Summer plans

The Future is Now.

-I’m planning the fall curricula, the year-long unit study on Manitoba that we’ll do in 3 years that is going to rock, the summer travel plans, and summer activities.  I’m all awhirl with possibilities and yet I have a feeling of a rootedness that comes from knowing us and knowing we’ll have a blast in the upcoming months.

-Daisy Yellow has put together an inspiring set of posts for prepping for the summer months.  It’s a great time to muck about with your kids, playing and creating, but in the moment we’re not always full of ideas or the energy to gather supplies.  The first post talks about getting a project list going, organizing the process, and gathering up supplies before the summer begins. The second post lists a whole slew of wonderful projects you might want to do.

-On our walk/jog in the wind and hail today we talked about making a summer list of things to do, one for each of us. An Adventure List. Things we want to do, create, experience, achieve.  I know many families do this sort of thing, but we’ve never done it formally.  I think the kids are at great ages for this sort of ownership of summer.  Do you do this?  What are on your lists or has been in the past?

Writing a letter

-I am very excited about homeschooling next fall.  I’m 99% certain we’ll be trying the Sonlight literature-based curriculum.  But in the meantime,  I’ve got a plot hatching in my mind for our summer semester. A little background: Sandra, despite having vision issues that have slowed her reading progress, is an avid writer. She’s 12 and has been working on a novel for more than a year. Last year I ordered “The Writer’s Jungle” and promised her that we’d have a blast doing authorly things. I haven’t had time to pursue writing since having kids, other than blogging, and was looking forward to freewriting again. This year, though, her reading started to really take off and we spent our time enjoying and developing that, leaving “The Writer’s Jungle” on the shelf occasionally throwing baleful glances at me. Summer’s coming, though, and bringing a change in motivation and setting. I had an idea: what if she and I used the 3 months of summer to focus on writing? We usually school year-round, and the idea of writing after biking to parks with picnics or while sitting on the deck in the shade of the apple tree is entrancing.

I’m rereading “The Writer’s Jungle” in preparation and trying to sort out a rhythm. She’s going to want to work on her novel, but I think that many of the initial exercises shouldn’t be novel-based – except to explore settings and backstory, perhaps – to avoid the emotional mess of revising her precious work right off the bat. So it seems like our time should maybe be divided between just writing on her novel and on Brave Writer exercies. Copywork can still play a role in this, of course, and give us a break from the heavy lifting of creating and revising.  Have any of you done a writing-intensive session with your children?  Do you have any tips?


8 thoughts on “Summer plans

  1. Lissa says:

    Okay, it might not be her or your thing but I figure I would put this out there.
    It is a Redwall RPG forum run by my son, Alder the Warrior. Hehe. They write up a character background first and then work from there. My son was 11 when he started the site and is now 17. He loves writing and is also working on a novel and the site has helped him in many areas of his writing. The board gets busier in the summer when everyone is out of school.

    If she isn’t a Redwall fan, she could probably find something along these lines for any series (Cat Warriors, LOTR, etc)

  2. Tammy says:

    Thanks for linking! I look forward to the list you and the kids create.

    My daughter (9) does not like to edit her stories, prefers to start a new one! So if you go into your daughter’s book project as a writing style project, not just to write for the sake and enjoyment of writing, editing could be seen as part of the fun, part of the challenge. At Montessori they do sentence mapping to better understand styles. One shape for verb, another for adjective, etc and then you can see patterns visually. ~ Tammy

  3. Courtney says:

    I’d love to talk with you off-list about homeschooling and writing … my 11-year-old daughter is *obsessed* with writing. We have used all kinds of texts together (and, like a good homeschooler, we have several to-be-read books on the shelf).

    … Courtney (

  4. Colorfuldayz says:

    My 12-year-old is a writer, too, and has 3-4 books in progress. Please keep us up on your writing efforts and how they work out. I am planning on working more with mine on her writing. It is incrediable to watch/hear what she comes up with.

  5. JoVE says:

    Seems to me that leaving her to devour reading is completely in line with the philosophy of The Writer’s Jungle.

    I’m not a great planner. But Freya and I did do one of the Julie’s KidsWriteBasic classes and I think it was worth it. Discussions with other moms. deadlines imposed outside. That kind of thing. And she wrote a great piece.

    I don’t think Julie offers it in the summer but worth keeping in mind.

  6. Lisa says:

    What a happy post! I LOVE the planning for next year/term etc. I get a lot of suggestions from Sonlight’s list, as well as from TruthQuest. We mostly use Ambleside, but I like to “tweak” it and personalize it. I am so proud of your kids for sticking with it on reading!! Like my cousin’s daughter, the eye thing is not to laugh at–how great that they both have kept with it. I think loving to write comes naturally with loving to read and reading great literature. I hope you’ll eventually post some of Sandra’s stories.

  7. Gypsy Gal says:

    What a nice site. I am enjoying reading through your posts. So much out there I sometimes feel like I get lost in other peoples worlds. I guess it’s better than being lost in myo own world. Keep up the good work.

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