Monday, May 23, 2011

Education Through Summer Activities

I visited The Crafty Classroom this morning, one of my favorite blogs, and noted that after the birth of another child schooling would not end on time for them. I can relate to this, as an Usborne Books and More consultant I was busy during the fall and winter months with book fairs and other events. While the boys were encourage to bring their school work along they did not leaving them with 40 something more days of schooling. By my calculations school will end sometime in July? No, I look forward to that summer break just as much as they do, if not more.

Because my 14 year old will be starting 9th grade in the fall, and this has been our worst homeschool year ever, I decided to test him. I told him if he is where he needs to be we can nix the rest of the school year. However, I am a stickler for rules and encourage my children to be the same, what example am I setting if I allow them to cheat out of the time the state has mandated?

In Tennessee it was required that we school not only 180 days, but also 4 hours a day. The boys would, most of the time, be done before the 4 hour period was up. In talking with other homeschoolers I found out that they utilized other educational things to fill the void. The boys would help make meals (home ec,) they spent a lot of time reading, counted rather during school hours or not. I learned to take anything which benefited them educationally and counted it as school time. Recently Brandon helped my husband rotate the tires, this was something he never did before and it was counted as learning.

If you are in the same situation as Valerie and myself and seek to be done, look for ways to count activities as educational. Once a month we order pizza, Brett looks at the different flyers to see which place has the best deal for our money. Not only is this math but also home economics and finances. Camps geared towards sports can be counted as P.E., other camps can count for science, P.E. and more. We will end our formal school year soon but I will continue to check the days off honestly to complete the required 180 days.

Come back tomorrow and I will discuss a sample of how to track a days worth of schooling. I also hope to have a PDF or somewhere you get one to use.

Note: I would not count Brett checking flyers as a full day of school.

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