Friday, September 20, 2013

Summer School - My Honest Review

On Grandpa Tim and Grandma Amy's Boat this Summer

Mid-July it hit me that Summer was completely upon us and going to be over soon!  We became so engrossed in enjoying whatever Summer opportunities before us, we completely dropped Summer School.  I think 8 weeks is a nice round number and aside from shortening the overall length of the program I planned for them, the only other thing I would do differently in the future is cut back to just 5-6 subjects to cover.  How to pick though, I don't know!  I love all of what we did.  Perhaps we'd eliminate the animal section, though it was super fun, it was just to expound on the kids' knowledge of animals they already could identify.  That doesn't quite fit with the goal of the others which was to simply introduce new material and memorize.  It should, like in Classical Conversations, be simple and straightforward, like "Here's the new constellation, I'll show it to you everyday for a week, then review once a week for the rest of the Summer."  Mondays were our review day, Tuesday started the new info for the week.

Favorite Subjects we did: Classical Music, Bird Sounds, Sea Life and Fungi
Least Popular Subjects we did: Trees, Astronomy, Geology

Through the Summer the kids and I kept a running list of subjects we'd like to cover in future years. The plan is to return to all this in three years, so I have two more years worth of material to compile.  For the sake of next Spring when I'm ready to think about this again, here's the list we came up with:

  • Dog Types  - Ezra's determined to learn these, so we must add this one
  • Braille - Another Ezra add
  • Morse Code - why not?  We'd have to use this for good and not evil though. Back in the '80s, I had neighbors in DC who were both Morse code specialists and they'd cheat during Pictionary using Morse code.
  • Weeds - I took a medicinal herb class this Summer and am inspired to learn more about the weeds in my backyard!  
  • Different cultures - Mainly so we could try making different foods from different countries.
  • Reptiles
  • Arachnids

Before I let it go, I had already looked this up for Week 9 and wanted to share because I never knew the difference.  Check out these conifers:

They are Spruce, Fir and Pine, in order of top left, top right and bottom.
Now, I know!

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