Summer Goals

Summer Reading | Book It

  • Lots of Splash Pads
  • Lots of Swimming Pools
  • Keep some structure
  • Catch up on a few school-ish items
  • Book-it Free Pizza

 

The lovely thing about the summer, for public school kids, is they are home! So you can do more to incorporate the family culture you desire because you have your kids with you more.

 

Some recommendations: 

Pick one composer and listen to their music for a little bit every time you’re in the car, in the evenings when you’re making dinner, or when everyone is getting ready for bed. Every once in a while, mention the name of the composer and what song is playing. Don’t overdo it! Just make this composer that you like part of your culture. 

Pick three great classic movies that you want your kids to watch. Plan one movie night per month to introduce them to your favorite films.

Pick a classic book to read in the mornings or evenings. 

Let your kids pick a country on the map. Learn about what the people there eat, how they dress, what music they like – let the kids prepare a meal from that country. 

Summer Plans


We do not do official school year-round. Some families do, and that’s fine. But we need an extended break and we do that in the summer time. 

However, we need structure and a schedule or else we feel crazy. So our summer days include a “morning time” that is a bit less intense than our normal “morning time.” It’s time for Summer Homeschool Plans….

In the summer, we will:

  1. Read Proverbs
  2. Read scheduled Bible passages from Ambleside Online.
  3. Read Animal Farm and Watership Down.
  4. Finish Robin Hood.
  5. Finish Lord of the Rings.

I pick these books because they are coming up quick on my kids’ curriculum and if we read them in the summer, it frees up time during the school year.

We will also work on little skills that need work…(I’m looking at you, copywork.)

Every homeschool family I know does summer a little differently. We need lots of time for my full work schedule and the kids need a break from some things (like math and Latin). 

“You have to do what works for your family.”

Summer Reading

Book It

The links above are affiliate links from Bookshop.org. Purchases using my links earn me a commission at no additional cost to you.

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Read the Play

This term, we are reading Romeo and Juliet. It’s a re-read for us – but that’s good. We love re-reading Shakespeare plays. Every time we notice new themes and have more to talk about – new ways to dig in.

Folger Shakespeare Library Mass Market editions are quickly becoming my favorite editions. They have lots of notes and always start with insightful commentary.

Don’t get a kindle version. You need a print copy. In fact, each student needs a print copy.

Bookshop.org

Watch a Movie

Romeo and Juliet is the best for movie watching. There are so many great options. The Baz Luhrmann version is our favorite, but if you want something not so loud, try this version. But pre-screen if you have young children.

It’s also easy to find colleges who recorded their Shakespeare plays and put them online. Those are free and easy to find.

Build Community

Romeo and Juliet is a popular play and it’s likely that other people in your homeschool community may be reading it, or willing to read it, and then come over for some Shakespeare fun. 

We once hosted a Romeo and Juliet fun day. We read portions of the play, had a soccer game (Capulets vs. Montagues), and ate Italian food. Everything is better with food. 

So reach out to your homeschool friends and see how you can interact with this play together.

 

Another great resource for parents teaching Romeo and Juliet is The Play’s the Thing. In 2021, they read the play act by act and discussed it. We read it that semester and listened along. My high school student, in particular, got into the discussions about Romeo and Juliet’s love – is it transcendent? Or just immature teenagers choosing desire over duty? Listen along and discuss with your students.

Poetry

This term we are reading Robert Frost for my older student and Christina Rossetti for my younger student.

We will read a new poem each day and I’ll encourage them to memorize one poem each by offering tangible incentives (I’m looking at you, FiveBelow…).

The content below contains affiliate links.

Robert Frost

We will be reading from this Robert Frost book, just as soon as I find it! In the meantime, Robert Frost poems are available for free here. Plus a quick YouTube search will show you lots and lots of people reading Frost poetry.

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti has been a favorite here for a while. We have a physical copy of one of her books that we will be reading from daily. Like Robert Frost, you can find many YouTube videos of her poems being read aloud. 

 

Free Reads

“Free Reads” in our home come from the Ambleside Online list for whatever year my kids are in.

In the Ambleside Online community, families handle the Free Read section in different ways. The way I do it is not the only way, although it does work well for us.

For the younger years, I pick a selection from “Free Reads” and add it to our morning time. We read about 15 minutes per day. I alternate from the list of each kid.

I started doing it this way because my oldest started at AO4 and missed the younger year free reads. By doing them as a family, he got to hear those stories while my daughter did. 

