Wednesday, 17 July 2013

(My) Ideas for Summer

It has taken me about two weeks, since I first mentioned our summer plans, to put my ideas into words.  Here they are.

My vision for this summer consists of four parts, in no particular order of importance or timing:
  1. Lots of time outdoors, taking part in sports and being in nature
  2. Theme: The Wind in the Willows
  3. Theme: Mystery
  4. Art
1.  Outdoors, Sports, and Nature
When you live in the UK, you have really got to make the most of the weather, especially when it gets warm and dry.  For us, summer doesn't count unless we have spent time on the coast so heading out to the beach is a given.

I also intend to consciously make sure that we don't spend too much time indoors because we have a lot of indoor time to look forward to in winter and spring.

My inspirations for nature activities come from these sites:

I have resisted signing up Tiger for classes this summer.  Having run around a fair bit in the academic year, I would like us to have a restful summer rather than spending too much time running to and from classes.  However, Tiger has begged to do archery lessons so he will be taking two classes at the local sports centre.

2.  The Wind in the Willows
This book is on Ambleside Online's Year 2 booklist.  Tiger has read it a few times on his own but I think we can get more enjoyment out of the book by doing a few activities loosely based around the theme of the book.

What I have in mind for this theme are to:
  • share the read aloud together
  • start looking at the literary elements using the corresponding back issue of The Arrow
  • learn about river as a geographical feature as well as a habitat
  • learn about the four main characters of the story - toad, badger, rat (water vole), and mole
  • learn about the water cycle
  • do some "wet science" experiments
  • grow cress to put in sandwiches
  • have a picnic by a river
  • make a model boat and a model car
  • play a board game
  • go on field trips

3.  Mystery
Tiger has enjoyed mystery stories for a long time, starting with the Famous Five series.  He read these several times over, then proceeded to do the same with The Secret Seven series, and the excitement of solving mysteries.  So, he has also read through The Adventure seriesThe Five Find-Outers Mystery series, and The Barney 'R' Mysteries series.

Two years ago, we did a Famous Five Summer Adventure Week where we basically just had fun doing activities based on the series.  Since then, Tiger has been looking for mysteries to solve eversince, even writing a few scenarios of his own to solve.

What I have in mind for this theme are to:

4.  Art
After looking around and working out the true cost of attending a week-long art summer school to be around £400 (totalling fees, travel and food costs), I have decided to do it in-house using the following book:

The book is has five distinct sections, which works out nicely to fit a five-day summer school format.
  1. Drawing
  2. Painting
  3. Printmaking
  4. Paper
  5. Mixed Media
Each section has 10 to 11 activities or "labs" so there is plenty of variety to choose from.  Rather than assigning specific number of activities each day, I am thinking of focusing on one section per day and see how much we get to do by the end of each day.  My goal is for us to explore and enjoy the process of making art rather than to produce a certain number of output each day.

So, that's my plan for the summer.  Most UK schools start their holidays in the final week of July so we are going to beat the crowd to it by starting our summer now and going somewhere to escape the current heatwave.  In fact, we have already started last week with rockpooling!

Have a fun summer, everyone!

This post is linked up to:
  1. Hip Homeschool Hop - 7/16/13
  2. Hobbies and Handicrafts - July 19
  3. Collage Friday - Accomplishments and Interests
  4. Weekly Wrap-Up: The Share Your Curriculum Edition
  5. The Homeschool Mother's Journal - July 20, 2013


  1. These are wonderful plans. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. You're welcome, Phyllis. :-)

  3. I look forward to reading about your art projects and Wind in the Willows projects. I love the way your plans sound like fun but are really educational too!

  4. Thanks, Julie. I'm looking forward to getting into those projects too! :-)

  5. He, he! Your summer break sounds about as much of a break as mine does!
    A change really is as good as a rest though. I'm definitely feeling more relaxed and am enjoying my summer immensely! I think your plans sound fabulous and I hope you have a really wonderful summer!

  6. Thanks, Claire! We are not the resting type, are we? LOL.

  7. Oh what fun you guys are going to have! I love The Wind In The Willows. We are lucky to live in a beautiful river town. On one of our dog walks are sculptures (I suppose you'd call them) of Ratty & Moley's upturned boats, which sparked our interest in the book.
    You will have great fun with the Art Labs book, we've been using it as our art "curriculum" this year.
    We're heading down to the beach tomorrow - can't wait!

  8. The town where you live sounds like a really beautiful place, Lucinda! How lucky of you! It's wonderful that you get to see sculptures related to the story right where you walk your dog. That just brings the story more to live for the children. Have fun at the beach tomorrow! :-)

  9. That sounds like a wonderful summer plan :-)


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