Jump to content

Menu

Does Anyone Actually Take the Summer Off?


Recommended Posts

Its always seemed odd to me that my PS'ed friends took Summer off, and I mean they TOOK IT OFF. They could and did go weeks without doing anything even remotely academic.

 

They only read for "points" and what not for when they'd return to school.

 

We schooled year round when I was growing up. I'm currently schooling my students year round, and when I am headmistress of my own homeschool, I intend to school 345+ days a year and begin in January (or the First Day of Spring), not September.

 

Does anyone here actually take the summer off?

 

Does anyone actually do only 180-190 days of school each year?

 

Field trips and reading library books during off periods don't count as school for this thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take a full six weeks off from mid-April to beginning of June and we do nothing academic. I've asked the girls about taking more time during the year and less of a break but they really enjoy their summer. Not quite as long as a ps summer but its still a pretty good break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we take the summer off. That's what I did as a kid and love having the summers to be outside and do fun stuff that you can't do during the winter months. We do the 180 day school schedule that is required. I also think that there is much to be learned in just creative play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We school until the Friday before July 4th and pick up again in mid-late August, 4-6 weeks off, depending on how we feel. We also take the entire month between Thanksgiving and Christmas off. No spring break, but we do take days off here and there throughout the year.

 

As long as we get 180+ days in, I don't really plan hard start/stop dates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm....

 

Well, I have an issue with not counting library books as school. We focus on the basics and everything else is strongly library based. Even our " regular" school day is strongly book based. And I would argue that with the ages of my kids (5 & 7), consistent reading ( by them and to them) is crucial. Older dd reads at least an hour a day. Whether it's Flat Stanley or Pollyanna or on Egyptians, I want her reading and developing fluency.

 

And, I have an issue not counting field trips. We took our girls to DC last spring and San Francisco the fall before. I would argue those museum trips were more beneficial than a textbook.

 

Now, beyond that.....

 

By your definition, we would probably only get 180 days. We don't go the whole summer without doing math (I think a large gap is very detrimental)

but we have lots of reading days and field trip days during the year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We usually take about 2 months off. We stop mid to late June and savor the first week or two off. Then we're busy with 2 birthdays and the 4th of July (that's a big thing around our house). After that it's usually VBS (my older 2 volunteer now), then visiting the grandparents (weather's much better there when you visit in the summer), then a camp for each boy, then....before we know it 2 months have gone by!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we take the summer off. That's what I did as a kid and love having the summers to be outside and do fun stuff that you can't do during the winter months. We do the 180 day school schedule that is required. I also think that there is much to be learned in just creative play.

 

:iagree:

 

Us, too. My kids need the down time to learn things like getting along, sharing, finding something creative to do- and more importantly, I need the down time to re-evaluate, plan my school year, clean, etc. We do read-alouds sometimes, library books and field trips, but those don't count for this thread.

 

Of course, anytime my kids *want* to learn something, we'll learn it. And we do make a library trip 1x/week for books since they are readers. They all score above average on the SAT's, even if we missed stuff during the year because of a baby or something.

 

Maybe you need a poll for this- I'd love to hear other responses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take some time off. I currently have two weeks scheduled completely off but my dd9 will now be going to Harry Potter camp for one of those weeks. We will continue with Math and I think we are going to do a unit study this summer to fulfill our requirement to teach state history. I was thinking we could do some day trips to explore our state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do school year round but take some time off during the summer while ds is at summer day camp (usually drama and soccer) or we go visit the in-laws or go on a homeschool group camping trip. So we don't do a big break, we just school around the breaks that happen. We are pretty happy with this system. I like doing as many camps as we can afford as it gives me some extended kid-free time off to plan and do projects around the house or even do part-time work. But otherwise the routine of school is important here and we don't take much time over the holidays (around a week) so we can do field trips and impromptu play dates and special projects more freely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't take the summer off. We do make the studies a little different and the days are also shorter. This summer is: Math, Finish up science, Finish up Lit lessons from LOTR, Spanish II and a study of the US between the Industrial Revolution through the Depression and a study in Cryptozoology because the girls are into that right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We always used to -- we lived near the beach and so maybe that played into it, but *every* homeschooler we knew took a good 3-4 months off! (I know, 4 months sounds insane. We were closer to 3.)

