Although parts of this school year have dragged on at an unbearable rate, summer vacation is just around the corner.
Many might be surprised that this is the time of year that teachers are swamped. End of the year assessments, writing portfolios, required curriculum that must be covered, and report cards are just some of the tasks that take over our minds.
I feel an extra responsibility gearing up to say goodbye to these young learners; most of them I have taught and supported for the last two school years.
I am a huge supporter of looping from one grade to another. I know these students’ struggles and celebrations in a way that isn’t always possible with the typical one year experience. This was a professional treat that I don’t regret for a moment!
As a mama, summer vacation is usually a welcomed relief. Stay up and look at the meteor shower time. No annoying homework time. Eat ice cream for dinner time.
Now, as a new homeschooling mama I am about to enter uncharted waters.
On some level, I want a more laid back, more relaxed environment during the summer months. A go with the flow schedule that matches our day by day preferences.
The problem is that I live with if- you-give-me-an-inch-I-will-want-a-mile guy.
Maybe you have one of those at your house too?
Because we aren’t returning to a traditional school in the fall, there isn’t that pressure from the outside world to get back to business. Back to a regular schedule. Back to a regular bedtime and regular learning.
This could be good and bad.
In my mind, I’m thinking that if we do home school a little bit all summer long, we can have an overall lighter load with room for some freedom.
I brought this up with my son at dinner tonight when he asked about the beginning of summer. His expectation was that summer meant no school work at all.
He must have forgotten that even during the summers that were sandwiched between school years, we continued our reading, math and science experiences.
It seems that I might need to up the fun factor and think of better ways to disguise my teaching.
As a parent, how concerned are you with summer learning?
I was always more concerned with my kids getting plenty of down time to explore their own interests and just have fun over the summer. All three of them (well, the girls more than our son) worked themselves to exhaustion during the school years. As they got older I would often suggest a day off from school as a mental health day, by they wouldn’t hear of it. I think if I’d pushed any kind of formal learning over the summers they would have completely burned out. But there was plenty of fun, incidental learning – museums, reading, concerts, etc. -Amy
Mine doesn’t have that push himself problem-only about Minecraft. I have to “encourage” other interests
Oh, Minecraft! A blessing and a curse… 🙂
Thanks to various laws passed over the last decade, our elementary schools do almost no science or social studies/history in the classroom any more – it’s almost all reading and math, with a bit of writing tossed in (if the teacher likes it). A friend of mine has used summers to fill in those gaps and I’m planning on that this summer. Lots of science experiments, museums and historical sites, plus reading, writing and math tossed in.
It won’t be as structured as a regular school day with lots of sitting, but I’m hoping there will be a lot of learning!
That’s terrible! The District where I work is very heavy on writing and science. I find science fun to do with my homeschooler but writing w/ my son is a bit like a trip to the dentist
I actually keep a traditional plan book on what we’re “accomplishing” in homeschool. You can take the teacher out of the classroom…..kind of approach. Although I use no formal curriculum (and actually didn’t in the classroom for years), I jot down things like, “Tangled Web- Brainpop game to identify angle degrees” or “Compare/contrasts Legend of Zelda game guide with graphic novel”. That keeps me in the mindset of what topics/standards we’re hitting along the way. I do that every day and fill in my good old blocks ahead if we cover a lot so I don’t feel so bad on the lazy days.
I plan to keep it going over the summer and offer extra computer time for topics that might need extension and that I can still easily relate to traditional standards. By reviewing standards, I can keep the traditional mindset and yet approach learning tailored to my son’s needs.
I figure, that way, I’ll be covered if we have a slow start for next year. Of course, there’s no place for “accepted responsibility for kitchen mess and cleaned it up on his own without reminders” which mean even more than learning about angles most days.
I so get the “can’t take the teacher out…” because I have a giant notebook divide into subjects and write in it daily what we cover 🙂
I know that I don’t have to but it sure tells me what I am doing and what I still need to teach/ encourage/expose him too 🙂
If you like this, you might like my Mamalode piece 🙂 http://mamalode.com/story/detail/a-pledge-against-being-a-perfect-mom