Thursday, May 17, 2012

School in the Summer???

It's only 9:30am here at Ladybug Farms.  Thursdays are always the "good days," the only day of the week when Joy doesn't have preschool.  We all get to sleep in a few extra minutes and we can eat breakfast at our leisure.  

And yet, at 6:50am, as I was just finishing up my prayer time, Hubby joined me on the couch.  Then Lizzy and Joy snuggled up with us.  David joined the party by 7:00am.  We all sat around talking and laughing for a few minutes before Hubby had to get ready for work.  All three kids scattered to get dressed and eat breakfast.  By 8:00am we were sitting around the dining room table ready to start school, earlier than normal. 

The kids were attentive as we learned about Nevada and while I read a book about Frederick Douglass.  They did their math without whining or stalling.  They did their spelling and grammar without complaint.  Joy helped me unload the dishwasher, put away laundry, make my bed and clean the kitchen and bathroom floors.  Now the girls are having a tea party in the kitchen while David is finishing up his writing assignment (or is supposed to be).  

If only every school day could be this easy.

The school year is winding down for most people.  Joy only has three more weeks of preschool (guess I should start to think about what I plan to do with her for kindergarten work).  I know I am in the minority when I say that we are not taking the summer off from school.  While we will be stopping most subjects by the second week of June, my kids will continue on with their daily math lessons and daily reading throughout the summer whenever we are home.  Plus I will supply them with lots of nonfiction books on different science topics so they can learn while they keep up their reading skills.

I did this last summer mainly because I was afraid my kids wouldn't be up to par when they reentered the public school system.  In July David took an assessment test through the school he was entering to see where he was at academically.  After he took the test, I let him take the rest of the summer off from math (the whole month of August).  Mid-September he retook the exact same assessment test and scored 3 points lower on the math portion (the equivalent of half a school grade).  Six weeks off from doing math and his abilities dropped that much.  It was enough to convince me that I was right in not taking a three month break from the core subjects.  

We will definitely still have a lot of fun this summer.  We have big plans for fun already and I have a few surprises up my sleeve that I plan to pull out when the kids start to get restless.  I also have some great ideas for nature studies that we haven't had time for yet.  And some cloud gazing.  And a few sprinkler runs.  Some gardening.  Some mud pie making.  We shall see what fun we can come up with this summer.

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