Wow, summer is really zooming by! While summer itself is only about half-over, we are rapidly approaching the time to start our formal schooling on our personal, year-round schedule. I had originally thought of starting back up with our studies next week, which is when the local elementary school starts their year-round schedule. Except that I am not ready to start our classes yet! LOL! So I am not sure if we will continue in summer break mode or if I will have us all ease into some light work as we slowly build into a more full load of work. (The local middle school follows a traditional schedule and doesn’t start up until the last week of August. Besides, I don’t like following a traditional school schedule. It leads to burn-out in the winter time – even if we are in public school.)
Part of me wants to have them do some relaxed schooling and the other part of me wants to force me to take a real break from all-things-school! I have spent most of the last few weeks working on plans for the upcoming school year – listing all the books we will use, breaking them into “terms” so I know when we will do what, putting them into our online scheduler, focusing on building the science program for us, previewing books that I might want to use for several different subjects, deciding which to buy and from where, and which to just use from the library, etc. So I am thinking that I should force myself to take a week where I do nothing school-prep related and just try to relax and enjoy myself! Maybe force myself to pick up my paintbrush again or my sketchpad! And spend some time with the boys doing things they enjoy instead of things we need to do. Maybe some more chess games are in order!
After doing that, then maybe we will ease into schooling for the first week or two, especially since Alex Rider has a Boy Scout Jamboree to attend August 5th-7th that would break up any rhythm we would start to establish. Plus, our core curriculum hasn’t arrived yet so we can’t really start our history and language arts studies full-force until that arrives and I have time to look through it. It is supposed to ship late July, but I am not sure if they are on-schedule for that and when it might arrive. I was thinking this would be a good time to get some miscellaneous learning done. I want them to go through the PowerPoint software tutorial I bought so they are well-versed in the program, I would like to go through 2 books with them on study habits, techniques, and goal-setting designed for middle and high-schoolers, I would like to read through some nature study books with them and spend some time outdoors “communing with nature”, and I would like to share some of my thoughts with them on the upcoming school year. Maybe we will start our Italics handwriting program during this time, too, so we can focus on getting off to a good start. I told them that I wanted to start out doing it together right after dinner at the dinner table. That way I can be sure they are following the directions carefully and spending time focusing on correct, proper formation instead of just speeding through it just to be done. That shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes/evening except on Wednesdays when Alex Rider has his Scout meeting. I have found that they need some more practice on penmanship since they do most of their schoolwork on the computer. It would be good to start this before we start our nightly read-aloud/narration/discussion sessions.
So I think I’ll give myself a couple of more days to “finalize” – at least for now – our course planning, and take that much-needed week of rest and relaxation. Maybe that will help me feel like I am getting a summer break, even though I still have to go to work every day! 🙂