Summer School in a Bucket!

We took the month of June off from homeschooling.  I do not plan to use a set curriculum until the fall (we have changed our curriculum – we will be using Classical Conversations along with a few others that I will share with you in August).  But I don’t want the children’s skills to become rusty over the summer so we are using a few fun sharpening tools for about an hour a day 3 times a week.

We are working on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic!

It is going well – too well – the kids are begging for more and I’m the one who is longing for a break lol!  Most of the time they are outside having fun doing things like this…but on rainy or sweltering hot days the bucket comes out!

So what are you doing with your children this summer?  Feel free to leave links to on-line things you have found – one of my favorites for spiritual training ideas is Doorposts!  Their blog is so helpful!

Walk with the King!


  1. We are doing workbooks called summerlinks. My kids are the same wanting to do them all the time. It’s so funny. We are also doing alot of extra reading.

  2. Glad you are all having fun! I like the bucket idea. Why is it that buckets make everything more fun? Love that table too!

  3. We also do a little school throughout the summer months. We have been using A Beka so I usually stretch my kids Math workbook out over the year. It’s actually very nice because the girls stay on a bit of a schedule & I don’t have to “reteach” the concepts that were forgotten over the summer. I think my favorite part is being able to skip ahead in the NEW workbook in the Fall because we do not need to go over the review portion (which is usually the first 30-40 or so lessons). Now, THAT feels nice because we feel ahead of the game right from the start! And, as you know, homeschooling moms struggle with having to juggle many hats at once so if I can get ahead ‘anywhere’, I’ll take it! ;0)

  4. My oldest is using Handwriting without Tears as well. Kindergarten or us will start August 8 after we move and tot school for my almost 3 year old. Right now I’m working through some math with my oldest because he’s been begging to start Kindergarten and I was afraid he’d start without me (lol). This week the boys are attending VBS at their buddies’ church and loving every second of it.

  5. I like your bucket idea! I tutor some homeschool kids (mostly teens). Several are in Classical Conversations and it seems like a wonderful program.

  6. Love that my kidos love to still keep learning and growing even though it is the summer. Keeping their brains and hearts growing is such a beautiful thing!

  7. That is so cute, Courtney! We are doing summer reading, but that’s about it. I have so many projects that need to be done , and we only have a month and a half off to finish them in this summer. We finished really late because of our move to Kansas from Georgia in December. I’m just hoping to finish all our projects by mid-August so we can start back up on time! I love reading with them though! We bought some A Beka readers, along with the parent editions, so I can read with them. They read one paragraph out loud, I read one paragraph out loud, alternating back and forth. With 4 kids, it takes up a good deal of time, but is so helpful for them, and A Beka has the most beautiful moral books with a Biblical perspective!

    Oh, and I LOVE your table and chairs! 🙂

  8. Where did you get the chalk board for your table? Love it!! Could you tell us what books you are using that are on the table? I am having a hard time reading them… What grades are your kids again? Thank I am getting so excited to get Peyton started!!

    1. We got the chalk board at Kirklands. The books are nothing fancy, just walmart and Borders materials for my kids grades…1st and 2nd 🙂

  9. I am a public school teacher but work with my own children over the summer with self-created materials. I noticed the Family Reading Bible on your table and looked it up. There is some controversy of the notes and devotionals based on Old Earth Creationism, just wondering what your views are, and your personal feelings on the Bible. itself.

    1. Oh no, I was unaware of a controversy! Bummer! I’ll have to google it because thus far we’ve had no problems. Thanks for letting me know.

  10. Hey Courtney!
    That bucket is so cute and I love the chalkboard, too! I am interested in hearing about why you are switching FROM K12/OHVA {we just signed up for it and I was so encouraged by your family}! If you blogged abt it, I missed it. Could you kindly email me the link or just drop me a line and let me know your experience please?? I would greatly appreciate it!!!

