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Schooling Year Round: Summer School

Did you wrap up your school year this week? I know many have and while we are so close, we still have a good week to finish up some of the basics I had planned for the academic school year. (My high school boys had their last day of school today, however!)

Even though we homeschool year round, I try to have our basics wrapped up by the end of May so we can have an easy, fun summer of learning. But this year, I'm adding in a few basics like writing and grammar.

One of the things I love about homeschooling year round is that it takes a little of the pressure off during the school year. We are involved in sports and activities outside of the home and with shorter days, we have less time in the day to get things done, but I also have less energy from lack of sunshine. While I love the sunshine and the boost of energy it gives me in the summer, too much sun will drain my energy, so on those hot days that we aren't playing in the water or eating frozen watermelon popsicles, we'll be inside cooling off by the window air conditioner doing school.

Plus, some learning is just better suited to warmer weather. Summer is the perfect time for nature walks, studying insects, and growing things!

Plus (another one), I'll go crazy if I don't do some formal learning. If we school for 2 hours a day, there will still be plenty of daylight hours for other work and play, and we won't be schooling every day - maybe 3 days a week.

What we have planned this summer:

  • Spelling: All About Spelling 4 finished!
  • Science: Exploring Creation With Botany 

With All About Reading Level 4 (link to my review) being the last level in the reading program, we were anxious to finish so we took some time off of spelling to finish reading. Malachi soared through Level 4 and is now reading at an adult level, which means he can decode any word he comes across (yay!). His confidence is sky high and I'm so pleased to have him graduate All About Reading. He's now completed levels 1 through 4 and I couldn't be happier with the results!

With reading all done for the year, we've moved on to finish up All About Spelling 4. We picked back up with Lesson 6 a few short weeks ago, and we finished Lesson 14 this week. Spelling comes easy and natural to him now, so lessons are quick. We'll wrap this up by the end of June.

We are back to working on Write Shop Junior D and this week Malachi wrote a Science Fiction story. Sci Fi is not his favorite genre so he is excited to move on to learn how to write a Mystery! And I'm on the look out for a cute detective hat!

Despite how much I like Write Shop Junior, I'm feeling the need to provide both Malachi and Eliana more grade level English (in addition to our normal reading, spelling, and dictation). It might be because English is scheduled in Bigger Hearts, but it might also be the sudden realization that Malachi is going to be a 5th grader - that's only one year away from Middle School. So, I ordered BJU English 4 Writing and Grammar to work on over the summer to make sure we covered 4th grade well enough.

Excited to do Botany! I have their notebooks printed, they've designed their cover pages, and I just need to have the books spiral bound. Since we will be following the 10 week schedule, I did not want to be pressured to do every notebooking activity or mini book, so I opted not to buy the Journals. I used the original notebooking pages with my older boys in 2007, and we enjoy looking back at them. I even notebooked alongside my older boys so it is fun to show the kids the pages I did. :)

  • Science: Exploring Creation With Botany (to tie into One Small Square Woods from Bigger Hearts for His Glory)

Still deciding if we will do: (decided we will break from History for the summer)
*I bought this book new from the Scholatic Teacher's Store for $4.86. Don't buy this one on Amazon. 

Links to Amazon are affiliate links that I think are worth it.

We are currently doing read-alouds on early colonial life before moving on to Benjamin Franklin, but with all the learning I have planned for Bo, I might take a break from History this summer and focus on Science.

I've also ordered BJU English 2 for Eliana and she is 6 reading and 3 spelling lessons away from finishing All About Reading and Spelling 2.

She finished her Math Lessons 2 a couple months ago and has moved on to Math Lessons 3. She is on Lesson 12 (Week 12) and we will continue math this summer but at a much more relaxed pace.


Bo and I are still working through Before Five in a Row. Here are the books and units I currently have planned for this summer: (all done!)

I was still deciding if we will row Ask Mr. Bear, Prayer for a Child, and If Jesus Came to My House, but after typing all this out, I think these can wait until fall. :)

The ABC Bunny will be a celebration of finishing uppercase letters in All About Reading Pre-reading. I could tell Bo was ready for a break from ABCs, so I thought that would be a great place to stop and suggested an ABC party to celebrate! I have some plans up my sleeve that I hope will start us off to a great summer of delightful learning.

Don't worry, plenty of water play, playing in the dirt, walks to the park, popsicles, lemonade, summer camp, camping, smores, and more await us this summer.

Bo will play Itty Bitty Soccer, Elli will do Theatre camp, soccer camp, and basketball camp, and Malachi will do Challenger Soccer camp, and Y Soccer camp. I'm hoping to have them do swimming lessons, too (as we do yearly). Bo will continue Speech Therapy once a week. My teen boys will work, play on a summer soccer league, and hang out with their friends. Jordan is working full time for 4 college credits, leading the mowing crew at the Y, and then staffing at our church youth camp this summer.

Luke and I will be getting away with the three younger kids for a week long vacation at a condo in a small resort town to celebrate our 12th anniversary, and we are planning to take the whole family to Yellowstone Park (since its in our backyard and we've yet to take them!).

As for me, I'm hoping to sew my first Five in a Row quilt, buy a pair of shoes I can walk in, buy a Fit-Bit and get in 10,000 steps a day, do a Proverbs Bible Study, and read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I'm feeling energetic! :) Let's hope!

With all the rain we've have lately, I'm excited for sunshine, warmer weather and SUMMER. How about you?