By Shari McMinn,
Whew! The traditional school calendar year is over, so let the real fun begin, right? Summer is the perfect time to relax and enjoy rebuilding relationships that lead to more effective learning during the coming school year. Why? Because when a child (or parent) is stressed or traumatized, their brain is “on fire,” therefore they can not effectively receive or recall information (or have much patience!). Parenting and education that is joy-filled and relationship-based (discipleship) is more effective and certainly more meaningful.
Think about this: Jesus and His disciples did everything together. They had the perfect example of a learning/living/loving relationship-based model of education. Even though it was flawed with the disciples’ sin, what they learned from their Master-Teacher changed the world forever! We know Christ as our Savior and live out the gospel today, 2,000 years later, because of that highly successful discipleship model empowered by the Holy Spirit.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
We all know the three R’s of reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic, but here are seven R’s for relationship-based learning strategies that our family enjoyed each summer for over two decades. These helped us create cherished memories, and then enjoy a smoother start to homeschool in the fall.
- Recreate: enjoy fun days at the park, the zoo, or hiking in the wild; plan weekend road trips for camping or other family togetherness outings.
- Relax: do the daily essentials of clothing, food, and household chores, but make more time for board games, movies, swimming, and nature walks.
- Rejoice: attend church, pray aloud, sing hymns, and wonder at God’s creation all around.
- Renew: practice daily devotions, read alouds, and “quiet time” (when each person hangs out quietly in their room for at least an hour each afternoon – no talking or screens allowed).
- Rest: either sleep-in until family members naturally wake up or take an afternoon nap (if you have early morning gardening or livestock chores).
- Restore: enjoy low-key being together to rebuild parent, child, and sibling relationships.
- Review: discuss the high points of your recently finished school year and what lows need to be improved on for next year to be even better.
Do you wonder how your unique family could ever successfully take a summer vacation together? Check this out during August in Minnesota: SPED Homeschool teams with Joni and Friends for a family retreat!
Need encouragement? Got questions?
- Go to this CHEC webpage for summertime fun: Ideas for kids, tweens, teens to do at home.
- Find more resources you might need at CHEC’s webpage for Unique Learners.
- Remember you can email me anytime with your questions or share your burdens at Shari@CHEC.org. I will try to respond within 24 hours.
- You can also contact the CHEC office with your homeschooling questions by email, firstname.lastname@example.org; call or fax: 720-842-4852, M–F 10am–5pm.
I hope this post gave you some great ideas to enjoy your summer as a family. Please anticipate my future Unique Learner blogs on the 3rd or 4th Wednesday, monthly.
PS: If you have a topic you want me to cover, please email me with your suggestion(s).
your trusted homeschooling friend