People often ask me if we home school during the summer.
We do a four day week during the summer, Monday - Thursday. Fridays are for family activities, projects we wanted to do during the regular school months but never got around to, field trips, special science experiments, crafts, picnics, lake days, picking berries and making jam, gardening, camping, fishing, having friends over, movies, bowling, appointments, baking, cleaning, garage sale shopping, playing and traveling out of town. ~smile~
I'm posting our schedule to help answer the question of what we do during the summer months. We do not do everything perfectly every single day. This our goal. If you have a schedule, even if you don't follow it perfectly, you at least know what you are aiming for. If everything isn't accomplished every day you are still getting more done than you would if you had no schedule. Always allow room for grace!
6:00 - Wake up time - Mom
Prayer and Bible time
7:30 - Wake up time - kids
8:00 - Breakfast
Read one chapter of Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs during breakfast.
After breakfast - kids brush teeth, take the dog out, and finish up any remaining chores.
8:30 - 12:30 School
Bible, Spanish, Reading, Writing, Math
(10-11 nap - Clare)
1:00 Read aloud
2:00 - Nap time (little kids)
Older kids read, draw, games, puzzles, work on projects.
3:00 - Library (Mondays), errands (Tuesdays), grocery store (Wednesdays), music lessons (Thursdays).
6:00 - Dinner
7:30 - Family Devotion (bedtime - Clare)
9:00 - Bedtime (kids)
Me - correspondence, cleaning, scrapbooks, coupons, projects.
11:30ish - Bedtime (me)
There are some other questions I'm asked often so I thought I would throw them in here. I don't mind questions (except maybe rude ones about my daughter's birthmarks from strangers). These are the ones I get asked a lot. If you have others, feel free to ask.
Have you always home schooled?
Yes, I started doing preschool with our oldest when he was 3 and took it one year at a time. I did not know when we started our first year of kindergarten how long we would teach the children at home. My husband and I decided to pray about each year and to follow the Lord's leading. Next year our oldest will be a senior and Lord willing we plan to educate all of our children at home through high school.
Why do you have assigned seating in your van?
Having assigned seats simplifies the coming and going we do so often and eliminates any whining or arguing about who rides up front, by a window, or next to the baby. Each child knows where their seat is and hops right in it when it's time to go. For a while I had only 2 children who were old enough to ride up front so on odd days Colin rode up front and even days Ethan did. This worked great as it was a big deal when they were both able to start riding up front.
Why do you have school in the summer?
Doing school for a half day, 4 days a week allows us to take off during the traditional school year to do things we want to do, like vacations and entertaining. Also, by doing school during the summer months we are able to stay ahead in math. We do not have to do any review when we start a new school year in the fall. Having a few hours of school in the morning Monday - Thursday does not interrupt our enjoyment of summertime since most of the things we would do are in the afternoon or on weekends. I like the expression, "Give me 4 for 4" (4 hours, 4 days a week). We are often surprised at how much we are able to accomplish by the end of the summer and I like the cushion it gives us to take days off whenever we want to.
Do your older boys have jobs?
Ever since our oldest was 12 years old he has had a mowing business. The two oldest boys have worked together now for 4 years and have had anywhere from 3 to 8 customers at a time. They primarily mow and weed eat but have done other lawn care as well. Our 3rd oldest had a dog walking business for a while and has also earned money washing cars. We have encouraged our boys to pursue an entrepreneurial direction but recognize as they get older their desire to earn more money and sometimes that means an outside job. Our 17 year old has been applying for jobs (selectively) over the past few months and he is praying and waiting for the Lord to open doors.
Do you have a reading list for the children?
Yes. (future post)
What do you do with little kids while the others have school?
They play quietly doing a number of activities. Clare has a big basket of toys and is somewhat blanket trained. The others draw and color, play with toys, build legos, read books, play with play dough and make "crafts", aka - a mess!
Do the kids watch TV, and if so, what and how much?
I would love to tell you that they never watch TV but that would not be the truth. They do however watch very little TV. We allow the little kids to watch some PBS shows, we all watch the Duggars, and the older boys watch football, basketball, and soccer on occasion. That's really it. Our family rents movies from time to time and I like to watch The Food Network and HGTV, and usually the news. The children are allowed no more than 2 hours of screen time per day and that includes ipods, computer, video games, TV, - anything with a screen. For years my husband has wanted to get rid of the TV but I talked him into keeping it for this or that. I should have followed his direction in this area because the family would have been better off without it. If your kids are little, don't even bother letting them watch TV...there are ALWAYS better things to do. There are some good children's videos that I would recommend as special "treats". The TV is certainly one thing I would do differently if I could go back and change something.
Does everyone take music lessons?
While we were in Knoxville everyone old enough did take music lessons. (guitar and piano) Since being transferred to Chattanooga I have not found a music teacher for the children, however, that is about to change. All of the kids except the baby should be back in music soon. For now, on Thursdays I work with them on piano and my husband works with them on guitar.
What is your cleaning schedule?
I get asked this a lot and I will publish in a future post.
Do the children have chores?
Yes! (Future post.) Everyone works around our house. I could never do everything by myself...plus, that just wouldn't be good for them.
Do the older boys date?
No. Future post.
We are asked a lot of questions about food...like how much we spend and how many gallons of milk we go through in a week. Here's what I can tell you, not sure why it interests anyone as there are families a lot larger than ours.
(I'm feeding 3 hungry teenage boys, 1 ten yr old boy, my honey, 2 little girls, and myself.)
We buy 5 gallons of milk each week.
We go through at least 4 loaves of bread.
When I fix eggs for breakfast I scramble 24.
If cereal is served, it takes 2 boxes.
Anything I make in a 9x13 casserole dish I have to make two.
When we make or order pizza, 4 is the minimum we can get by with.
Food is definitely our biggest expenditure and I'm always working on ways to spend less.
Do you do laundry every day? How many loads?
I do laundry every day except Sunday. I do at least 2 loads of laundry each day, oftentimes more. Dirty clothes are plentiful around here.
And my favorite...
Are you done having kids?
We will be finished having kids when the Lord is finished giving them to us. We have explored the possibility of adoption and are prayerfully considering. We would certainly welcome more children into the family in any way the Lord sees fit to give them! God has taught us a lot along the way about the blessing of children.