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Mum
05-22-2013, 09:59 AM
If you break for part of the summer, what is your day to day like?

Do you have a routine or rhythm or is it a free for all?

What kind of things do your kids do when homeschooling isn't the main priority?

Trying to come up with ways to not go nuts this summer.

bcnlvr
05-22-2013, 10:25 AM
Our day still has a loose routine. Morning chores are still there. We have pool, beach, grammas, free movie at regal, or park 2-4x/week. Grocery shopping, dentist, laundry, etc stuff like that are all still there and the kids help more with that. The kids also keep a journal and reading list of their own design (we make cool journal covers for our summer journals). Track season also goes till July, so with practice 3x/week and meets (3 left), we are pretty steady.

We are out from May 24-Aug 5. I am pretty free range with parenting, so when I am lesson-planning or busy, the kids are out and about with their peeps, be home at dark.

hockeymom
05-22-2013, 10:26 AM
Hm, we do have a general routine or rhythm, especially in July. That month, DS has swimming every weekday morning and track almost every weekday afternoon, in addition to mountain bike racing and structured pickup hockey. It probably sounds nuts and over-scheduled, but they actually serve as excellent bookends to our days; we are up and out of the house reasonably early for swimming, and then he has something active to do in the late afternoon when our day is naturally wrapping up. The in-between is filled with the usual swimming at the lake or ocean, playing with friends or whatever the day brings.

June isn't that way, though, so I'll be looking for more activities. If given a choice, DS would almost always spend the day inside reading, but if we have something scheduled he's happy for that. Too little to do results in too much sloth in our house, and that doesn't lead to happy places. Some kids can entertain themselves and magically "come up with something to do" but he's never--ever-- been that way. He likes schedules and set activities; otherwise he's sort of lost. So what works for us probably looks like hell to someone else, whose kids know what to do with a sandbox or a blanket fort or a box of Lego.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-22-2013, 10:50 AM
It's pretty much a free-for-all here. The kids still have chores, but no scheduled activities other than my son's karate 2x per week. We make it a priority to get outside as much as possible--anything as simple as a picnic or reading aloud in the back yard to hiking and nature walks within a one- to two-hour drive. I take them swimming about once a week and they ride bikes and scooters. They have random playdates. We continue to get books from the library for both independent reading and read alouds. I encourage journal writing, but don't require anything. Their bedtime gets pushed back about a half an hour so that they can enjoy some time outside after dinner. That's our summer in a nutshell.

My kids can keep themselves occupied all day and any attempt to impose a routine takes quite a bit of effort on my part ("Mommmm! I'm busy! I'm not done with this [book, Lego project, pretend play, game, etc.]"). I need let them do their own thing in the summer as much as possible so I can recuperate from the school year routine, which is quite structured.

Sigh. I wish it were summer vacation now.

inmom
05-22-2013, 11:06 AM
My kids are older, and probably more scheduled than most. While we take the summer off officially, there are still plenty of things they want to do, so there is some bit of routine.

For dd, she works at a restaurant Friday and Sunday, 8-4. She's taking a writing class at the local university Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She has softball games through the end of June a couple of nights a week and on Saturdays. She's going on a 4-H sponsored trip to Wash DC in July, and of course there's all the work on finishing 4-H projects before the fair in mid-July. She has also asked to continue to work on math, otherwise it will "fall out of my head" over the summer. Other than that, she will fill her time with writing and reading.

For ds, he works at the same restaurant on Sundays and does yardwork for neighbors a couple of other days in the week. He also does 4-H, and will most likely be (grudgingly) helping with home remodel projects over the summer. By his own choice, he will fill his day with programming.

Personally, my summer schedule involves morning runs, gardening, house projects, going to my kids' events, and a small bit of summer tutoring for others. Oops, almost forgot that I'm taking a class myself to keep my teaching license current (in the case I ever need to financially return to the classroom....ugh).

Avalon
05-22-2013, 01:53 PM
Our summers are pretty short, and there aren't that many beautiful days, so we normally cut school anytime it's gorgeous outside. Usually, we cut back to "bare minimum" work by the end of May, which means just doing math and reading for dd, and reading and writing for ds. Public schools here run until the very end of June, so what we think of as "summer vacation" is only 8 weeks long. For my kids, between our family camping trip, day camps, trips to the beach, local festivals, barbecues, and hanging out with friends, there are barely any free days available to sit around the house and read.

