School’s Out – What’s a Mother to Do?

Schedules can be an important part to the summer for those of us who take a break from regular homeschooling studies that is. I saw this suggestion on Marilyn Moll’s blog for keeping your homeschooled students learning and busy for part of each day and thought I’d share it here.

In the summer, we do what we call “Stations” ! I have five children (they are ages 8-14), so there are five stations, and each child goes to each station for 30 minutes in a rotation. We make a main list together of the stations and then each one is numbered with a yellow sticky note with that number on it. I change the stations as needed throughout the summer, but for example, here’s a rotation we have done this past week: Station 1 is educational games on the computer, Station 2 is a stack of Calvin and Hobbes books on the couch, Station 3 is watercolor painting at the kitchen table, Station 4 is walking on the treadmill (I let them watch Veggie Tales or Bugs Bunny cartoons, etc while walking), and Station 5 is doing your laundry/check your chore list/clean your room. There is a mix of fun, art, exercise, and work, but all the children can do all the stations independently. Then, before stations begin, I make a quick 2 minute chart on paper to remind everyone what order they are doing stations that day/time. So, the chart looks like this: — that is the time, the station number, and my children’s initials…
1st line: 10:00am 1K 2B 3R 4N 5C
2nd line: 10:30am 1C 2K 3B 4R 5N
3rd line: 11:00am 1N 2C 3K 4B 5R
4th line: 11:30am 1R 2N 3C 4K 5B
5th line: 12 noon 1B 2R 3N 4C 5K
They just keep rotating every half hour until they have all been around to all the stations! Works great, very simple, takes 2.5 hours to go through all of the stations, and the stations can change very easily (other ideas: art/playdough, puzzles, electronic games, “date” with Mom, read with or to Mom, make a snack and eat it, look through kids recipe books, read an assigned book, homeschool work … endless possibilities! This gets us out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (a necessity here in Texas), keeps them active and busy with purpose, but fun, too, and I can make the stations completely independent if I need to accomplish something, or I can put myself into the stations and get 30 min of one-on-one time with each child, usually uninterrupted. This has worked very well for us, and is adaptable to your family… I hope you’ll try it!! 🙂 Monique B.

So, if anyone is actually reading this — what do you do for the summer?

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