When it comes to summer break for homeschoolers, there are enough suggestions and ideas to fill your backyard pool. Some of us school year round, while others stick close to the public school calendar. And, since homeschoolers live globally, there are all sorts of calendars and schedules that we follow. But, I came across a new idea this summer that I wish I had heard about years ago: Tuesday School.
My friend and veteran homeschool mom shared how she did summer breaks for her three kids. No matter where they were in their text books, she called it quits just before Memorial Day and launched Tuesday School. During the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, she spent 8am-noon reviewing school lessons on Tuesdays. Her kids reviewed their old math lessons, practiced spelling words, discussed whatever books they were all reading, talked about science concepts and whatever other school subjects they worked on all year.
Tuesday school provided a way to keep the information alive in their brains without feeling too burdensome during brain breaks. She also felt her kids dealt with less academic attrition when the new school year rolled around. Tuesday school was kept relaxed, upbeat, and even travelled with them on vacation.
I like the idea of Tuesday school for more than just summer breaks. Imagine building a special basket of resources to unpack during winter breaks or whatever other longer breaks you take during the school year. By spending just a few hours a week reviewing memory work, discussing literature, or prepping for the upcoming new topics, we can set ourselves (and the kids) up for success. If you only practice Tuesday School for four hours a week, over the course of a ten week summer you will have added 40 hours of learning and reviewing to your children’s brains.
Despite the initial whimpers from the kids on the mornings of Tuesday school, I can foresee this being a great addition to our yearly homeschool agenda. Maybe a promise of a pancake lunch afterwards will help keep the complaints at bay!
What types of things have you found that work well at helping your kids retrain information during breaks? Are you a flashcard maker that seems to always have a ring of cards in your purse or in the storage compartment of your minivan? Perhaps you shut down school for the summer or other breaks and ignore all academics entirely?
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.