Jump to content


Big break over the summer - how to start up again?

Laura Corin

Recommended Posts

We have done 34 weeks this year, then the boys have had a four week holiday. DH and I have decided that it won't work to try to school them before August 18th, when we will have been in Scotland for two weeks and DH will go back to work. So their summer break this year will be a good two months, then I'll 'finish' this year in the last two weeks of August (making 36 weeks, which is a very short year for us), after which the new year will start in September.


Any tips for coping with a big break (we've never taken more than four weeks off in the past). Do you spend the first couple of weeks in review, or just dive in and cope with forgotten areas as they crop up?





Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've always taken most of June thru Aug off--so a big break is no new thing here.

What I've found is that most of our subjects contain some review at the beginning. SOTW 2, for instance, starts with Rome again. Saxon certainly reviews, and everything else just sort of carries on. We use Rod and Staff, and that has so much review and repetition!!


I know some people start slowly, adding in all their subjects one or two at a time. I don't care for that, because I want to start as we will continue, not gradually transitioning--but it does make sense to me. I just find our days are about right, even at the beginning, and I find it easier to take away than add more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've taken a big break this year for the first time, too. We've taken off all of June and July, and will start back on August 6th.


My plan is to review a little bit, and do a little extra "hand-holding" as we all get back into our routines. I haven't decided about jumping in full speed ahead or not, because the public pools will be open for a few weeks before Labor Day and they are virtually deserted after the schools start back on August 11th! LOL It's too fun to pass up! :)


I hope you all have a wonderful time on your trip! It sounds fantastic! And we'll all hang in there together starting back after a long break! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a big break (which we do every year for the past 8 yrs) everything seems to take twice as long. So, we are one of those families that adds subjects slowly. I like to have an entire week to get the bedtime/wake-up time and chores established. Then I take an entire week of just math. Then I add things quickly after that. We are up and running after 4 weeks.


Generally I second guess myself the whole way.

Monday-I bet I could have started science this week.

Tuesday-Maybe I could have started science this week.

Wednesday-Kids couldn't have started science this week.

Thursday-I couldn't have started science this week.

Friday-OH my, we are actually going to add to the schedule next week.


I've never had to actually schedule review because curriculum usually does that for me.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really take a full break during the summer for that reason, but school is very light here this summer. I usually start by gearing up, starting to get the kids in bed earlier, talking about what it is going to be like when we start up full time, telling them my expectations of them for the year, etc....I try to give each child a specific thing to work on for the year. (For my son, for example, it will be to work more independently.) Then, we just dive in. Our first day is usually a bit light, but I like to have a starting date and just go for it! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the first yr we won't have taken a really long break and I am hoping that I will be able to scrunge up enough energy to get back in gear. We will only have a 6 week summer. (Golly, it makes me want to cry just thinking about it! We normally take 11 weeks and I have totally recuperiated and am energized. The 2 weeks we have been on vacation have been more draining than school itself, but that is a different post!)


I just wanted to suggest not "really" doing 2 weeks to finish up this last school yr and then starting the new yr. I would use those 2 weeks to introduce the new yr on topics that don't techinically ever end (like English and math......anything that is there for the end of last year will be repeated in the new) If is finishing up something like Latin, I still wouldn't think of it as last yr. I would propose looking at it as review in gearing up for the new.


Weeks are really rather arbitrary. There are weeks where I feel they learn more than they have in 3. I would go crazy if I felt like I had to drag last yr forward with me. We didn't finish everything I wanted to......we sort of just fizzled out. But their test scores all came back between 96-99%, so I guess we managed. ;)


Moving is serious stress. Give yourself permission to let go. The end and the beginning don't have to be perfect. Go with what works until you establish a new routine in your new environment. Moving to Scotland is going to cause some serious cultural issues for you. I only lived as an ex-pat for 2 yrs and I actually went through a sort of grieving process as we readjusted. It wasn't that it was bad; it was just not what I had anticipated.


Your boys will be experiencing something (whether positive or negative) and they are going to need time to process their thoughts and emotions on the whole thing.


