Summer School

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks going back and looking at all the different things we’ve learned about in summer school over years. I was surprised to find that even in my early days of blogging, I managed to mention at least something about each summer, even though the first few years I didn’t include much in the way of links, and no photos at all!

  • 2008The Beijing Summer Olympics–Our homeschooling journey started before the first day of kindergarten, with some trial lessons having to do with the Olympics and China.
  • 2009All About Space–Our second summer of school focused on space, and included a few fun experiments, and trying out some astronaut ice cream!
  • 2010Colonial America and the Revolutionary War–We had some great resources for this summer, plus a fantastic field trip!
  • 2011All About Birds–A pair of robins who decided to call our Japanese cherry tree home inspired this special unit, where we got a front-seat view of how baby birds develop!
  • 2012The London Summer Olympics–One of the most in-depth summer schools I’ve planned, and on the tail-end of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to boot…we learned about the Olympics, London, famous athletes, and had lots of fun doing it!
  • 2013British Children’s Literature and History–We had such a great time learning about London in 2012 that we decided to keep that theme going in 2013!
  • 2014All About Baseball–We managed to learn math, science, and American history, all while learning about our favorite sport. We also had many field trips related to baseball!
  • 2015Illinois State History–It was high time we learned about our home state, so we did so in grand style, with a great reading list, and even more field trips!
  • 2016The Rio Summer Olympics–Back where we started once again in an Olympic year. I found it impossible to top our 2012 summer school, but there was still a lot to learn about the Olympics, Rio and about geography in general!
  • 2017Westward Expansion and the Pioneers–I had to work hard to come up with an idea for our tenth summer school, but I knew I wanted to focus on history (again), and I wanted something that would work locally. Well, they call St. Louis the Gateway to the West, and there are several Lewis and Clark sites in the area, as well as pioneer locations, so I decided to run with it!
  • 2018Medieval Times–This idea came to me just as our 2017-18 school year began, which meant I had to wait almost an entire year to dive into it! This is one of my favorite times to study, and it was especially timely, as it led into 2018-19’s history focus.
  • 2019Rick Steves’ Europe–This was a strange summer for me, because in some ways, I feel like I did the least work ever on it, and yet, I feel like it was one of the most in-depth experiences we’ve had!
  • 2020Cooking–This was the summer school that fell apart. Originally, the theme was supposed to be Tokyo 2020, but I think we all know how that ended. I had good intentions of making this the summer I taught my children how to cook, and we did do some cooking together (Bunny especially learned some useful skills), but I can’t say that it was as in-depth as I had hoped.
  • 2021The Tokyo Summer Olympics–Better late than never, right? In addition to learning about Japan and the Olympics, we spent a lot of time at the Missouri Botanical Garden, visiting the “Origami in the Garden” exhibition, which was mercifully postponed from the scheduled date of summer 2020. We also learned about the history of the Olympics in St. Louis…having some kind of local connection made things a little extra fun during this strange Olympics year!
  • 2022Disney!–To coincide with our (postponed for a year) trip to Disney World, I decided we’d spend the summer learning about Walt Disney, the Disney parks, and Disney movies. It has to be the most fun summer school ever, right?!? Don’t be fooled, though…we learned a lot about history, design, and even engineering along the way!
  • 2023Fairy Tales–This was actually Ladybug’s idea, and it was a great one! We did some cooking and baking (of course), and also a few fun crafts to go with all of the stories we read. Even though I’ve been homeschooling for quite a while now, there are plenty of stories we never got around to reading, so it was fun to pick some of those up. They also learned about the Brothers Grimm, as well as the history of fairy tales through cultures.

In addition to summer school, we’ve done some other special themed units over the years, and I’ll add those as I’m able. Trying to find all of our Christmas school activities is a gargantuan task!

Thanksgiving School–Not summer school, but another special unit that I’ve spent a lot of time planning and tweaking over the years.

Christmas School–There’s a fine line between Christmas school, and family Christmas traditions. We have a lot of both though, from crafts, books, and around the world observations and meals to family field trips.

Winter Olympics–The Summer Olympics have always been a huge part of our summer school lessons, but we’ve also done a few things here and there for the Winter Olympics, especially the 2014 Sochi events.

St. Patrick’s Day–Sometimes we just take a day to learn about this holiday, and sometimes we take a week for special activities. It is one of my favorite holidays, after all!