"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"N" is for NOT School...Our Summer Plans

I don't know about you, but I was SO ready for our "official" school year to be over this past May!  It was just a huge feeling of accomplishment, and of freedom!

But this whole post is about my disclaimer:  school is not really done.  It just kind of FEELS like it is--at least, for my two younger ones.  

See, we don't really do "not school" well.  There's a lot of whining, arguing, complaining, and the like, when we have too much "free-ish" time.  And lots of chaos when we loosen up too much on "not chores", as well.  And, you know, our piano teacher is home from college during the summers.  And, oh yes, there are some really cool camp-type things that we don't always have time for during the "official" school year.  AND, we worked really, really, REALLY hard on our multiplication tables this WHOLE year--it would be a shame if we didn't practice them once in a while, you know?  And don't forget the really cool review items we have to work on in order to review them well...

So maybe I should re-name this post, to:

Top Ten Ways We are Sneaking in Schooling During "Not School" Time:

1.  Learning and Practicing Piano:  My younger two love their piano teacher.  She is a college student and former homeschooler who also used to babysit them occasionally.  But since she's a college student, she is only home and available during the "off school" times.  So we schedule our piano lessons during the summer and school breaks.  Since we're not REALLY schooling then anyway, you know, lol!

2.  Chorus Classes:  Same girl!  But this summer she's holding voice classes at her home once a week. Firefly is loving the play time with her friends and the chance to showcase what she is convinced is a true vocal talent!  Music, check...

3.  Reviews:  So maybe I just happen to have some reviews coming up that we need to practice with--you know, "in order to get a good idea about the product".  (Hee hee!)  Firefly is currently working with me on Institute for Excellence in Writing's Student Writing Intensive, as well as Moving Beyond the Page's Native American studies.  Just for practice, mind you.  Writing, check...social studies, check...reading, check...


4.  Math Practice:  So what if my Math Mammoth review already went up?  Bug and I still might need to work on it a bit.  And we need to try out what next year's math might look like with Firefly--to make sure "she will love it".  And we don't want to take the chance to forget those multiplication facts, right?  A small bit of math, every day, for just a few minutes.  Also "just for practice."  Math, check...

5.  Spanish Camp:  We are going to continue to use our Spanish for You next year, but then had the wonderful opportunity to put the kiddos in Spanish Camp, run by another homeschooling momma and native of Puerto Rico.  Technically, it's only for the little ones, but Turtle is going to be a helper.  Check Spanish off the list...

6.  Sports Camps and Other Events We Can Call PE:  Soccer runs all summer long, as Turtle and Firefly are both participating in 3v3 leagues this year.  Then there's soccer camp, and Bug has started Swim Team--which practices every day.  Check PE off the list...

7.  Vacation Bible School:  Again, another place for Turtle to volunteer, and the little ones love, love, love to go!

8.  Nature Study and Gardening:  We have started a garden and are really enjoying watching the changes in it daily.  Currently we are up to four tomatoes and ten peppers, and our beans are beginning to sprout.  We also have found a bunny that has become interested in our garden as well.  Close up nature study!    Science, check...

9.  Head Start on Next Year's Curriculum:  Occasionally we run into a rainy, yucky day that just screams out to me that we could maybe try to get a "head start" on next year.  Twice so far, I've pulled out our next year's Heart of Dakota books and completed some of the activities.  Bug and I have started reading about explorers, and Firefly and I are slowly going through Creation.

10.  Reading:  We love the library, and go regularly once a week.  And my little ones are devouring books every day--Turtle even got some books yesterday.  Lunch time is reading time in our home, and I love watching them linger over the table soaking up the stories.

Those are my sneaky ways to do school during "not school" time.  Ask Bug or Firefly, and they will adamantly tell you they are done with school.  Even Turtle thinks it's funny, since she has figured me out!  Now SHE is still plugging along, finishing online courses and complaining her way through her math, but then lights up when it's time to do her photography course.

All in all, we're enjoying our "not school", and I'm learning a few valuable lessons myself--including how to make school feel less like school!

What do you all do during "not school"?  Do you try to sneak in learning, too?

Blogging Through the Alphabet

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