Because we've done so little official school work this year, I think I'll be pushing a little harder to work on dd's math and ds's writing all summer, plus I think we'll do a bunch of the Biology II course I bought in the winter. It seems to involve a bunch of outdoor activities, so we'd better do them while things are actually alive outside.

RTB
05-22-2013, 03:00 PM
I'm trying to figure this out too. My kids are young and need some structure, or else they end up fighting and complaining about how much screen time they are not getting. Last year, I over schedule them, and we ended up feeling frazzled.

I want to keep some school going, but change what we normally do, so it feels like a little bit of a break for all of us. I am thinking maybe an hour of lite school each day in the AM read aloud, independent reading, Life of Fred and Beast Academy (done as a family). The kids want to keep doing weekly Poetry Teas, family movies, and free write Fridays (Brave Writer). I would also like to bake once or twice a week with them. They have swim and tennis lessons this summer also.

I really need to get back into shape so I am planning on dragging them to the gym with me more than I normally do I figure it is my summer too. Then the rest of the time will be filled with the normal homschool stuff museums, zoo, library, play dates.

RTB
05-22-2013, 03:08 PM
I am a little worried about bears this year. A black bear snuck up on me this morning while I was hanging laundry. Booger was only 10 feet away, and I thought he was the dog.

Ahh! My girlfriend was yelling at her kiddo to go pick up a knocked over trashcan the other day, could not find him, so she went out to set it up-right, there was a bear in it.

MrsLOLcat
05-22-2013, 03:21 PM
It's more or less a free-for-all here. I have some projects that I want to do at some point - testing the creek water and soil for fun, for instance, and maybe building some K'Nex stuff or taking some day trips, but by and large, they get to do what they want. Swim team practice starts back up twice a week in June, and both kids are taking stroke development once a week on a third night. Then DS has a couple of camps and DD has one. If we visit my grandmothers, hit the pool as often as we can, and get together with friends regularly, I'm sure the summer will fly. This week is extraordinarily quiet because the pools aren't open yet and several of the public schools are still in session, but things will pick up, I'm sure. This is, at least, better than last year when we were in the process of moving.

Mum
05-22-2013, 05:37 PM
Loving the feedback so far.


If given a choice, DS would almost always spend the day inside reading, but if we have something scheduled he's happy for that. Too little to do results in too much sloth in our house, and that doesn't lead to happy places. Some kids can entertain themselves and magically "come up with something to do" but he's never--ever-- been that way. He likes schedules and set activities; otherwise he's sort of lost.

This is my kid too. I'm quite the opposite so it's challenging for me. I need to consider some of the ideas posted here, brainstorm a bit and come up with a loose plan for our daily routine or we will all get grumpy and annoyed with each other.

Stella M
05-22-2013, 06:33 PM
I was checking out the Earthschooling curriculum linked here a few days ago and I noticed that there were a couple of interesting week long 'summer camp' style lesson plans available. They are just downloadable PDF's so quite inexpensive. I think there was one about mandalas and a woodworking one. I wonder whether something like that - structured but fun - might be one way of keeping some routine over summer.

Our best summers have been ones where we got plenty of physical exercise in the morning, before it got too hot, and then spent the afternoon at home with a loose plan, even if it is as simple as lunch/read-aloud/DVD/free play/dinner prep/evening walk.

You could always have a weekly plan as well. Museum Mondays, Swimming Saturdays, Woodworking Wednesdays...lol...I like alliteration...

Stella M
05-22-2013, 06:40 PM
TheBearthInstitute - Earthschooling E-book Lessons (http://thebearthinstitute.memberlodge.com/EbookLessons)

So I know people's tolerance for Steiner varies, but I did think some of these plans looked good.

amberd
05-22-2013, 07:13 PM
We are cutting back and the only schoolish things we will do is our library's summer reading program and playing games for math skills. When/if dd whines about having nothing to do I will prob either tell her to clean house or send her out to play or if I am feeling nice see if she wants to do something from one of my Pinterest Boards (it's ridiculous how I pin all this crap that I think we'd like but we rarely ever do it).

The only planned activities for DD will be swim lessons, Nature camp for a week in July, and nature class at the park when we are not busy otherwise. Our vacation is a trip to the lake for a couple weeks. Other than that we are going to visit with fam and friends and maybe go on a few field trips to a museum or bowling or something (prob no more than once a week).

