Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer school

And so it begins...the difficult season of homeschooling in the summer when the neighbor kids get out of school.  Every summer, I question why we keep it up all year long.  So this post is to remind  and encourage myself why we're doing this:

1. They would forget so much over the summer that we would spend half the fall reviewing.
2. A little structure is good for them, even in the summer.
3. If we didn't school in the summer, we would have to do a lot more during the other nine months of the year.  Slow and steady seems better.
4. There's no abrupt transition into the first day of school in the fall.
5. We can be flexible and take breaks all year round for vacations, emergencies, playing in the snow, other unscheduled opportunities, etc.
6.  It just makes no sense to me to do nothing for three months.
7.  What would I do all day?

Noah stayed up late last night to get today's independent work done (he's focusing on biology and math this summer, adding history in the fall).  Then he was up early to hang out with his buddy next door.  Normally, we would start our day with devotions and our read aloud book (which is currently The Scarlet Letter) and then get into our subjects that we do together (geography, English, Korean).  There's an hour of mandated quiet time in there somewhere.  But today I let him go out before we got anything done, because:

1. It's a beautiful morning, and the fresh air and sunshine are good for him.
2. It's supposed to rain this afternoon, so we can do our work while it's raining.
3. The neighbor boy is a nice kid and a good friend for Noah.
4. Sarah was still sleeping, and I hardly ever wake her. The girl needs lots of sleep, and if she doesn't get it, we all pay for it.
5.  He finished his math and biology last night.
6.  I'm a nice, compassionate, flexible person, not a rigid, mean ogre.

When Sarah woke up, I gave her the option of going outside to play before school.  I told her it was going to rain later so she could go out and enjoy the outdoors now.  She looked suspicious and said, "So you're just giving me a free pass to go outside before I get anything done?"  I said yes, and she surprised me by choosing to do her math first.

Sarah had just finished her math and was about to go outside when Noah came in and said, "I have an hour till I meet Ben again, so let's get our together work done."  Sarah was not in favor of that since she on her way out, so I let her go.  I did English and Korean with Noah, which I will have to repeat with Sarah later.  He got away before I could get to geography, so we'll do that later too.  The principal thinks I'm too flexible, and maybe I am, but I don't think he understands how difficult it is to strike the right balance between military school and complete freedom.  But we both have the same goal: well-rounded, happy adults who have good memories of their childhood, and who are prepared for whatever God has planned for each of them.

Update: It did finally start raining in the late afternoon, and we did eventually get all the schoolwork done. I finished teaching at 10:30 p.m. 

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