May 2020 Curriculum Club Newsletter
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Just Keep Swimming – By Mrs. Crabtree
This is the time of year I hear the song “School’s Out For Summer” playing in my head! But in our house it said: School’s (Not) out for Summer! We just keep going, or like Dory says: we just keep swimming!
Many homeschool families do not take a “break” for summer. Instead they adopt more of a year long (I prefer to call it life long) schooling philosophy.
If this isn’t something you are already doing, I have some practical tips on what works for us and why we prefer not to take summer’s off!
If you’re not a homeschool family – it’s the perfect occasion to test it out, or you can be “Summer-Schoolers” only. Just “Homeschool” for the summer months so your children continue to thrive educationally.
We stay in our routine. We don’t get up at the crack of dawn anyway. There isn’t really a reason to “sleep in” and get the family all out of alignment. Then we’d just have to get BACK into the routine again and you know how hard that is. I highly recommend this to all families. Try to say as close as possible to your bedtime and wake time on a REGULAR basis. Think about how hard it is when daylight savings time comes around! Add in adjusting to “Back to School” time and that’s three times a year you need at least a week to realign your healthy sleep cycle.
We do most of our core ACADEMICS in the summer. Museums and theme parks are crowded because everyone is off and visiting. We save our field trips for the “traditional: months when things tend to be less crowded, or we can go early before schools arrive. For those of you “summer-schooling” as I suggested this can be a time to catch up on skills or to get ahead! EVERYTHING is learning.
I always tell my children that we have school every day, 365 days a year. There are no days off because everything IS learning. Whenever we take a vacation (even if it IS over the summer) – that’s just what we did for school. This works wonders. I actually told my children they could have Leap Year day off. I’ll never forget the year they got up at 1am to play video games on Leap Day. Everyone should celebrate Leap Day with absolute abandon every 4 years. Why fill an extra day with work?
Summers were special because I wasn’t working, so we got to spend more time as a family. If I stopped schooling, my kids would have scattered to the wind. This might not apply to your situation, but many jobs have reduced summer hours so perhaps the non homeschooling parent is home more! Remember #3, everything is learning so Games, Movies, Hikes…it all counts!
Don’t forget to take advantage of the great programs your community offers. Many have free reading programs with rewards. Even movie theaters have free or $1.00 movies! If you don’t want to go to the Movies or Library this summer due to local stay at home orders or just to play it safe..organize a program among your child’s friends (or classmates). They can all read the same book and meet online to discuss it, or do the same with a movie. Host a small gathering in your home or park, whatever you are comfortable with. This might be THE perfect summer for an old fashioned lemonade stand! When life gives you lemons after all…. I know whatever you decide your learning will be plentiful and your journey will be blessed!
I’d love to hear how you spend your summer months. Feel free to send me an email!
– Mrs. Crabtree