We’ve got a tradition at our house that is now 3 years in the making. Summer school is absolutely the highlight of the year. All of us can hardly wait to close the textbooks and start summer.
I started summer school at the end of Oldest’s K4 year for a few different reasons. First, we love the structure that school brings to our day. Too much unstructured play breeds chaos and bickering at my house. We’re a family that loves a routine and a regular schedule. Second, I didn’t want to spend three months forgetting what we’d just spent months to learn. I wanted something to hold it all in their little heads and to keep it growing.
Thus, summer school was born, but not an endless rhythm of the same lessons: even we need a break. Summer school is our time for nature walks, nature journals, and nature study; science and discovery; messy art and picture studies; classical music, water parties, and mud pie bakeries. It’s not at all “school” in the traditional sense. It’s not even school in the classical sense. It’s more a mixture of Charlotte Mason and unschooling, nurturing a fascination for the beauty of creation.
And our summer studies have been some of our most memorable. Middlest, who was 2 when we had our first “summer school,” loves Handel’s water music and often asks when we will have another water party. Both of the kids light up when they see a waterlily painting; it’s Monet! And the nature journals are close-companions all summer long, including on vacation trips.
So what’s on the agenda for this summer?
- Mozart (some read-aloud books and a playlist on my Naxos app for my ipod)
- Artistic Pursuits K-3 book 1 (snagged one on Ebay) and lots of chalk art!
- Lady Treble and the Seven Notes, as well as some recorder lessons
- trees and plants study (thanks to a subscriber freebie from NotebookingPages.com and My Nature Journal)
Let’s break out the swimming pool and turn up the Mozart. It’s time for summer!