Between Cycles: Our Summer Study

 

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We have finished!!! I can’t believe cycle 3 has ended, the last few weeks were so crazy I still haven’t fully recovered. I know most of you are expecting an Essentials post and I will be sharing all about our first year in Essentials with a dyslexic child IN DEPTH as soon as possible, but right now I thought I’d address the question we have received most in the last month which is, “What are you guys doing between now and August?”

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Classical Conversations is only 24 weeks long. Our community starts in August, takes the entire month of December off and then starts up again and runs from January to early April. We try to maintain the rhythm of 6 weeks on, 1 week off of the rest of the year, save for the months of April and May. These two months are considered our “Summer Break” even though we do a bit of school every day.

 

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This APRIL AND MAY we will maintain the following schedule:

Morning Time
Beautiful Feet Geography Study/A Summer of Playing Skillfully
Right Start Math/Music Practice 

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On some days we will sit down and run through everything, some days we will space it throughout the day, and then there will be days when we have morning time and then do the rest of our studies in the evening. The main goal of April and May is to REST, RESTORE and EXPLORE.  We are visiting tons of preserves, beaches, trails, etc before the weather becomes unbearable.

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Beautiful Feet Books and A Summer of Playing Skillfully

My older boys (9&10) love the Geography study from Beautiful Feet Books. They love it so much, this is their 3rd time going through it in 3 years. I told them they could choose any study to do and this is the one they picked. We are debating using the IEW writing book that goes along with this study, but I have yet to decide. I want to rest as much as possible, but they really love and enjoy writing right now and I want to take advantage of the momentum they have built.  The boys love the Geography study because there is so much room for them to explore and study on their own. They love studying animals and ecosystems so this feels like leisure time to them. This means I can read aloud to them and turn them loose to explore more, record findings, work in their notebooks and illustrate their narrations.  Once they are on track I can go get the younger set started with their stuff.

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We are currently wrapping up our THIRD year using “A Year of Playing Skillfully” from The Homegrown Preschooler and I am elated that Lesli and Kathy have recently released a summer edition of their fantastic curriculum. (It feels wrong to call it curriculum, its more of a heart revolution than anything else!) I surprised my two boys (5&7) with it this past weekend and they screamed their heads off! They can’t wait to use it this “summer” even though the months are labeled for traditional summer, we are using it early because they just can’t wait. You’ll get to see sneak peaks of what we do!

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Right Start Math and Music Practice
Everyone keeps asking if we’ll be switching soon and the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! We are loving how Right Start Math has revolutionized the way we do Math at home. The short, focused lesson are perfect for the boys. Whenever I say “Time for Math” one of them will inevitably say something along the lines of “Yes! I love playing with Math!” No one would have ever uttered those words during the years of Saxon drudgery! We pretty much decided that we’ll be doing math every single weekday of the year unless we are sick or its a holiday.  We are really taking our time, sometimes repeating lessons we really enjoy or taking whole lessons blocks to just play card game out of the book. I am so encouraged to see them loving math. It was one of my greatest fears as a homeschool parent, and now its one of our favorite parts of the day. We’ll be using Right Start for as long as possible! We always combine Math and Music together. Whenever someone finishes their work they then practice their instruments. It takes a full hour to cycle through all 3 levels of Right Start and practice on all the instruments.  It’s all a balancing act!

 

We’ll begin the “new year” on June 3rd, at which point our “formal” studies kick back in with History, Science, Latin, Math, etc and a new Morning Time line up. I am currently organizing our CC/CM Cycle 1 plan for the year and am hoping to get that out to everyone over the next month. This next school year  is going to bring a lot of changes with it. First and foremost, we are adopting an infant. Its hard to put into words how humbled, grateful and excited we are to welcome a new soul into our family. We are slowly making preparations for our whole world to change. I am also finally setting time aside to work on my book and I have so much fun whenever I am able to write a bit more. I am excited to share that with you all soon. We’ll be updating far more regularly on here from now on. Be sure to sign up so you don’t miss our posts!

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