We just finished our school year, and my mind is already on to how to make the summer one that is laid back and fun but consists of more than me telling my children that they have used up all of their screen time by 9 am and now must find a way to occupy themselves!
I don't want their summer days to be full of school work- although we do complete about 15-20 days from the middle of May to the "official" start of school in August so that we have plenty of flexibility for days to take off during the school calendar year. I love the months of October and April and like to be able to just enjoy beautiful days without putting them onto our school schedule!
I have done lots of different summer plans in the past, but this year I created a Summer Fun Binder for my kids that includes some daily activities and then some choices that can prompt them to some activities. Because we use very few worksheets in Charlotte Mason, this is not a binder of math or writing or science pages, it is more of a place to give them some ideas when their minds are just blank...which some people call "bored" but around here, saying that word means that you get assigned a chore, so it is rare that we hear that word!
The lists for my rising 4th grader are much more detailed, and my plan is to be able to guide her into some different ones by checking them off as she chooses them, and then just print another sheet. This way she is encouraged to try something different than she did the day before- otherwise, let's face it, she will probably play LEGO all day! While I don't necessarily have a problem with that, since it is a type of "masterly inactivity" as Charlotte Mason talks about, I do want to guide her into some areas that she may not go into on her own without a little prompting.
The choices page is in the front of the binder, and behind that are some printable multiplication games (our goal is to learn them this summer since that has been a struggle for her this year), some LEGO challenge pages, some journaling prompts, comic strip templates, etc. I hope to add to it as I continue to find things that can give guidance but encourage free thinking.
The choices for my rising 9th grader are much more general- and she is great at finding lots of things to keep herself busy, so I don't need to give her as much guidance. It is a way, however, to have something to send her to when I have to say, "Enough Gilmore Girls for today...let's find something else to do!" and for her to understand what my daily expectations are for her.
I love the freedom of summer for me as much as for my kids, but I have found with absolutely no structure during our days, things seem to fall apart and unravel pretty quickly. Flexibility within structure is really the only way that I have found to function well around here, so there will be plenty of days that we will swim, play, read, hang out with friends, shop, etc and the these binders won't be touched! But they will be here for the days that we do need some guidance and some ideas.
Feel free to adapt these for you own kids- and I would love to have ideas that you are using with your own kids for the summer!
Click the link to be taken to the Summer Fun Choices pdf!
I am a wife and homeschooling mom who absolutely loves her job! I love to read good books, enjoy art, and sit on my porch with family, friends and any passersby to talk about them and what a good, good Father we all have!