Gummers
05-23-2013, 12:53 AM
More or less a free for all. We will be travelling and the between travel times will be spent overcoming jet lag. Summer also ends third week in august and starts beginning of July, so its not a long summer.

OldFarmer
05-24-2013, 11:43 PM
We break for summer and head to the US, where I take advantage of convenience and pricing of all the things my kids want to do, and this summer we'll focus during the downtime to work on our foreign languages.

The plan right now is to put both kids back into Tae Kwon Do, maybe sign up for a weeklong day camp, and work on math workbooks. TKD is just once or twice weekly. Other plans include horseback riding, paddling, farm/garden work, trips to the woods, and just getting out into the sunshine whenever the sun shines. We'll go to the library weekly. We'll most likely spend an hour to two daily on language and math, and since I don't have to motivate the reading, I just let that happen (keeping TV off). Because I solo parent over summers, I have a lot of control over our schedules, social and otherwise. And just by keeping TV turned off in the house, I am pretty sure we end up with at least an extra hour of "live brain time" every day.

Shortly after the start of the school year, we travel again, and this year I really want my kids to get more out of the trip to see family, which is why they aren't breaking from language work. And then by the time we get back to UAE, it's back to the grind with the full curriculum.

mpippin
05-25-2013, 11:07 AM
Generally, summer is when we travel. We don't take major trips every year, but we always travel. Being in Europe this year, we're certainly going to take advantage of that as much as our budget will allow, so our days will be wake up, get dressed, board train, go.

On days we're home, pretty much anything goes. Tuna wants to continue reading the rest of the Little House on the Prairie series throughout the summer, so we'll read every evening.

Bay will likely spend all her free time outside.

crunchynerd
05-25-2013, 11:33 PM
I think it's really cool that you know his personal style that way. It's so easy to believe in what we believe in (like that kids learn best with lots of structure, or that kids learn best without structure) but not so easy to realize that the kid may not match our beliefs, and the kid comes first. Your description of your son sounds like my husband: he doesn't like being the one who creates the structure, and is not a self-starter in general, and like your son, would spend the day inside reading or playing computer games if left to his own devices. It also makes him a particularly comfortable and cuddly person to share a life with. But I have to be the one to initiate structure on his days off, for any of us. And that's ok, because I am self-starter, mostly.

crunchynerd
05-26-2013, 09:06 AM
Us too, Mum! We only *think* we like lazing around all day. In reality, it tends to wear on the spirit rather quickly. I'll be looking for ideas too, because I had sort of intended to do studies right through summer, til I realized I needed time to do home improvements and major planning for the next step (DD8 getting much more serious about studies, and DS5 turning 6 and starting Logic of English Foundations, for instance), and I can't do all that, while still juggling the actual homeschooling and the actual home. We need time to regroup, but can't let life fall apart around us, or nothing will get done! I'll be looking for inspirations here, too.

Loving the feedback so far.



This is my kid too. I'm quite the opposite so it's challenging for me. I need to consider some of the ideas posted here, brainstorm a bit and come up with a loose plan for our daily routine or we will all get grumpy and annoyed with each other.

Teri
05-26-2013, 09:40 AM
We always continue foreign language and math through the summer. We will also still have piano, ballet and German dance. The kids are doing an Advanced Minecraft camp in June for one week and Joseph is going to the boundary waters as a Boy Scout high adventure trip in July. In the past, we have done the Nature Challenge, but they didn't have it last year. They are having it this year though, so we will do that (although it is MUCH smaller that it used to be). It is VERY VERY hot here in the summer, so we HAVE to have structured things inside or my kids would be on Minecraft all the time.

