Monday, May 21, 2012

The First Summer

So, here it is - our first summer of homeschool. I know it is an option for us to not school over the summer, as most traditional schools do. However, I've always preferred year-round schooling, and so, we plot and plan for our summer. There have been a few changes based on what I learned this first year.

We are doing a slow, abbreviated schedule this summer. The boys will only have classes three days a week. Yup, I said boys. We had Nate in preschool at our local YMCA, which he enjoyed. With an August 1 birthday, if he were to go to public school, we could either put him in kindergarten or wait another year until he turned 6. Scholastically, he seems to be very advanced for his age. Like AJ, he is amazing at math. His fine motor skills need a lot of work - his writing is just awful and his coloring looks like something Abby, at not quite 1, could do. However, he loves to be read to, he is picking up on words fast, and his whole world revolves around music. Seriously, his life is a miracle. You've not laughed until you've heard him sing the blues when he's been sent to his room for punishment. He still needs some work with following directions and working independently. These are not things the Y can teach him in 6 hours a week. So, we decided to pull him out early and start him on a kindergarten / preschool hybrid to help increase his other, non-academic skills.

So, as we plan to school both boys full-time come fall, we decided to work into it slowly by starting them off together this summer. For this first week, I planned some things for Nate to do, all with adult direction, some things for AJ to do, most he should be able to do with very little direction, and then things for them to do together. Some history, science, and life skills seemed to be the easiest to do together. I only planned for one week. No sense in planning the whole summer just to have to change everything if something doesn't work.

At this point, I feel like I'm a homeschooling expert, and a homeschooling novice, all at the same time. The more I read about schooling, education, intelligence, college, and unschooling, the more my opinions about things have changed. Some of these things are topics for a future blog, but for now, I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has about homeschooling. If I don't have an answer, trust me, I know where you can find it!