I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

While the notion of Sabbath schooling with its Biblical balance of work and rest compels me to tweak our school year schedule each-and-every year, I continue to stand firm with tradition. I continue to cling to the normal nine-months-of-school-and-three-months-of-summer-break pattern that most homeschoolers embrace. 

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I'll be honest, every year as Saduary...I mean, the bleak month of January...approaches, I really begin to second guess my decision NOT to schedule in a Sabbath-rest week. The winters are long here in the tundra and school can sometimes feel long too. But, in May, as summer slowly peaks around the corner, I am so very glad for the welcome break. I am reminded of why the nine month school year is a MUST for us.

The sun calls us out-of-doors and the warm June breeze whispers of great possibilities.

For three months, the school books are abandoned and the school table is deserted. But don't be fooled by the uncluttered schedule; the learning is still happening.

It just comes at a slower pace--an unhurried, unrushed pace.

Our summer schooling is gentle.
Purposefully gentle, and intentionally long.

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Here's what I have planned for our summer schooling.


As is our habit, we will pack away our Good Morning Board, but will continue to follow a similar pattern of morning routine. The older three children and I will continue to do our own personal devotions before breakfast and will each take rotating turns reading a Bible story to the youngest two boys. Our current devotional materials are as follows:

Daily Reading Time

The oldest three boys will continue to read out loud to me each and every day. It usually amounts to be around 15 minutes or one chapter a piece. Sweetie Pea will read at her leisure...which is typically every extra moment she can find in the day. In addition, all of the kids will get plenty of extra time to read during my "mommy time-out"...I mean their Discovery Quiet Time...and during our summer bedtime binge reading hours. All of these pleasure-reading opportunities will be tallied for our library's summer reading program. 

Summer Science Project

Since we are buried under snow for much of the year, summer has always been the perfect time for us to do more hands-on, nature-study type projects. For the past six summers or so, we have chosen one new-to-us nature-themed topic and have focused on it for three whole months. 

After much deliberation and brainstorming, we took a family vote and decided that this year for our summer-long study, we will learn about horses. 

I've already purchased a few gently used horse guides and will be on the hunt for some videos and free area demos and presentations. We have a few friends who own horses and hope to visit them a few times throughout the summer.

I'll end the study with a trip to a local boarding stable to watch the farrier and stable hands in action. Perhaps we'll even be able to take a ride around the pasture. (But, that will just be our little secret, K?)

Math Review

While I am not one of those gotta-finish-the-math-book-even-if-it-drags-all-the-way-through-summer kind of mommas, I do recognize the need for some purposeful math practice. The kids will each get to play a favorite FREE online math game a few times a week to keep those facts fresh in their minds. 

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

4-H Dog Training Project

The kids have joined a local chapter of 4-H. Obviously, since we are relatively new to the program, I don't know all the intricacies of it. But, the family-style meetings and learning-for-mastery goals go hand-in-hand with two of our family's core values. So, 4-H has been a natural fit so far.

Since we recently welcomed Oliver ("Ollie"), a wonderfully mild-mannered 4-month-old terrier/chihuahua/beagle mix, into our home, I've signed the oldest two kids up for the dog training project. Once a week, the three of us and Ollie will get trained in dog training. 

Because of their age, Blonde Warrior and Greased Lightning may not participate in the project, but they can attend the monthly 4-H club meetings and show our new pup at the 4-H pet show at the county fair at the end of the summer. 

County Fair Exhibits

An absolute MUST to our summer is the county fair. We always enter several school projects into the fine arts categories and attend many of the special demonstrations and shows throughout the week. If truth be told, to say that I enjoy the fair is a gross understatement. I kind of morph into a crazed muppet during fair week...waving my arms with wild, flailing gestures of excitement and standing gape-mouthed at all the booths. Ironically, we never ride any of the rides. That's just not our thing. We go for the food-on-a-stick. We go for the friends. We go for the live animals and handcrafts on display. We're kind of weird like that. I guess.

But, as Templeton use to say, "a fair is a veritable smorgasbord!"

Individual Interests

When we're not enjoying a weekly afternoon picnic with friends at a local park or beach, we'll be focusing much of our attention on individual interests. Since the icy winter makes it nearly impossible for me to venture out nine months out of the year, I don't mind playing taxi driver in the summer time. I allow each of my five-and-older kids to sign up for one individual extra curricular activity. For the most part, we always attend these events together even when only one child is actually participating. This encourages sibling connections and allows each child to play sideline cheerleader for all the others. 

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Sweetie Pea

  • "Mommy's Helper" for a young family in our church once a week
  • an afternoon of a ropes course adventure with her brother at an area Bible camp
  • twice-a-week non-competitive baseball at a local park
  • VBS week at church

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Super Boy

  • weekly art lessons with a retired art teacher/artist in our town
  • a week-long morning robotics camp 
  • an afternoon of a ropes course adventure with his sister at an area Bible camp
  • VBS week at church

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Blonde Warrior & Greased Lightning

  • twice-a-week T-ball at a local park
  • VBS week at church

Summer Gentle Schooling 2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Toss all that together with plenty of runs through the sprinkler, a bottle rocket launch or two...or twenty, a family camping trip, and plenty of visits to the library and you have a pretty accurate portrait of our gentle summer learning. 

It'll be full. But, it'll be slow.
It'll be exciting. But, it'll be gentle

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