Summer is getting closer and closer and spring is coming to an end. Here in Florida it has already felt like summer for a couple of months, but officially summer will be starting soon and that means no more school; at least it did.
When we first started homeschooling Israel, we followed the public school systems schedule. We took off when they took off and ended the school year when they did. I always felt bad for all those home schooled children who had to do school during the summer and were deprived of a real childhood. What kind of parents would do that to their children? I have come to find out very sane and loving parents.
I have found that homeschooling is not only the choice of education for our children but has also become integrated into our way of life. We have so much freedom that we wouldn't have otherwise. We can take off when we need to take off and put our noses to the books when we need to. Shouldn't we take advantage of that?!
Last year we took off the whole summer. I think I needed a break from school more than the kids did. But when we started back again, it was a nightmare. It was so hard to get back into a schedule after three months of freedom. I felt like all I did the first few months was fight with my kids. Yes, we had some good days but I have to be honest here...it was really hard. I felt like giving up many times.
After much perseverance, prayer and encouragement we finally made some headway and fell into a good groove that has been working really well for us. After all the hard work we put in to get where we are, I can't even think about trying to do it all over again in a couple of months. I just can't. So this is where our decision to homeschool through the summer came in. It might sound selfish but the well being of my state of mind affects everyone!
Here are some other reasons we have chosen to go this route:
* Because we live in Florida the summers are extremely hot and humid; meaning we can't go outside without dripping buckets of sweat. We practically live in our swim suits. The mornings are the only time it is bearable for us to go out. It usually rains in the afternoons and the little ones sleep; making it the perfect time to do school.
*The fall is beautiful here and it's so hard to be inside. We try to take advantage of it as much as we can. I can't tell you how nice it is to be outside without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and drenched in sweat. It only makes sense that we enjoy the outdoors and stay outside as much as we can during the fall.
* Since Josh is a youth pastor his busy time is in the summer. He goes with the youth to summer camp and is involved in a lot events and conferences. So the fall is the perfect time for us to go on vacation.We usually go up to Georgia. Not only is the weather always perfect but it's so nice to not have to fight the summer crowds.
November and December are filled to the brim with lots of activities and celebrations. We have our anniversary, 3 birthdays and Thanksgiving. Oh and did I mention it's hunting season which means the boys go hunting with Josh when he can take them. I don't think I need to tell you why December is busy. It's filled with present and treat making and lots of time spent with family and friends.
What our school year will look like
Most likely we will take off most of November and December. We will do a unit study on Thanksgiving in November and one in December also. Once January starts we will focus more on getting back into a good schedule.
Because Josh is a pastor and teaches on Sundays he has off on Mondays and we really enjoy being able to spend time together with him. We do projects, go to the zoo or beach or just go out to breakfast together. It's so nice to be able to go places with him when it's not crowded and busy. Unlike most people we really like Mondays. If he is gone on Mondays then we hunker down and do school or have a cleaning day.
In the summer many of the kid's friends will have off school, so we will want to spend time with them. We will take off 2-3 weeks and then get back to our regular schedule. Some days we might go to the beach early in the morning and then hit the books when we come back.
I know that our summer will be a little more laid back than the rest of the year but what I really want to maintain is the boys being used to doing some school work so it is not such a shock to their systems when school starts back in full force. I do have hopes for us doing most of our subjects, but as long as we can keep up with math, reading, and writing this summer I will be happy. Over all going through the summer will make for a more relaxed year for us not just summer.
If taking off for the summer is your salvation then by all means go ahead and take off. If you have a really hard time getting your kids back into a routine after the summer try integrating some school work during the summer. If the weather where you are affects your daily life; work around it. Find out what works for you and don't be afraid to be bound by what everyone else is doing.
I love the life that we have because of homeschooling. I love that not only are my children learning the essential subjects, but they are learning practical life lessons, curiosity and creativity that can't be taught through books. Yes, there are days where I pull my hair and don't know how I am going to get through another one but seeing my children have the opportunity to have such a great education and childhood makes it all worth it.
Do you homeschool year round or take a break during the summer?
What works best for you?
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