Friday, May 4, 2007

ElCloud Summer School Plans

Most years, we finish our school year in late May or early June (usually after the other area schools).  Then we do nothing for the summer, other than swim lessons and the library's reading program.  And usually, by the middle of July, we're all tired of summer break.  I'm usually tired of the restless bickering children with not enough to do.  So we start school in late July or early August (before the other area schools). 

But this year, I've decided to plan some light summer school instead.  I've been "itching" to "row" Five In A Row, volume 4 again.  The oldest two girls "rowed" it once before moving to Beyond Five In A Row -- before we switched to Tapestry of Grace.  But the younger children have never "rowed" FIAR vol. 4.  I've been wanting to "row" it again, but not wanting to set aside Tapestry of Grace to do it.

Well, I have a plan!  At first, I started to wonder if my children would mind "rowing" FIAR volume 4 through the summer.  But we've never done "summer school" before, so I wasn't sure.  I just pondered it quietly.  Then I realized that 6 yo J needed to spend some one-on-one time with me learning some things that he hadn't picked up through the usual "trickle down effect" common in homeschool families.  So, I was thinking of different things to teach him through the summer, and it just evolved from there.  Summer school for everyone, although it will only be a short half hour for the older girls, and the boys separately.  And it will be flexible.  I'm sure there will be days we don't do any lessons. 

I pulled out a calendar, and my FIAR vol. 4 last week.  It looks like we can "row" all but two of the vol. 4 books this summer.  And since there are two winter vol. 4 books, I'm going to save those two for a December break from Tapestry of Grace.  Usually, I have split the children by  ages.  I grouped A and R together, and C and J together in schooling.  But this summer, I'm going to do it differently.  I'm going to have all 3 girls do the FIAR vol. 4 with me.  The boys will be doing something different.

I originally was thinking of having a "Letter of the Day" type plan for the boys.  And I remembered a friend doing that with her son.  But when I asked her, it turned out to be a Letter of the Week lesson plan.  There are several different free curriculum plans at the website ... http://www.letteroftheweek.com .   But I don't want this to be a 26 week program, so I decided to just use a few parts of her lesson plans, and make it a Letter of the Day program.  We will cover 2 or 3 letters each week, with some other activities on other days.  I think we'll read a book from her suggested books each day, and I'll print a handwriting or coloring page for that letter, too.  This will mostly be targeted for 6 yo J, but I know 3 yo M will enjoy the story time and will have fun with a coloring page, too.  I need to find a website that will have the right type of worksheet.  I know they're out there.  I just need to choose one. 

I think that having a little structure to each day, a little something to do,  will help us get through the whole summer this year.   At least, I hope so.  If we have to add in some other subjects toward the end of the summer, we can do that.  It won't mean abandoning the plans I already have.

We have two more weeks of Tapestry of Grace, Year 2, Unit 1.  As soon as we finish Unit 1, we'll start in with our summer school plans.    So I need to finish tweaking my plans and ideas in the next two weeks.  Summer School begins on May 21.  Regular School (Tapestry of Grace) will resume on August 27 or September 3 if we take a week off first.   We may add in other subjects before then, and we may have to tweak our plans if unexpected events come up.   We're not going to be inflexible.

I'm excited about the lighter summer school, though, and looking forward to it.  I think the children are also.  No one cried when I mentioned summer school, at least.  That's a good start. 

Blessings,
April

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