 

This summer, we'll be doing school for the first time all summer, with some short breaks (1-2 weeks) for camping, trips, etc. I'm sort of excited!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We go to a light summer schedule. We do extra outdoor time for gardening, extra reading and library time, lots of documentaries, and have one day a week for "official" school stuff. This summer we will focus on drilling basic math facts, continuing MegaWords, and finishing SOTW3. Also, ds does a karate summer camp and hopefully this year will do an art summer camp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take the summer off, though middle son is seldom without books of some sort as he honestly studies and learns for fun. Oldest and youngest don't worry about academics in the summer other than the summer reading that's required (not textbooks).

 

Oldest was in the top 3% for college entrance. Middle son makes the top 1%. Youngest is in the top 2%, but hasn't taken the actual college entrance tests yet. Taking time off doesn't necessarily hurt them academically. There's more to life than continual textbooks.

 

I also agree that field trips are as good if not better than textbooks for certain types of learning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes we take the summer off. :)

 

Most years we took a longer break than the local schools. :D We haven't had that luxury since 8th grade though. :tongue_smilie:

 

We don't do any formal schooling during breaks, unless if something wasn't finished during the school year, but dd loves to write and do so many other things that might be considered school if she didn't do them on her own for fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whole summer off :)

 

It's early days here, though, my kids are still little. But we spend the summers at the library, zoos/museums, every park and nature reserve we can find, and getting to all the "fun" stuff we didn't do during the school year - like making the backyard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat (We WILL do that this summer!).

 

If the kids want to focus on anything, we do so, but I don't push. They need time to relax and be kids and I need time to relax and be Mom, not TeacherMom :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't take summer off, but we are technically still on Winter Break and haven't done school since the week of Thanksgiving. We will start back up next Monday.

 

No school has been done in that time. We continued about life (library, field trips) but no school work was expected, assigned, or otherwise assumed. This week the kids are doing a self-review of math and Latin so we can pick up again on Monday where we left off, but other than that ... we actually take a 3 month-ish chunk of time off :)

 

I don't count school days and have no clue how many we do in a given year. We keep a non-traditional schedule and just work until the material is done. Our school year varies by year, maybe 180 days some years and more or less in others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its always seemed odd to me that my PS'ed friends took Summer off, and I mean they TOOK IT OFF. They could and did go weeks without doing anything even remotely academic.

 

They only read for "points" and what not for when they'd return to school.

 

We schooled year round when I was growing up. I'm currently schooling my students year round, and when I am headmistress of my own homeschool, I intend to school 345+ days a year and begin in January (or the First Day of Spring), not September.

 

Does anyone here actually take the summer off?

 

Does anyone actually do only 180-190 days of school each year?

 

Field trips and reading library books during off periods don't count as school for this thread.

 

Yep. We take the whole summer off. Swimming, reading for fun, swimming, hanging out with friends,exploring at the creek, berry-picking, swimming.

 

I do usually have a couple of requirements for the kids. Usually I require a little bit of math be done each week - not to move forward, necessarily, but to avoid moving backward. Math is sneaky that way.

 

I know you probably won't count this, but during the school year or not, I do try to avoid a hard line between what is school and what isn't. So we may be putting the books away at 2:00 for the day, or on June 1 for the summer, but the learning still continues. That whole lifestyle of learning bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take off the whole summer. It's the best, most amazing time of year here and we take advantage of every minute. Winter is plenty long enough for school work!

 

Us too! :D My son starts planning his "vacation" in February. I just put the list of "Must do's" up on the chemistry bench for what he has to complete for the year to be "Officially Over" so he doesn't slack off too much.

 

Life is too short to spend it all doing school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, we take six weeks off. The kids have nothing required of them. However, they love learning and they will read copious amounts of books (which in my opinion does count, they have learned a whole heck of a lot just from lazy summer reading). We do a lot of field trips in the summer, usually every two weeks or so. Summer is our fun, unstructured learning time. It's also the only time when my house is clean, the laundry is caught up and I can plan, organize and create the next school year.

 

I tried a structured year round school and it was my worst burnout year ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my kids were little, we discovered that taking the whole summer off from schoolwork left them feeling ansty and bored. So, we used to do "summer school" for just a couple of hours in the morning. Each one would work on one subject I thought could use re-inforcement, after which we'd do things together. We usually chose a theme and did light academics and projects and such around it (ancient Greece, India, art appreciation, whatever).

 

As of a few years ago, though, they both got very busy during the summer. My two are both theatre geeks, and there are all kinds of opportunities during the summer for camps and summer stock and intensives. So, we dropped our summer school when it became unwieldy. (Plus, I needed a break.)

