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Why We Homeschool During Summer

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homeschool summer style

Ah, summer.  Those long, lazy days when there is nothing to do but whatever you want to do.  The possibilities are wide open.  It’s so exciting when you’re young that even the hottest, most humid day doesn’t bother you.  I remember feeling like summertime lasted about a year when I was in school.  It was the pinnacle of the school year–the time when I didn’t have to learn anything I didn’t want to, filled with life experience and exploration and sleep.  Blessed sleep.

So why would I choose to take 7 weeks out of every summer and homeschool my kids?  Well, let me tell you, it started out as a fluke.

See, when we first started knocking about the idea of homeschooling (or at least taking it seriously), I was worried the littles–then 6 and 8–would not be able to learn from me or take me seriously as a teacher.  Sure, they had no problem with it when I was in their classes at the school, but taking on their entire education was… different.  Monumental.  So we asked them how the would feel about homeschooling and they were all for it.  Which scared me even more.  So I made them a deal.

An offer they couldn’t refuse, if you will.

I told them we would do a science class that summer and if they approached it with a willingness to learn and were serious about it I would then take all the necessary steps to un-enroll them from the public school and start our adventure.  I think I picked 7 different fields of science and spent a week on each.  Just to see how they would respond.

summer school

The truth is, it overwhelmed me.  They took to it like fish to water.  They took me seriously, they learned tons, and We Had Fun.  I was hooked.  They were hooked.  This homeschool thing was on.

Then, when I started planning the actual school year, I realized we had already accomplished 7 weeks of that year.  A whole 35 days was wide open to do with as we would.  We could take 2 weeks off at Christmas.  I could be off for the entire hunting season and wouldn’t have to miss out on morning hunts because of class.  We could take a week off in January or February when winter had us at our lowest.  Hmm.

Yeah yeah.

So I contemplated the genius of the plan for the next several months.  The cool thing about having done a science program during the summer was that we could get outside and explore and get hands-on experience with whatever we were studying.  Also, we had held school mostly during July, that time of year when the Ohio Valley is unbearably humid and hot and people are more apt to escape to the air conditioning than spend long days outside.  So we were able to be inside when we wanted and outside when we needed to be and It Was Perfect.

Nature study walk

Nature study walk

A yearly schedule was born.  The Littles still get 10 weeks off for summer, but they get it during the best parts–June and late August/September.  They still giggle that the bus drives by while they’re on summer break.  They still get to hang out with their friends who attend public school and are on break when they aren’t, because we’re done with summer school by 11 and the rest of the day is theirs.

We’ve done it every year, picking a different science theme each year.  It is one of my favorite parts of the school year to be honest.  We shuck the classroom and have class at the dining table, out on the patio, on a blanket in the grass.  We’re more relaxed, looser, and even more apt to laugh.  It’s still golden days of summer, we’re just learning at the same time we’re enjoying.

This year, because both boys will be middle-schoolers, we’re going to expand into something new.  They are going to learn to write research papers, which means much more independent work than we usually do during summer.  Each week I am going to let them pick a science topic to research on their own and write a short paper about what they’ve learned.  It will be a new area for us, independent study during summer school.  I am having trouble letting go.

But I bet they’ll be dragging their books and tablets out to a blanket in the grass to do their research.

That makes it all worth it.

Love wins,

KT

 

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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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18 Comments

  1. This is a great idea! Thank you for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week.
    Tina
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…A Winner at Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #147My Profile

  2. What a great thing you have going with your kiddos! You’ve taught your kids the BEST thing … loving learning … you go, KT!

  3. I love the way you Homeschool 🙂 You’ve found a way for them to really love learning, and that’s what it’s all about! Thanks for sharing at Together on Tuesdays!

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      What a truly flattering thing to say! I can’t contain my happy grin right now. I’ll make sure the littles know they feel that way. lol No, really, I think that’s one of the most important things about homeschooling–making sure they are getting to enjoy learning so much they love it. I want them to learn forever, just like their mama. 🙂

  4. I love the flexibility of homeschooling! It allows for life to happen and learn at the same time. Thanks so much for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels recently posted…Wonderful Wednesday #OMHGWWMy Profile

  5. Funny! That’s how we started. We tested out homeschooling during that first summer and it allowed us to take a relaxed approach to school that whole first year. We continued to homeschool during the summer but last year the boys asked to have have it off completely. We didn’t like that as much and we’re right back to “summer” school this year. We don’t cover all the subjects and we take a laid back approach to it but it’s so nice to take our work outside and it helps keep us busy too.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Art Project #5; Mother’s Day Crafts and CardsMy Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Yes! It’s so fun to take that time for the more laid back learning approach. My boys would be just like yours–they would NOT want to have to go back to short breaks through a long year. 🙂

  6. Makes sense! Beats sitting in a room with books all day during winter ! Thanks for sharing at practical Mondays

  7. This is wonderful! Ahh, I miss the homeschooling days so much! Such sweet times – as I read about your summer science, it took me back to the days of fall flower picking and drawing for Science. It was such a rich, bonding experience for my girls and I. You will never regret this – and it’s so good that your kids enjoy it! Yes, it does get a bit tricky when they begin to learn independently, but that is just paving the road for college studies. Mine were fully capable by the time college rolled around because I gradually let go and let them do their thing. They worked together a lot though, too.

    Thanks for sharing with us at Tuesday Talk, – I’d like to feature your post on my blog for next Tuesday Talk if you don’t mind! 🙂

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Ruthie, I would be honored to be featured by you. 🙂 Also, thanks for reminding me to savor these times.

  8. This is great planning on your part! I’m sure your sons would gladly sacrifice those hot July days to enjoy the June and September weather that’s in store, and the fact that their public school friends are en route to school while they’re still on “summer mode” doesn’t hurt either. Thanks so much for joining us on #shinebloghop this week. This was a great piece to share with us 🙂
    Maria recently posted…Shine Blog Hop 95My Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Thanks, Maria! Yeah, even if there weren’t those great perks, the boys are so used to it by now they don’t bat an eye. 🙂

  9. I love this post. You seem so organized which makes this OCD person VERY happy.

    P.S. I LOVE the new logo- it looks great!

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