Summer School Days
My daughter, Clarissa, has been asking me to teach her to read, off and on, since before she was potty-trained. She constantly asked to start kindergarten this spring, so I spent May planning what I wanted our year together to look like.
In June, we officially started kindergarten. I knew that I wanted to start slow, so I planned for 20–30 minutes of lessons, four days per week. Some days were like binge days for her, and she would do two or three days’ worth of lessons in one sitting, because she didn’t want to stop. So, my July plans included more to do each day.
Omi sent us a scavenger hunt from a magazine. We decided that we wanted to do it across the street at Nonseong Park. Clarissa and I thought it would be fun to do school outside, as well, so we packed our schoolbooks, some crayons, and a clipboard in my backpack. On the way out the door, Clarissa decided to ride her bike, and also bring the kite.
Clarissa rode her bike across the street and then we climbed the hill to fly the kite. As I set my bookbag down, Clarissa already had her kite in the air. This was only her second time flying a kite, but she did extremely well.
When we needed a water break, we headed to the pavilion on the hill to do our Bible time.
Then we did our scavenger hunt. Clarissa had a great time finding the items on the list, like a crooked stick, a bug that crawls, something that smells good, and something that feels rough. The only thing we didn’t find was an acorn, but we found a pine cone instead.
We reviewed our five senses to talk about what we did on our scavenger hunt, and drew pictures.
We took another break to play on the Korean exercise equipment and then headed back to the pavilion to read our books for the day. Then we headed back up the hill for more kite-flying fun. She went to the very top and said she was walking on the Hwaseong Fortress (a historic fortification near Seoul, South Korea).
When we had enough, we headed home by bike. Our “school day” took about two hours, with all the breaks, but we both really enjoyed it.
Other days, we brought our schoolwork to one of the playgrounds in our apartment complex. We would bring our books and schoolwork outside and she would do an activity or two, go play, and come back to complete another activity.
We have also been on a lot of field trips this summer. We learned about animals at the National Institute of Ecology, fed fish at the aquarium in Seoul, hiked the Hwaseong Fortress wall, touched bugs at the Asan Insect Museum (Asan, South Korea), and learned about Japan before our trip to Tokyo, where we saw baby pandas at the Ueno Zoo.
Because our school days were short, we had plenty of time to go swimming or play with friends. I think this was one of our favorite summers together. I wonder what school should look like for fall?
Suzanne Faust currently lives with her family in South Korea. A former teacher and current homeschool mom, Suzanne blogs at http://nextdoormama.com about faith, homeschooling, travel, and gluten free cooking. She has also published some Bible curriculum and family devotionals available on Amazon.