Of course it's been great this week to be out of school!
We've relaxed quite a bit, in bed time and morning schedules. We are putting everybody down by about 9:30 p.m. and allowing them to play in bed and watch movies and talk and aren't being too strict about quieting them down to go to sleep by a certain time. The little guys are only 7 and 5 1/2, so they naturally go to sleep when they are tired. They've been waking up in the morning anywhere between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. I've been letting them wake up slow and do some playing before we get started doing anything. We've been shooting for 10:00 a.m. to do our daily stuff.
We started our week by visiting our library to get signed up for the Summer Reading Program. Goodness gracious it was busy! We are used to going on a weekday while other kids are at school! Books and people were everywhere! I was impressed we were able to locate anything we were looking for. I was pleased to see Eli and Brynne taking time to look through the books and choose books that really interested them. I think that's the first time I've ever seen Eli do that. Usually he just goes straight for the Arthur books and grabs one that he's had me read to him 50 times already. And this time Brynne stayed away from the Mo Willems shelf, which surprised me!
Eli and Brynne have this basic schedule this summer: At 10:00 a.m. they eat breakfast and put their dishes on the counter when they are done eating. Then they put on real clothes, brush their teeth and fix their hair. They are responsible for putting their pjs back in their drawers.
I then set the timer for 10 minutes and Brynne reads her self-chosen library book silently. While she is reading, Eli reads his Really Reading 2 sheet to me (from The Tanglewood School), a Saxon reader and orally from a book I checked out from the library that is on The Tanglewood School's recommended list of books for 2nd grade students.
When he is done reading to me, I set the timer for him for 10 minutes and he reads his self-chosen library book silently. While he is reading, Brynne reads the Really Reading 2 sheet, the Saxon reader and orally from one of the pre-selected books referred to above.
Doing all of these things without grumbling and complaining earns them each $1 per day. Yes I am paying them to do their daily chores and reading assignments. I did this last summer (although they were only paid 25 cents per day and didn't have reading assignments) in an attempt to use money to motivate them to do something for enough days in a row that it would become a habit. And it worked. I made them a list of things they had to do each morning and by the end of the summer they were doing them with only one oral prompt and continued those behaviors through the school year. My goal is the formation of habits. The money is for having a good attitude. You may or may not agree with this method. I am blessed that I have great kids who do what I ask whenever I ask anyway. I am just trying to raise them in a way that behaviors become natural.
We didn't start our first unit study yet. We are planning to do a whole unit on China this summer. But our zoo is having a Farm Fest next Friday, so next week we are going to do a farm unit with a lapbook. We checked out our books from the library this week.
We had our first summer Co-op play group get-together on Wednesday, which was a lot of fun.
And I started looking at Dawson's history curriculum for next year. I am building his US History curriculum using several different resources. It will be necessary for me to plan 12, 3-week units. So today I planned the first 3-week unit. It took me about 3 hours. It includes his history, literature and writing assignments. Because it is going to be so time-consuming I plan to spend each Thursday afternoon planning a unit. That will have me completing that curriculum the week school starts in August. But I will thank myself for it then!! That will be about 36 hours of work I won't have to fit into my busy fall homeschooling schedule.
Oh, what's Dawson been up to this week, you ask? Ab.so.lute.ly. No.thing.
I am not sure what time he goes to bed at night (he's playing xbox) and he sleeps half the day away. He and I were in the same house all day a couple of days ago and I only saw him once. Maybe I "should" care, but I honestly don't. He worked so hard this school year and was such a great student and companion that he deserves some time off. He's spending lots of time with his friends and just being a teenager. But he's always either here or at his best friend's house up the street, so I have the peace of mind that he's home and safe. We only get to be teenagers once. My older daughter is already past that age, and she's only 16 1/2. She has the responsibility of a job now. It won't be long and he'll be doing the same. So he's living it up while he has the chance.
Like I said, we are all enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of summer, so far. Hope it's stays this great!
I'm linked up at Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, if you'd like to stop by.