Ignore the calendar. Summer has arrived.
In theory, I like the idea of year-round schooling. I like the idea of learning all the time. In practice, we mostly follow a more traditional school year with what I call “light” school in the summer. Both boys are involved with swimming and diving at our pool and that’s a fun but intense six weeks or so that typically has us at the pool most of the day every day. Somewhere in there we’ll also do the local library summer reading programs, some Math, some Latin and as much History and Science as they want.
At the end of the school year John started using this new math curriculum as a supplement. He’s very good at math but doesn’t always like being challenged. This new curriculum is a little “below” his normal math curriculum but it explores some topics we’ve already covered in a deeper and more complex way. And it’s in a cartoon format that John loves. My plan for summer math is to have him continue working through these books at his own pace and to also have a “problem of the day” that reviews some of the things he learned this year. Math is just one of those subjects that if you ignore for the summer you lose too many skills. For the same reason, I plan on doing Latin weekly just to keep the skills somewhat fresh. David and I will also continue with phonics and Life of Fred math for the same reasons. Add in French with H. (a new subject for the summer), piano lessons almost weekly and several camps and that’s pretty much the summer. The boys are also planning a possible end of summer yard sale and lemonade stand with friends.
The end of the school year kind of snuck up on us. I hadn’t planned an official last day but gave John a list of things he needed to finish. I realized this week that we could finish the list yesterday and as incentive I told him we could have a friend over all day today. It doesn’t really matter but it was kind of amusingly anti-climactic yesterday when I told them “Hey, you’re done with third grade and kindergarten.” They cheered. Then we went back to whatever we were doing at the time.
The upcoming months may sound pretty scheduled but in reality there will be plenty of time for evening bike rides and squirt gun fights and blowing bubbles and mega-Lego building sessions and playing with friends and slowly licking ice cream cones. Starting with today and next week where we are completely taking a break from anything schoolish.