Finally, finally, finally, summer is here!
You cannot know unless you have ever taught middle school the blessed relief that Memorial Day weekend can bring.
This new season brings a major shift in our day to day routine. No more school means no work for Mommy, no 5:00 wake-up call, no rush-hour commute, no daycare… the list goes on! However, rather than think of this summer as a chance to just kick back and eat bonbons, we’re instead using it as a chance to test-drive our home school routines in a full-day schedule, rather than the evenings/weekends style we’ve been doing during the school year. Now when I say “home school,” keep in mind that my kids are currently three and fifteen months, so we’re not talking about anything very academically rigorous. Still, we want to make sure we use our time well and do some productive growing. To that end, we’ve set up some goals for the next two months. They are…
- Keep an orderly garden. Our three-year-old has some responsibilities here, including watering the vegetable garden, helping with weeding, and not stomping on the pepper plants. I’ll let you know how that goes.
- Practice math five days a week for at least ten minutes a day. We are going to try out Math 1A from the Ron Paul Curriculum and Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic to guide us with this.
- Practice phonics five days a week for at least ten minutes a day. We are going to test drive Ron Paul’s Reading 1A, which includes phonics and handwriting. I am not sure he’s ready for the handwriting, but we’ll put it out there and see how he does. He has done a couple of lessons already and really enjoyed the phonics portion.
- Gain confidence in the pool. Starting Wednesday, our three-year-old is taking swimming lessons three days a week at our neighborhood pool. We are also making it a goal to get to the pool as a family (Daddy included) at least once a week so that both boys can get more experience in the water.
- Expand responsibilities around the house. Our three-year-old has taken on a lot of new responsibilities this year, and we’d like to keep teaching him new skills and new ways to contribute through the summer. Among these are sorting socks from the laundry, putting his own clean clothes away in his dresser, practicing sweeping and mopping, and helping more with meal planning, preparing, and serving.
How do you establish goals for different time periods in your home school? How far ahead to do you look? How often do you stop and reassess?