Top Ten Benefits to a Summer Break

Many people I know school year round.  I respect that.  However, our family really enjoys a summer break!  So in honor of our love of summer breaks here are the top ten reasons we take (and will continue to take) summer breaks.

1. Leisurely Learning - Just because we take a break from our formal studies, it doesn't mean we take a break from learning or using our brains. We just go about it in a more relaxed manner. We also like to incorporate more nature walks during the summer weeks.

2. Awesome Adventures - We like to encourage our children to try new activities or have adventures. Summertime, when the days are longer and the atmosphere is more relaxed is the perfect time to build some adventure into their days. Treasure hunts, challenging hikes, and unplanned trips help make for some adventurous times.

3. More Time for Hands on Fun - This summer, we are challenging our children to create a insulated container to protect an egg from being dropped. We will also be challenging a few of them to create a bridge from toothpicks which will hold a brick. These are fun learning projects we just didn't have time to do over the school year.

4. Extra Time to Relax - In a society which celebrates busyness, isn't it just nice to have time to kick back and relax?

5. Camping - As individuals (our older children) and as a family we enjoy spending a few days or even a week out in the great outdoors. Summer breaks allow us extra time to do so.

6. Outdoor Fun - Who doesn't like to get outside when the weather is beautiful? Just being outside in the fresh air makes for a wonderful day. All these fun activities are simply a bonus.

7. Time to Learn New Chores - Maybe this isn't a favorite for my children, but summer break is a wonderful opportunity to take some time and learn a new domestic skill.

8. Creativity Flourishes - When my children have more time to themselves and less structure in their days, they begin to find new ways to occupy their time. Sometimes they invent new games or build something. Often the girls try their hands at a new project.

9. Create Excitement for the Upcoming School Year - There is something special about starting a new school year. New (to them) books are placed on the shelves, interesting lessons and fun projects being planned, and new school supplies are bought. These are just some of the tangible items which signal a new year is about to begin in our home. Sometimes, I may even whet their appetite for a subject by finding a few interesting books to read over the summer. Often, these books 'preview' the history time period we will study in the upcoming school year.

After reading through this list, have you begun to think...Um, it still sounds like homeschooling to me...This my dear readers and friends is the final benefit of a summer break! We are in fact still teaching our children throughout the summer break, but it is all in a more relaxed, less formal manner. There will be no final papers to write. No presentations are made. It is...
10. Learning for the Love of Learning

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