 

Last summer, my son did do one online class in addition to his theatre programs, and it was awful. He was so busy and tired over the summer that he ended up not finishing that "summer" course until early October!

 

To be honest, if you don't count library books and field trips, I'm not even sure we get a full 180 days anymore. It's just gotten very hard as my kids have gotten older and busier. However, they are learning a lot during their summers, too.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did not take the summer off last year, and we won't this year either. I have this summer planned already and the schedule is lighter. We will be doing some of the more fun things that we wouldn't have time for during the regular school year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We will be schooling MORE in summer, I think, because their play preschool will be out and we will be able to do a lot more nature study/gardening and we'll have longer days. Same thing with afterschooling if dd gets into the wonderful charter school for next year--summer we can switch to a more HS-type schedule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we take the summer off. That's what I did as a kid and love having the summers to be outside and do fun stuff that you can't do during the winter months. We do the 180 day school schedule that is required. I also think that there is much to be learned in just creative play.

yes we do this.

 

I would go crazy. I need a break, I need to regroup. and so do the kids.

 

There is a book about too much academic stuff. It isn't in the library or I would have read it. Last child in the Woods I think is the name or something similar.

 

Children need time to explore and learn on their own. My youngest taught himself to fish during the summer and loved it. He started asking us for better fishing poles, this is when he was 8, he also cast net fished too.

 

Both boys were also in sports so seriously they need time to just be no other pressures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe in maintaining some level of consistency through summer. I intended to go through the summer last year, but between pregnancy and moving, that kind of fell by the wayside. This summer should be a bit easier to manage.

 

Which isn't to say we'll do hours a day of seatwork - enough math, phonics, and handwriting that we'll keep moving forwards instead of backwards (I wouldn't bother with formal reading instruction if they were reading voluntarily), and history partially because I want to get through three years of SOTW in two years, and partially because DS would be upset if we stopped history entirely.

 

I imagine DS will take some time off for scout camp at some point, and we may go on a vacation as a family, during which time we may or may not work on stuff.

 

But really, as far as playing outside goes, spring and early fall are much better times for that around here than summer. Summer has several hours most days where it's too hot for active playing outside. And that's one reason I like homeschooling - I get to choose the times of year when we're going to focus on academics vs. outdoor play based on what actually works for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We go four weeks on, one week off, year-round. We school four days a week. We take two weeks off at Christmas/New Year and at the end of June. February is usually somewhat of a bust for us due to birthdays and cabin fever. My kids don't want a summer break. They look forward to their week off every five weeks but then are ready to get back to school.

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we definitely take the full summer break!! We do 180 days of school, then we are off for the summer. Of course we take field trips, read, etc. during that time, but not official school.We all need the break, most of all me! And the break gives me time to relax, then plan for the next year.

 

The only thing we do is review math faths and concepts (for elementary school age students) occasionally over the summer, so they don't have to do much catch up in the fall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone here actually take the summer off?

 

Does anyone actually do only 180-190 days of school each year?

 

 

 

We take the summer off. I don't have to count days of school, so don't actually know how many we do. I try to finish up our curriculum for the year, and then we stop for the summer. With all the yard work and gardening and other summer projects, I would be way too stressed trying to get school done, too. And my kids would revolt - all their neighborhood friends are out playing and they really look forward to their summer break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DS is six and a first grader - in our state, the "school year" for record keeping runs July 1 to June 30 and the number of hours required is pretty high, even for the younger kids - 1000 hours per school year!

 

With a M-F schedule, year-round, that requires almost 4-hours a day....but no, we don't do that much day in, day out, with books.

 

To meet the requirement for hours, I do need us doing something throughout the summer, which means we do a light load throughout. We take our breaks throughout the year in small chunks at this point rather than try to take a longer period off (and I leave the door open to making changes and adapting as DS gets older and acquires more interests that may require more time in the summer to enjoy)....and as other posters have noted, library, field trips, etc. count (even if not for this thread) since there is learning within these experiences and can be included in our hours each year when they're tied to our curriculum.

 

I'm also a firm believer in play - open play, unstructured, lots outside, as DS gets older he's also getting a lot more independent time to explore and play on his own outside....so I plan for plenty of that in our day and week also.

