Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Homeschooling Through the Summer

In Pennsylvania, homeschoolers can start their new school year on July 1st. In the homeschool community, the question is "Do you homeschool over the summer?" While the decision is a personal one based upon variables in each person's life, I thought I'd share our homeschooling through the summer strategy and reasons.

We do homeschool throughout the summer. I based my choice upon my needs and the needs of my son. One of the reasons we homeschool through the summer is that my son needs to keep the learning process going so that he can retain what he has learned and we avoid the summer slide. Since my son has been diagnosed with learning disabilities (Dysgraphia: a writing learning disability and Dyscalculia: a math learning disability) it is essential to implement the best learning strategies for him which means doing lessons all year long. Another reason we homeschool through the summer is because I get tired of hearing; "I'm bored!" and "I have NOTHING to do!" that inevitably arises each summer break. Finally, with my health issues and my son's diagnosis of Autism, having our school year spread out allows us to take days off later in the year when we need them the most.

In the summertime, we are more relaxed in our studies. We try to focus on fun field trips and interesting learning opportunities. For example, we are planning a trip to Philadelphia. During that trip, we will take advantage of the numerous opportunities that the city has to offer in culture, museums, sports, and other fun, educational experiences. Our local library is hosting a duct tape crafting class for teens this summer. It is something new and different. Swimming is not only fun it is physical education. Be creative!

Because I am on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Homeschool Review Crew, we do work on specific lessons throughout the summer as we review products. Currently, we are working on The American Revolution with the Time Traveler American Series from Home School in the Woods, Fascinating Biology from Fascinating Education, Faith with Trust Fund (DVD) and Love Was Near (Book) from Mapelle Films, Greek with Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! - Level 3 Set from Greek 'n' Stuff, English with English on a Roll, Aviation from Doctor Aviation, The French Revolution with In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio, and Math with No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials.

The summer with its relaxed atmosphere allows me to focus on teaching Life Skills, Character, and work on needed skills like Reading and Math. For example, I have been teaching my son how to take care of our automobile. I've taught him how to check his oil and how to fill the windshield washer fluid. We have also worked around the house: painting and using tools. For Math, I've been trying to help him understand personal finances and responsible management of his money. These are skills that will last him a lifetime and help him to become even more independent.

Whatever you choose to do this summer, have fun, be creative, explore and learn new things. None of us is too old to learn and to grow.

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