I really like the idea of a schedule or plan. But, if I'm going to be honest with myself and realistic, I need to look back on our homeschool year. If we held down a tight schedule for school, it would make sense to keep somewhat of a schedule (albeit loosened) during the summer- after a couple weeks of free-for-all-yeah!-it's-summer. Alas, we had no tight schedule. There was a flow to our days but, with an infant-turned-toddler who made life wonderful but school difficult, a schedule was out of the question. For us, anyway.
So, instead of a summer "schedule", I have some daily goals for Sam and Sadie that I plan to aim for each day. I tried to include activities that are very similar to what we are used to doing- I want to be deliberate about doing them regularly. I also didn't want the goals to be too lofty that we couldn't realistically follow through with them most days and there must be plenty of time for free play- it IS summer, after all :-).
Have Them Pitch In We think kids need to contribute to the family in more ways than increasing the amount of laundry there is to do and food there is to make. They are getting old enough to really contribute. This will make our lives easier which makes us as parents happier and with more free time to spend with them.
They already do a great job cleaning up all their toys and little chores when I ask, but they are ready for more. I plan on enlisting their help with Miriam more, having them help more with freezing and canning (when the helping doesn't involve boiling water), wash dishes and help clean (vacuuming mostly).
Asking one of them to play with a fussy Miriam for a few minutes while I finish up dishes or get dinner in the oven is a huge help. They can also help with her outside. The other day I needed to pick the last of our strawberries before it rained, so I put Miriam in the baby swing in view of the garden and Sam and Sadie took turns pushing her while I picked. This is how I plan on getting our garden weeding down this summer.
Silent Reading Time They are too old for naps, but still need some down time. Reading for Sadie will mean looking at the pictures, but that's just fine. I'm going to announce silent reading time when they are getting on each other's nerves. This gets them away from each other for awhile, makes the house nice and quiet and keeps their noses in books. This may occur more than once a day.
Borders & Barnes and Noble have summer reading programs we're participating in that result in free books.
Outside Time This may sound like a given, but when one of the kids would prefer to be inside, they need some encouragement. This helps with boredom when they are inside, leads to a different kind of creativity, often turns into physical activity and inspires interest in God's creation.
Now, I have learned that the longer they are required to be outside, the more fun they have and creative they become with their play, even though one in particular bemoans the thought.
Summer School No, I don't mean we're going to do school year round, but I do want Sadie to finish learning her letters (this girl has one relaxed attitude when it comes to learning) and I don't want Sam to forget everything he's learned in school like I always did every summer. I'm only talking about 10-15 minutes total.
Read Aloud Time I love reading out loud to the kids, so what was part of our school will continue. We have books lining many a shelf and so we'll go through and see how many we can read.
So, there you have it. The kids are already helping me remember what we have yet to do each day.
What plans or goals do you have for your kids this summer?