We all know how difficult schooling becomes closer to summer break. Parents are tired and students are difficult to motivate. Instead of staring at the calendar and counting down the days, we watch the clock and count down the hours and then the minutes. Obviously everyone is ready for a break, but an inevitable problem becomes, how much review will be needed when school is back in? When my children have an extended break, it seems as though they had forgotten everything they learned prior to. It seems we need to reteach a number of core concepts.
Despite the difficulty for children to seemingly retain information over the summer, it is impossible to completely forego a much needed recess from school. Children seem to become considerably more unruly when they feel overworked. The expression “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” is absolutely true; with the added twist of incomprehensible stress for the parents of dull boys and girls. While a break for all parties involved is essential, it has been my experience that too long of a break is counter-productive.
I would like to propose that if your family is similar to mine, then one month off from school is enough. One month gives everyone a much needed breather but is not too long that the school routine is completely disrupted.
Another solution to the Summer Break issue is simple; keep your child’s mind sharp by continuing learning activities. This summer we will take a break from all course materials with the exception of Piano Lessons, Foreign language, and Bible Study. I believe continuing these things will be just enough structure to keep their minds sharp and will reduce the headache associated with getting things going the following school term.
The start of this year was a bit more chaotic than it needed to be. As a homeschool parent, I am always open for other suggestions. Please comment if you agree or if your family has a system that works well for your family.