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Vacation, Homeschool Style

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summer vacation in the winter

 

We school our children year-round. When they were young, it was so much easier to keep up math and grammar and spelling lessons all the way through the year. I noticed that both my children tended to forget math facts if we took a summer break along with the rest of the neighborhood of public-schooled children.

And so we fell into the idea of homeschooling year-round. I did have to look out for general burn-out, though. Mine.

My kids have always been raring to go when it comes to learning. The more the better.

Perhaps it was the reading, or the fantastically expensive formula I fed my twins as a supplement when they were babies. My husband and I have a running joke between us that those $60 containers of formula that our children guzzled as babies are the reason our children are so smart today. But more likely it was the reading.

I read to my kids daily. We sit in the living room and enter the imaginations of great authors. We read the words of historical figures to understand how they thought. We read and read and read.

With all that intensive schooling, we all need a break every year. We take that break in the wintertime. The week of my kids’ birthday through the first week of January is our break from school. Even though we start a new school year on paper at the end of summer, we actually start the new year of learning in January.

And so a few weeks ago, I sat down with my kids to finish off a couple of books before vacation started for us. I mentioned that there were only a couple of weeks before vacation and that I wanted them to both put all lessons aside during vacation so they could have a real break and come back fresh in the new year.

“No, we are not going to stop ‘school’ during vacation,” was the reply, delivered in unison. They both looked at me from their respective comfy living room chairs. And as if this was something that they had discussed and decided upon, they both said, “We just want a vacation from reading with you. That is all. We are not going to stop doing our lessons. You can’t make us!”

OK, so I was obviously a bit disappointed that my kids wanted a break from me—that no mommy-lessons was the heart of vacation for them. But, I think homeschooling is successful when your children decide that learning is not something they can do without, even during vacation.

Do you homeschool year-round, or do you take vacation breaks? And do you find that your children ever actually stop learning, even during vacation?

 

Kirsten West – I am a homeschooling mom with twin teenagers. We have homeschooled them since they were young and now that I have more time, I blog, write math books and children’s stories, crochet a lot in the evenings, and work as an independent consultant for The Old Schoolhouse as the SchoolhouseTeachers.com Affiliate Manager.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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