FWIW......we do not add on gradually. We do jump in feet first. I just make the length of the assignments shorter the first week and gradually increase the length and difficulty (you know, like the analogy of the frog and boiling water. ;) If you throw the frog into a boiling pot, it is going to try to leap out. If you gradually crank up the heat, it doesn't notice.) If I add subjects, they tend to baulk. Better just let them have it right up front, no surprises.


But, most of all, don't feel bad if things go haywire or not the way you expect.


Best wishes,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mourning process as an ex-pat? Don't scare me!


We took a bit of a break (from the last week in May until now) during which I had a baby (4 weeks ago on this coming Monday). I want to start a sort of relaxed summer term of five weeks on Monday. We will finish up with undone stuff and do some review and lots of art and fun stuff. I want to spend some serious time going over word problems with my (now) fourth grader because our math curriculum is light in that area (Math U see). With my (now) first grader (though for most subjects we are still at a PK or K level to be honest, but that's why we are in OT and speech therapy) we will be just doing therapy "homework" and working on counting and the alphabet (Perhaps if we are lucky, some actual non phonics reading instruction). We are also doing a ton of literature (as usual). I'm looking forward to it actually, though I don't know how I will manage to keep the house clean since I can't seem to manage now with a must-be-held-all-the-time baby and a rather rambunctious toddler in tow. So I guess it will be a lateral move housekeeping wise (well, let's hope it doesn't all get worse). This weekend I plan on finishing up organizing our supplies and hopefully getting the house in order since I'll have dh home with me (extra baby holder). Also, I have heard of people having a sort of summer term to focus on favorite subjects or remedial things that need done. There are some subjects with the fourth grader we aren't doing or just doing lightly. We will review latin vocabulary but no new lessons. We will not do copywork or formal writing, but we will do caligraphy (hopefully).


Hmmm. Perhaps I should consult my "in case baby is a crier" list of baby holders to come and hold baby so I can get some things done with my older two.


We will start with a full schedule in September after labor day and our trip down south to visit family.


Oh, and the reason I want to do this summer term is because I plan on taking the whole month of November off in order to move to Wales (we live in the midwest US now). Please don't tell me that I have to help my children through a long mourning process! That scares me! We have already dealt with one child crying himself to sleep over the move announcement for a week and now well over a month of (intense) night terrors and insomnia (still going) with another. That is the older two!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

My older kids had difficulty adjusting in both directions.....the move there and the move back, moreso with the move back b/c they were that much older.


I am not sure how much of an impact your move will have on your family b/c I am not aware of how huge the cultural differences will play a role.


For us.....the culture was very different. Ditto for what Laura is about to face, though I think it is even more drastic. We also had language issues. No one spoke English.


To be completely honest, I had to re-learn how to cook, shop, clean house, basically function all around. Cuts of meat were totally different. Basic ingredients that I took for granted, simple things like sour cream or peanut butter, simply didn't exist. The ovens were basically on or off.....I couldn't adjust the temperature like here. Washing machines only had a cold cycle. I had a countertop dishwasher b/c everyone had household help and didn't do their own dishes, etc.


However, the people were incredibly friendly. They were lovely and happy and most of all, they loved children. Moving back was equally hard b/c Americans are simply cold and self-busy. Americans are very intolerant toward children. It was a mind-shifting experience to fit in a place where there shouldn't have been one.


I don't know if Wales will be that different than here. But......on a completely supportive note, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a wonderful experience and one I feel blessed to have had. FWIW, my kids were 7,5,3, and 18 months when we moved there. They were 10,8,6,3 and 1 when we moved back. Now that several are teenagers, I think they would rebel......but up to a few yrs ago, they would have moved overseas again with anticipation. It just doesn't change the fact that there really is an adjustment period mentally.


Blessings on your move.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't take that long off and still start off the first week with about half the normal subjects as my kids need to get used to the routine again. So do I. If we've even taken off one or two weeks, we'll usually do one half day to start because it takes my kids all day to do half a day when they first get back to school.

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.

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.


  • Create New...