If folks in the deep (read: hot and muggy) South want to ‘take the summer off’ from homeschooling, I can understand, but for those of us in Vermont, summer is the only time we can actually get out and about fairly reliably without freezing/getting soaked/drowning in mud, so if we took summer off, we’d be missing the best part of the year!
Our goals and plans for the summer:
1. Get the girls really reading. Big D knows how (less than more), but simply *doesn’t*, at least where I can see/hear her and thus know where she’s at with it. Beara, despite being able to copy all of her letters, doesn’t seem to recognize all of them in print when she comes to them. They both want to join the library’s summer reading program though, so hopefully that will be motivation for them, and Buddy is interested in learning the rest of his letters, so fun games for letter and sound recognition followed by tons of sounding out, should hopefully carry their skills a long way by September.
2. Backing up a bit in our Usborne IL World History book to really dive into prehistoric lifeforms. We were reading a spread a night at bedtime earlier this spring, but it didn’t seem to stick, so we’ll read it again, explore relevant videos with our new Discovery Education Streaming, and do scads of drawings and models. I’m SO glad that both Dottie’s Homeschool Universe and Satori Smiles have already covered this ground for me, as that gives me more time to jump on in! Thanks, ladies! I’m hoping that we can play with this, and human evolution up to the time of the earliest civilizations, over the whole summer, then be ready for SOTW Ancients come September.
3. Our outdoor education plans are a bit more scattershot, but basically involve amping up our observation time and skills, and starting to ask more why and how questions about what we’re seeing. We’re doing a bunch of gardening, and I’m hoping to start taking them to ECHO‘s Tuesday morning wildlife explorations this week, and spend some time in their new bioluminescence exhibit when the inevitable rain is getting us down later this summer. The big thing we’re really running with this summer is Beara’s fascination with rocks. We’ve been gifted with a bag of uncut geodes and a medium pizza sized fossil filled rock lately, so we need to have some serious chipping and hammering time to see what we’ve got, plus I have a bunch of local geology/fossil-hunting field trips planned, including to a fossil park on Isle la Motte, and to a granite quarry down Barre-way. (I’ve even got some experiments planned to (hopefully) show how granitic plutons, dykes/sills, and erosion work, involving ice, jello, and injections of melted chocolate. Gonna be messy, but hopefully fun, and definitely delicious!)
4. Get all three kids reliably counting to 100. We’ve been counting steps, pushing on swings, lego pieces, you name it. If they can recognize the written numerals as well, great, but I’ll be happy if they can just recite them! Buddy is actually doing almost as well at this as are the girls, likely do to his not being able to pump
5. On a non-academic, and likely TMI, level, I’m really hoping to officially get the girls graduated to non-padded underpants. This is mostly a confidence issue, but learning to *actually respond* to their bodies’ early warnings of needing to pee, rather than waiting until it is convenient for their personal schedules, is a big part of it, too. Saying that they take their drawing/gardening/storytelling seriously is an understatement!
6. A bunch of long-weekend/most-of-a-week road trips are on the calendar, too: trips to Boston (for the Museum of Science, the Harvard-Peabody, and the South Shore), one each to Montreal and Western Massachusetts, as well as four more events with the SCA, including NH, NY, and ME, for which I have been sewing reproduction clothing like mad, since these kids of mine refuse to quit growing! We learn scads on such trips, and we *all* get to see family and friends, so, even with the current price of petrol, these are non-negotiable parts of our summer plans. Plus, I need them to recharge: in addition to all the rest of this, I have major repair and purge jobs planned both indoors and out for when we’re at home!
How about you, Gentle Reader? What are YOU investigating and exploring this summer? I’d love to know! 🙂