KristinK
05-26-2013, 10:44 PM
I feel like we have done SO little this year, that things won't really change. The only thing I have really enforced this year is math. I never planned to be unschoolers, but it has largely been that way this year...The kids just read ALL.DAY.LONG. Likely, summer will be much of the same ;)
We are spending all of august at our family cottage in Northern Ontario. it will be days of exploring by kayak for dd9 (I hope!), and days of swimming and playing and fort building, etc for the others (they're not yet up for long paddles to explore the network of lakes). There's a nature camp nearby too, so I think I'll get the 3 big kids into that for a week.

atomicgirl
05-27-2013, 12:25 AM
This is our first summer as home schoolers, and my son is still on a traditional school year. They've both been looking forward to summer break, but everyone here needs structure. In the past my daughter has just naturally transitioned to a kind of unschooling. School really pushed against her tendency to have specialized interests (perseveration in the language of disability), but I've always loved how deeply she delves into an area of interest. Summer was always her time to indulge interests for as many hours a day as she cared to. This year, however, I'm going to try to coax a bit to get a real project out of her, and hopefully include her brother. Other than that I'm going to try to schedule a lot of play dates with people who are receptive, and get in a lot of field trips and nature time.

kohlby
05-27-2013, 09:23 PM
We don't have a long summer break - the last two weeks of June are completely off and one week in July, though that's not until the end of the month due to camp. We have a rough schedule for meals. I expect the kids to be dressed by 9am on weekdays and 10am on weekends. We have bedtimes. Otherwise, that's it. But even when we have homeschooling, we are pretty loose when it comes to a schedule. Our library has some summer programs, so we'll be going to as many of those as possible. We'll have some playdates in there. And some time to get bored. Boredom can be a good thing! However, I do find my kids behave better when we have some homeschooling in there, so our break isn't super long.

Mum
05-28-2013, 10:29 AM
We will also still have piano, ballet and German dance. The kids are doing an Advanced Minecraft camp in June for one week...

Cool! Is this a local thing or something online?

bibiche
05-29-2013, 09:27 AM
...............

inmom
05-29-2013, 10:39 AM
We're joining DH for the second half of an archaeological dig....

Very cool! Can you tell us where it is?

Mum
05-29-2013, 08:15 PM
Sure, Mexico on the Guatemalan border. :)

Please share your adventures with us. That sounds amazing.

BakedAk
06-07-2013, 03:13 PM
TaeKwon-Do for Girl, 2x a week; Library summer reading program (not that they need it - if they could they'd be reading all day anyway - but it'll get us to the lib. at least once a week, and they have some cool programs); Daddy's home from work for the summer, so he can be the main parent/teacher/lightsaber sparring partner, but we have a mini-farm/gigantic garden that we are trying to get going, so he's gonna be attempting to use them as slaves for the first month.

Thanks to Mum (I think), we've discovered DIY.org and the kids are super excited to do some projects for badges. I'm hoping they'll notice that some of the badges are for things they'll have to do anyway for the farm...

As for structure/lack thereof, this past spring was just a messy-accidentally unschooly-fight everything kind of semester, so as long as we lose the "fight everything" part, we'll be improving. Get up, play, eat breakfast, play until Daddy makes you work, work until you can whine your way out of it, slap mosquitoes (repeat throughout), play, have lunch, build something, water everything within reach of the hose (while looking for rainbows), jump in mud, swing/play/read until Daddy makes you work some more, argue with Mom about washing up, eat dinner, play (Boy) or practice harp (Girl), have read aloud or go outside for a bit more play, go to bed, dream happy dreams of Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle having a lightsaber battle while playing Quidditch.

bibiche
06-07-2013, 03:52 PM
Please share your adventures with us. That sounds amazing.
Oh, goodness. I am hoping there will be no adventure involved. It probably wasn't a good idea to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark the other night.

mpippin
06-07-2013, 04:38 PM
I had every intention of having a free for all summer but Tuna says she wants to jump right into fifth grade. Who am I to stop her? So we're beginning Monday with this schedule:

Mornings (Monday, Wednesday, Friday): Bravewriter, Life of Fred, Story of the World 2 (adding in German, art, and music after a month or so, then adding in Tuesdays and Thursdays late summer)

Tuesday, Thursday afternoons: volunteer work

Free time every other minute of the day

Lots of cancelled schedules due to day trips in Germany, too.

Mum
06-09-2013, 09:50 AM
Get up, play, eat breakfast, play until Daddy makes you work, work until you can whine your way out of it, slap mosquitoes (repeat throughout), play, have lunch, build something, water everything within reach of the hose (while looking for rainbows), jump in mud, swing/play/read until Daddy makes you work some more, argue with Mom about washing up, eat dinner, play (Boy) or practice harp (Girl), have read aloud or go outside for a bit more play, go to bed, dream happy dreams of Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle having a lightsaber battle while playing Quidditch.

This needs to be illustrated and published as a picture book. I predict Caldecott Award.