Sometimes we do a free read because it fits with the season or topic. For example, we visited the fair recently, and my youngest fell in love with the little piglets PLUS our nature study topic was spiders – so we had to read Charlotte’s Web. Also, every November/December, we read The Christmas Carol because it’s such a great story.

The other way we sometimes handle Free Reads is audiobooks from the library. I’ve written before about my captive car audience, and one way I take advantage of this time is audiobooks. We can’t swing a monthly audible subscription, but the occasional library fee is worth it.

Article on Free Reads from Ambleside Online

 

Poetry

Filling your children’s heads and hearts with poetry is one of the most important things you can do. No one is bored when they have a poem to recite. Internalizing those rhythms and rhymes will help with writing and style later in life. Here is what we do for poetry time each morning.

Who: We chose poets based on what year our children are studying at Ambleside Online. Over the years, we have read Mother Goose, A.A. Milne, John Dunbar, James Riley-Whitcomb, Longfellow, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter De La Mare, Emily Dickenson, and many more.

 

What: Most of the years, Ambleside has a free, printable list of poems on their website. Some years we have printed the list and read from it. Other years, we have bought a small collection of poems from Half Priced Books. 

We study the same poet for 12 weeks.

How: First, we read one poem per day by our poets. It can be that simple and still be effective. 

If there is a good, short biography on our poet, we may add that.

If we are feeling very creative, we might pick a poem and do an art project inspired by the piece.

We have also had seasons of life that we hosted a Poetry Hour at our home. We picked a poet, had friends over to read a few of his/her poems aloud, and did a small project based on the poems we liked (like painting a rock about our poem, for example.) It helped us to focus on a poet and allowed some kids to recite their poetry in front of peers. Fun all around.

“Homeschool moms love planning more than the actual homeschooling.” — I’m not sure who said that, but sometimes it’s true.

Proverbs, Bible, Catechism are for everyone.

Spanish – We use Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois

Pilgrim’s Progress – we have an old copy. We may be switching to Dangerous Journey soon.

Poetry – We follow Ambleside’s poetry rotation depending on the year my kids are in.

Shakespeare – Ambleside Shakespeare Rotation. (Usually)

Free Read –  a book I pick that I want us to read aloud together.

Halliburton – His “Book of Marvels.”

Art Study – Ambleside’s Art Rotation – using a study guide from either Humble Place or Simply Charlotte Mason.

Composer – Reading a book about our composer, chosen from Ambleside’s Composer Study.

Art Instruction – You Tube Videos, usually connected to another topic. More on that later.

Geography – From from both Home Geography for Primary Grades by Long, and/or Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason 

Plutarch – We used Anne White’s Study Guides. This is aimed at my older kids, but the younger one listens, too.

Nature Study – Using Anne Comstock’s book as a guide plus the Ambleside Nature Rotation.

Dictation – For my oldest, we had to add Diction to the list so we would remember to do it.

Morning Time

This posts contains some affiliate links,

“Morning Time,” while not strictly Charlotte Mason, is an essential part of our homeschool. It’s the time that we read the Bible together, do any lessons that all the kids need, and review our day so everyone knows what to expect.

And this week I’m planning for next term.

To keep myself as organized as possible, I make a list of goals for each week. Ambleside runs 12 week terms, so I work in 12 week chunks.

I print one page for each week. Each pages as a “daily” section and a “weekly section.” We do the daily items daily and try to get in 2 weekly items per day.

Daily sample:

Proverbs

Bible Verses

Catechism

Spanish-imperatives

Pilgrim’s Progress (10 pages per week)

Poetry – Whitcomb-Riley and Whittier

Shakespeare – Two Gentlemen – 1 scene per day

Two from weekly list

Free Read

Weekly sample:

Halliburton

Art Study – Botticelli

Composer – Bach

Art Instruction –  TBD

Geography – TBD

Plutarch-Pompey

Nature Study – soil/erosion

Dictation (x3)

Look mysterious? Over the next few months, I’ll be posting more about each of our morning time activities. I hope these ideas may help you on your homeschool journey!

 

For an excellent podcast about morning time

Check out Cindy Rollins – The New Mason Jar or Pam Barnhill’s Your Morning Basket. Both have seriously influenced my homeschool journey in a big way.

For further reading on Charlotte Mason

You can always read Charlotte’s words herself for free on the web, or check out Susan Schaffer Macauley’s For the Children’s Sake

Follow Us

Want to keep up with our latest adventures? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.