Sunday, May 22, 2011

Do You Homeschool in the Summer?

Traditional school lets out for the summer in mid-June. Even the tracks at year-round schools take a five- to six-week break. But what about homeschoolers?

As with everything else “homeschool,” the answer depends on the family asked. Some closely follow a traditional school schedule, others take a few weeks here and there, while others homeschool year-round.

My family falls in the last category. I believe learning can be found everywhere, so we don’t stop learning just because we turn a page on the calendar. But, since our activities do change to match the season, our educational focus must adapt.

With the wonderful weather, we spend more time outside gardening, playing, and exploring. Children learn best by doing, so including them in outside chores or opening up the front door and saying "play outside" allows them to enjoy many undertakings which the many months of cold and inclement weather denied them.

Since traditional schools are out for the many weeks of summer, the local recreation departments increase their class offerings. We take advantage of this to try out new sports, games, and activities that we couldn't do on our own. Of course, Cub Scout camp is a must every year, as is the HSC Conference in August.

Music and chess lessons continue, as do language studies, reading, science, and math. We may adjust our expectations depending on how busy we are with other activities, but that's really nothing new.

We don't do extensive summer travel, as everywhere is more crowded and expensive than in the off-season. We do try to incorporate a few day trips, here and there, as historical sites and museums often gear up for summer visitors.

This year, we're attending Shakespeare Santa Cruz, as my eldest son has taken an interest in the bard.

Life doesn’t stop because the days are longer. In fact, longer days mean more learning time for us. When learning is fun, why would you want to stop?

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