I'm trying to think about what school is going to mean over the summer. For some families, it means a break from everything that school is. I understand that, for sure. To have a change of pace, free from grading, schedules and trying to motivate extremely unmotivated children sounds like a brilliant plan. And I agree that "school" itself should be done for awhile.
Our simple plan is to let the kids finish their PACE work and then continue with some group learning activities. We have been using a chronological study of history this last semester. I love the concept, but when something has had to give, that would often be the victim. So now, I am really looking forward to spending a little more time on that interesting and challenging study.
Another subject we enjoy is the Apologia Botany. We all look forward to some exciting and informative nature walks throughout this slower season. Although I am wondering if Zoology might be a better one for us, especially in this bug ridden area in which we live. Insect collection would definitely be an easy project, if a little icky from a mother's perspective.
We will continue to study the Bible because that's just something we do. Maybe we will get done more of the Bible memory that didn't get accomplished during the regular school year. Right now we are memorizing the first chapter of Genesis. I really want my kids to know the story of where we came from, because that has everything to do with where we are going. My goal is to ensure that we all understand that the Bible is one story, not a collection of disconnected events.
I'll have to wait and see what writing we can do, but I know the reading will continue. I'm not overly concerned with what they are reading as long as it falls within the family guidelines. I know they will benefit from pleasure reading and I just try to insert some fun historical fiction (and maybe a biography or two) to beef it up. Our group readings include classics and poetry as well as the Bible. Today my seven year old brought our book of Aesop's fables to me and had a list of requests. I love that!
Oh yes, and math! Who can forget that? Usually my kids leave it over the summer and endeavor to forget as much as possible before picking it up again. This summer the older ones are doing a Business Math course from Simply Charlotte Mason that allows them to set up their own business (on paper) and run it for 12 months. They are so excited about getting their respective businesses going. Now I just need to figure out my end of things!
The idea is to have a relaxed summer, but one that is not without boundaries. They need time to be free and use their imaginations independently, but I find that my children end up bored if left with nothing scheduled. Having a general idea of what I want to accomplish over the summer also gives me plenty to pull from when I want to haul everyone together. Many times I find that I need to bring my children in away from the onslaught of the neighborhood munchkins (they can be fierce). This way I know I have something other than the television to occupy them.
Day trips, Daddy time, church activities, and vacation to Maine--all things we are looking forward to. Now, I just need to get them through those last few PACES so that we can start enjoying the fun stuff!
If anyone else has any summer ideas, I would love to hear about them. May the Lord bless you as you attempt to enjoy and train your children this summer. Whether you homeschool regularly or not, summer is a time for all of us to experience homeschooling at its finest.