 

The book mentioned above, Last Child in the Woods, is excellent if you haven't read it yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't take the summer off-summer is too hot and muggy to do much, and it's more fun to visit museums, science centers, and all that kind of stuff during the school year when they're not mobbed with summer daycare programs trying to get the kids out of their building. But we're definitely tapering down this Spring (As DD finishes curricula), and will probably take about 6 weeks off in April/May except for reading, math facts practice, piano and carschooling playlists. We're doing a lot more field trips, a lot more outside time, and a lot more "fun" stuff.

 

Honestly, I'm not sure that at age 6, DD isn't just humoring me in going through the books, writing, and practice. Most of her big leaps seem to come on her own, and at odd times like Sunday at 8:15 PM, when she's SUPPOSED to be going to sleep!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We schooled year round when I was growing up. I'm currently schooling my students year round, and when I am headmistress of my own homeschool, I intend to school 345+ days a year and begin in January (or the First Day of Spring), not September.

I misread this. I'm glad I noticed before I posted a reply! I thought you said, "and when I am headmistress of my own school, I intend to school 345+ days a year." For a school to have less than 2 days off a week, and do that year round, would be a bit extreme. At home, it's a different matter. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally, we don't take the summer off; we school year round so that we can take breaks whenever it's convenient, which is usually a few days in each season. In fact, July is usually a pretty heavy school month for us -- it's the start of our official school year (and we usually end up with the last couple of weeks in June off, or very light, as it's right after a busy week with DD's dance recital), and we change the books over, etc. This year, we will probably take a good month or so off in the summer whenever the baby arrives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't anyones kids go to camp???

 

 

 

My kids have two weeks of camp each summer. One week is a residential camp for kids with or from families with a health issue. The other is a day camp that the kids pick: soccer, hockey, Native American, art, etc. I count camp weeks as part of our regular school schedule except for the one where my kids are sleeping there. That counts as one of our every-fifth-week-off weeks.

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take the summer off. We're too busy with summer stuff to even consider doing school.

 

Here in western Washington, warmth and sun together are too rare not to take advantage of it. In past years, we've typically been gone 5-6 days a week doing something fun. We go to the park, waking pools, spraygrounds. We attend free community events like concerts in the park, movies in the park, kids shows in the park, puppet shows, etc. We go to free moves at Regal Cinemas. We get together with friends, have picnics, and visit places farther way for day trips. If you consider all this school, then yes, we school year round. Cracking a book for more than independent reading, nope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take the whole entire summer...June-August. I want to focus on camping, hiking, gardening, biking, kayaking, swimming, and all the other great things that require nice weather. It works best for our whole family.

 

And, by the way, library books are what I use to continue to educate myself, even though I'm not formally in school. I absolutely love going to the library, finding something that interests me (I primarily read non-fiction), and learning something new. I would definitely count library books and field trips as education.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We schooled year round when I was growing up. I'm currently schooling my students year round, and when I am headmistress of my own homeschool, I intend to school 345+ days a year and begin in January (or the First Day of Spring), not September.

 

Does anyone here actually take the summer off?

 

Does anyone actually do only 180-190 days of school each year?

 

Field trips and reading library books during off periods don't count as school for this thread.

 

I'm curious about why you're planning to school 345+ days a year. That's not even every Sunday off! It sounds like a recipe for burnout, to me.

 

We school year-round. I like to stay in rhythm - I think it makes things a lot easier with little kids. But we take plenty of vacations. We're taking a week in April, probably two weeks in July, probably a long weekend in September. This past year I took a week in October, a full week at Thanksgiving, and a little more than a week at Christmas. We're going for a happy medium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We thoroughly enjoy our full three-month summer break from structured home schooling! The summer I tried to have a bit of structured homeschooling was a disaster -- for me. I need a whopping break to balance the structured time of the year, so we take our break from late May to mid-August.

 

In fact, we don't have a long unscheduled stretch of summer anyway. Each boy is gone one week for Boy Scout camp and one week for church camp, Son2 always asks to take swim class for two weeks, and there are often other commitments. Last year Son1 was gone for two weeks for the National Boy Scout Jamboree, and this year he's going to Scotland for 10 days on pilgrimage with his Sunday school class. One of my brothers is also thinking about having both boys for a week (a plane ride away).

 

So, when we're home we all hang out, read, get together with friends, and follow our interests. I do have them do a smidge of review in skill subjects when they're home -- math, Latin -- and they continue to practice their instruments. Maybe we'll play around with a kitchen chemistry kit or two. But the main need is for a Sabbath from our structured days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...