Soon, our homeschool year will be over and it's time for summer holidays.
As homeshoolers, we don't need to schedule our schoolwork according to the Finnish schoolyear. Yet, we do, at least approximately. We start our school year by mid-August and take a small break - like a long weekend - during the autumn term. The autumn term ends in December, with a longer break (about 3 weeks or so) around Christmas and New Year. The spring term starts at the beginning of January, and then we take a week-long break at some point along the way and another break around Easter. We aim to finish the academic year by the end of May.
This leaves us a long summer break: two and a half months. I remember this as the glorious, sunny, wonderful season of freedom from my childhood. It makes sense I want to offer something similar to my son...
What's the plan for the break?
It's not like we're going to be lazy all the time. We'll do more sports and outdoor activities, weather permitting. We'll go swimming, once the water in the lakes warms up a little. We plan field trips, studying nature in a way that's just not possible during other seasons. We might do some arts and crafts, too: the sort of projects that we don't have the energy to plan and do during the academic year. When my husband is off from work, we'll have the family holiday with a bit of travel.
And, bookworms as we are, there will be lots of reading for fun. Having completed a second round of the Famous Five series, Junior Bookworm decided to read all the other adventure series by Enid Blyton that have been translated into Finnish. At the current rate, this should keep him busy at least until mid-July - probably not through the entire summer...
And my reading list, in addition to tourist guides etc. to plan and prepare for the family trip, includes at least some fiction and a great deal of non-fiction....
On the fiction side, I'm looking forward to Up Close and Personal by Jeff Lucas (Helen Sloane's Diary continued). I've also put The Rosie Project by Grame Simsion on library hold, and hopefully will get to read it at some point during the summer. If I find myself wanting more fiction, I might get the next part of Anna Elliot's Georgiana Darcy's Diary series.
As for non-fiction, Shauna Niequist's Cold Tangerines is already in my Kindle Library, and I have been saving it for the summer. I'll probably get Bread and Wine after reading that, if my book budget allows it. Patrick Henry Hughes's I Am Potential has been on my TBR pile for a long time, and it looks like a good book to take along for the family trip.
Then there's the TBRR i.e. To Be Re-Read stack.
Linda Dillow: What's It Like to be Married to Me?
It's been a while since I read this, and I feel I need to refresh my memory. Perhaps I'll grab Tim Kimmel's Grace-Based Parenting for a re-read, too. I've found these books very helpful for remembering what's essential about our family relationships.
David Keirsey: Please Understand Me II.
I thought it only fair to give this MBTI book another chance. Reading it in the hospital when my ankle had just broken, I kept falling asleep in the middle of a page. (All that pain, and pain medication.) I don't even remember the temperament result I got when I did the questions, except that I was as strong an Introvert as could be... I'm on the library hold queue for this one.
Richard Lederer: Anguished English and More Anguished English
Laughter therapy. Language humour is one of the things that makes me laugh the most.
I know I can make language mistakes with the best of them - malapropisms, misspellings, strange grammar, etc. I'm not laughing at the people who make the mistakes - I'm laughing at the effect these mistakes have. The contrast between the intended meaning and what the words are actually saying (or the different ways in which they can be understood).
The only problem with these books is that my son wants to know what's so funny when I laugh with tears in my eyes. Some of these things just can't be explained in another language.
An example, not from these books but from real life, is this photo I snapped in Taiwan, many years ago...
Does anyone want to guess what message the sign on the right is supposed to convey?