Monday, May 19, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Why We Homeschool in the Summer

Homeschooling is such a gift. Madeline absolutely THRIVES when she's learning. We've tried extended summer vacation vs. continuing to homeschool. Continuing lessons was the clear winner!

There are so many reasons we homeschool year round, it was hard to narrow it down! After much thought, here are my top five:

Homeschool Rocks! Reason #1:  The kids go stir crazy if we disrupt their daily routine. 
We made the mistake of taking the summer off between 1st and 2nd grade. Yikes! It wasn't pretty and the kids completely abandoned their normal patterns.

Eating at random hours, not sleeping consistently, getting agitated and flustered very easily. Lessons resumed after a month. All was once again right with the world.

Reason #2:  Our child WANTS to continue learning. We have so much fun homeschooling, burnout doesn't exist. 
To be honest, we take mini breaks all throughout the year. It takes us a lot less time to cover the same material a public school would, so we don't face burnout by year's end. No stressful exams or standardized testing. Quite the opposite, without homeschooling we often feel LOST and BORED!

Once a curriculum is finished and mastery is demonstrated, we just jump right into the next one. So it's not like we have one text for the whole year. Everything just seamlessly flows into the next.

During summer, our 'core subjects' per day are decreased. Instead of 4-6 subjects, we might only do 2-3. Extra time is devoted to art, especially the more complicated projects that have multiple steps and require several sessions to complete. So summer is different, new, and exciting!

Reason #3:  It's the perfect time to introduce unit studies! 

Free Egyptian Clipart Link via
FREE clip art source:  KingTutOne.Com

Sometimes you just want to immerse yourself in a subject. Right now, Madeline is super excited about our summer unit -- Ancient Egypt. When she saw the books I reserved from the library trickling in, she started reading right away! Just a bit more prep is needed and then we'll jump into all these fun activities:

  • Building pyramids
  • Preparing an Egyptian meal
  • Studying the gods and goddesses
  • Reading nonfiction books
  • Making papyrus-style paper
  • Creating maps
  • Dramatic play with paper dolls
  • Writing in hieroglyphics {Scored this book with a set of stamps for just $6}
  • Studying commerce and practicing bartering
  • Drawing Egyptian-style
  • Making mummies
  • Weekend trip to visit The Hall of Ancient Egypt at the Houston Museum of Natural Science 

Reason #4:  The real world doesn't stop just because it's summer. 
The opportunity to learn in the real world is one of my favorite things about homeschooling. But the real world seems to amp up during summer, not take a break.

Our homeschool peeps still want to get together. After polling book club members, no one wanted to break for summer! Discussions, creative activities, games, and crafts are just too fun to miss. Plus, all the kids love seeing their friends.

And then there's all the cultural venues -- taking advantage of extra summer attendance by introducing exciting new exhibits. The World's Largest Dinosaurs at the Perot. Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. So excited to tie in Archaeology with our Ancient Egypt unit!

Reason #5:  It's easy to forget what you've learned if you don't keep applying it!
Maybe this is more true for me than the kids, but I cannot remember anything from three months ago. It might be just too much to ask of the kids, too :)

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