Relaxing Summer School Schedule
The idea of summer school for some, is one that is met with distaste. But, if we take the time to look at the research, we find that taking 4 weeks or more of time off for the brain, leads to a “summer fade.” Creating a loss of work for what they learned in the previous grade by up to one-three months, depending on how long their summer break is. Yet we continue to cling to our need to have a long summer break. The brain never takes a break. It is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Constantly needing information to continue to grow or even to maintain its current state of intelligence. Would you want your kids to sit on the couch all day for 4-8 weeks, never exercising their muscles. NO, because their current muscles would weaken, causing them to have a hard time with normal everyday activities. Why then is school considered to be a 10 month activity, when our brain needs daily training?
Relaxing Summer School Schedule
I love summer just as much as the next person. Especially since the state I live in has only about 4 months of summer. The rest of the time we are covered in snow. I need the sunshine, fresh air, breaks, and fun. But what if our perspective of what summer is, is wrong?
Why can’t we take long hikes in the woods, read books in a hammock together, sit outside and paint the landscape around us, go on field trips? All of these activities and more include being outside, while still exercising the brain. Yet we still crave a break, for 4-8 weeks.
I have two kids at home right now. Jenna is 10 and Gavin is 7. This chart has been a life saver. Please realize that what works for our family, may not work for your family. This picture is one you can follow exactly or change to suit the needs of your family. Always do what you think is best for your family. God put you in charge of your family for a reason and only you know what is best for them.
The first section contains items that need to be completed by 9:00. We start our school day at 9:00 a.m, which is half an hour later than our regular school year where we start at 8:30. You could start at whatever time works for your family.
The next section (purple section) are things that need to be completed each day. We always start our day with reading the Bible and then drawing in our Bible journal together. Then we go right into doing our read aloud book. We try to choose all sorts of read aloud books throughout the summer. For a great reading list check out the Read Aloud Revival book list. They love to go outside and draw, color, play in the dirt, whatever they would like to do, as long as they can hear mom read, and the activity isn’t too loud for their sibling to hear me as I read to them. Then we go right into their next item on the list. Jenna has math next, because she is weak at math, and Gavin reads a book to me everyday. Finally we spend time working on their Classical Conversations memory work. If you are wondering why we work on memory work, check out this blog post that explains the utmost importance of memory work. All together this takes us about an hour and a half.
If we have time, they can then pick one or two items in the next section. If it is a normal day without a lot of errands and chores to be done, then we pick two of the items off of the list. If it is a hurried day we might skip this section altogether or only pick one item. The great part is that you can create a choice section that works for your family. Try to choose activities that you like and the kids like. The kids helped me to create this section, by telling me somethings that they wanted to learn this summer (typing, cursive, art), and things that we thought we needed to help us to continue to grow educationally. I was impressed with their insight of what they thought their brain needed for the summer. Also, the items chosen in the pick two section are things that they can, for the most part, do on their own. This allows mom time to get some of the house chores done.
Finally they have their chore section. If you notice they each have two clothes pins on their side of the board in this section, with more clothespins left at the bottom. The clothespins at the bottom are extra chores that did not get picked for the week. When I have a really busy week, I will have the kids pick out three chores a piece. This allows mom to accomplish the needs on my list, while allowing them to pick up the slack. This way no one is stressed out and we have more time as a family.
This schedule takes us about an hour and a half each day for the first section and up to another hour if we complete the second section. We do this schedule 3-4 days a week, leaving us room to go visit with friends, join dad for lunch or go on a field trip. On Fridays the kids go to their grandmas for the day, creating more time for me to work on this website and time for them to learn, grow and love others around them.
Creating a schedule for the summer helps me to stay on track educationally as a mom. It also helps my kids know what they need to do each day, without having to tell them what to do all the time. Since. they helped me to create this schedule they have taken more ownership in getting the work done and have complained a lot less about having to do school in the summer.
I hope this helps everyone to have a great summer that is fun, relaxing and educational at the same time.
May God bless you and your family!!