to the kids education is less, get used to it before we start up full-time in Sept.! But that is probably next summer, at least!

05-06-2003, 04:48 PM
We are part of a district homestudy program, so go by the school calendar. We do a few things in the summer. My daughter likes the Evan-Moor summer books, for students going from one grade into another. This year I am going to keep going on with reading work for my first grade son, he needs it! This year we are going to do a thematic unit on Colonial Life, the first summer we do something like that. Not daily, or for hours a day though! We keep up with their gymnastics twice a week, like the school year.
We DO NOT spend 6-7 hours a day, even in a district program! No where near that! My children would have a FIT if I tried to do summer school for 2-4 hours a day. The Evan-Moor books are set up with 10 weeks of review, only 2 pages a day, 5 days a week. My daughter did them last year while her brother had swimming lessons. It doesn't even take 1 hour, more like 30 minutes if you dally! Reading is important during the summer. In fact, the new Instructor magazine has an article on keeping up reading skills in the summer. If a child reads only 6 grade-appropriate books during the summer they maintain the gains from the school year. If they read more they may even gain ground. We read all the time. Join your library summer reading program, if they have one. If not, have them impliment one! Your idea for year round is good, especially since you can do things you can't in the winter. But...if you plan on an abbreviated summer schedule to be 2-4 hours then you are doing too much! That can be a regular school schedule in homeschool! How long have you been homeschooling? Have you always kept up with that many hours a day?

05-07-2003, 05:55 PM
This is the end of our first year. We are in a very open program, outcome based. You set your own goals, time table to complete, what to work on when, when the school year starts and ends, etc. We just are completing our kindergarten year on May 30.

I figure that for kindergarten, kids don't get more than 2 hours of class in the 3 hours they attend in public school here, so we started with just 2 hours a day. That turned out to be not enough. He wanted more! More crafts, more music, more science projects, more math, more painting, more reading, more computer time, even more worksheets. So we usually spend about 3-4 hours a day, 6 days a week. He begs to do more. He loves school.

I would agree 6-7 hours a day in homeshool could be too much. There have been days when we have gone 6 hours and he wanted to do even more, do another project, read another book, make another number line, spell more words. He loves learning new things.

05-21-2003, 09:04 PM
Children learn a lot by just being "kids". They really benefit from doing things that aren't stuctured by an adult and summer is a great time to let them do that. They need to experience the joy of mangaging thier own time and exploring learning in a way that is different from an adults idea of learning. Remember, you are their mother AND teacher-perhaps that is too much "mommy". In other words, give them a break and have valuable fun!

05-25-2003, 11:23 AM
I guess I'm old fashioned in the way that I think kids should have the entire summer off. Oh how I loved those looong summers off. We do continue to learn through the summer but the only written work is done on a voluntary basis. This is a good time for fun theme units for us. We make a list of ideas and I let my kids decide what we'll do. So we go all year round but in summer put away the schedules, the planner book, and just relax with it all. I just try to think of things that are enjoyable that we may not have had time for during the school year. This year they are already showing interest in a few science projects. Also my oldest had a touch-and-go math year so I'll try to sneak in some extra work for her in this subject. In our area public schoolers don't get a long summer vacation. They get longer breaks on all holidays and a shorter summer break, but still it's something. Maybe it's better this way for working parent's worries about summer childcare, and students aren't out so long having a harder time readjusting, and getting back into the swing of it the next school year? I'm not sure why they do it this way. My kids hate this because their friends are public schoolers, and they mope alot when the public schoolers go back to school. I kind of look forward to it because they get bored enough to pay more attention to me, my unit studies, and special projects at that time.

05-26-2003, 11:17 AM
(I was the first unregistered poster...I guess when I start writing that it is time to register! Right after our move!)

We also do kind of a lazy, unscheduled summer...but education and learning is kind of a way of life in most homeschooling families, I think. When other families plan to go to the theme park, we plan to go to the theme park and learn how the roller coaster works and the economic basis for the midway (if we have the time!). I think that many people don't understand that learning things can be a leisure activity, and that children of parents who think that way often are that way too...summer work is not really enforced with many homeschooled kids, I think...I think my kids would go stir-crazy with boredom if we didn't do that type of thing during the summer, and doing things, in general, means learning things! Also, why would we do something that no one was interested in, and my kids just happen to be interested in science, math, and reading!

Another factor with us is that we prefer winter vacation to summer vacation, given the kid's birthdays and Christmas are so close together...so we take an extended winter vacation, and a shorter summer one, which works well for us, and isn't that the beauty of homeschooling!

Also, I don't really like doing "field trips" in the summer, except to the beach, park, and things that are only available for a limited time. Places are both more expensive and horribly crowded when all the other kids are out of school...we get more than our money's worth in waiting for September weekdays to go do stuff!

05-26-2003, 04:24 PM
I think most people who homeschool don't realize that those who don't homeschool teach their children during leisure time too. There are many parents who do the same things I am reading about along with formal education (schools). Most parents do realize that fun and learning do go together and so do teachers who teach in the schools. As a matter of fact, it seems that many parents who homeschool are letting thier children miss a chance at a wonderful education-most often they try so hard to be "fun" and "fancy" that they miss the boat and don't provide a full education. I know that this will be greatly debated but let's face it, learning what you what and when because it is fun and an iterest of a child's doesn't mean "quality" . Have fun "having fun learning" but don't pat yourself on the back too hard for being what you think is an elitist-"teaching your child while on vacation" because it just ain't so! Keep in mind that children who go to school learn from their parent too-it's a sad componant of homeschoolers philosophy that they are the only ones dedicated to thier children's education. I look forward to the day these homeschool children hit the work force-are you going to be able to make that "fun" for them?