Summer Unschooling

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.

Summer School

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?

Let’s break out the swimming pool and turn up the Mozart. It’s time for summer!