    1. Hey girl! We still LOVE OHVA and K12 and as I’ve shared before my oldest sister used it for 7 years and is a High School Math teacher for OHVA – so we still love it BUT one of my friends runs a local Classical Conversations class. My children have nearly no friends their own age who are homeschooled and I feared this could get lonely soon. My children do lots of sports – football, basketball, karate, swim, gymnastics, etc. but have not made any real relationships there…my husband and I have been VERY VERY torn over this decision – we were very happy with K12 – zero complaints…but we thought we’d give this Classical Conversations a try just to see what it’s like for them to “go to class”. I am a little nervous about the unknown of it…I’m pretty comfy with k12…so I’m praying we made the right move. But I can say sincerely – I loved my experience with K12 and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a computer based homeschool program. The lessons are so well planned out and simple to understand (except phonics – ugh – my least favorite lol!) and the teachers helpful and kind (and even Christian 🙂 that was a bonus) As I’ve said before – no schooling decisions are permanent – so Classical Conversations will be our choice for 2011-12 – but who knows what we’ll choose for 2012-13! This is a faith journey! Enjoy K12 – you’ll do great and feel free to email me if you have further questions courtney(at)womenlivingwell(dot)org

      1. I was just going to ask you the same thing Courtney! Your blog, others and personal reasons have called our family to try homeschooling for the first time ever this coming school year. I’m waiting to hear back from both K12 and Connections Academy here in TX to see if I can get my 6th grader enrolled. I remember you getting a lot of negative comments about not using a christian curriculum and have read similiar reviews on different homeschooling review boards, so I’m thankful to hear that you still would recommend it. It can be very confusing for a new HS Mom to read such different opinions. Good luck with CC, will be interested in reading about it on your blog!!

  11. I have a 17-month-old son and am 6 months pregnant with our daughter, so I’m storing up all these homeschooling ideas for the future, like a squirrel storing up acorns… lol. I like your summer school format!

  12. You will love Classical Conversations! We have made such great friends, and learned more in 3 hours than most kids learn in a week! I love that I am learning so much, too. Learning by SONG is so helpful! And the timeline is wonderful. CC is the education I wish I had received (and I graduated college with honors).

    I also love the work in a bucket – so cute. We are doing Critical Thinking Co. for the summer. My little one loves them!

  13. What a cute setup you have! We are also doing Classical Conversations in the fall. Not only will it be my first “real” home school experience, I’m going to be a tutor. Yikes! I do love to bite off more than I can chew as a rule. I look forward to hearing your take on it!

  14. How fun! We are getting a CC in our area soon, and I just can’t wait! Looks like you guys have fun learning going on this summer. We are working on a few math workbooks, Explode the Code, and reading this summer. I just purchased that Bible for our family. I read the reviews (even the negative) but prayed about it and really felt lead to get it. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for. The living Word to read to our kids and the plan they have maked out just simplifies it a bit for them and can grow with them. I love that.

  15. Like your idea. I started homeschooling my daughter recently and in the middle of the year, but I plan on just doing school all year round with a light pace so that we don’t have to take a month to relearn what was lost over the summer… So it seems that is what you are doing too (kinda). I like doing school every day we get a chance because then when our family travels or if someone gets sick or whatever, we can deal with it without playing “catch-up” later.

  16. I feel just a little differently than some others on this page I guess. My two girls homeschool with K-12 as of this year, (and I absolutely love the curriculum by the way) my girls work so hard day in and day out-I feel strongly that they need a break. Every day they are applying themselves. Young children work so hard for nine months out of the year, when you think about it three months off to really spend with their family is nothing, and it goes too fast before they’re right back on their work! I mentioned that I just feel a little bit differently because we visit our local library all Summer, the girls love to pick out 6-8 bks each, we do bedtime stories constantly-and daytime stories as well. I do intend to go over some things over the Summer so the kids don’t lose that info. but I really worry about burnout if they are working on a steady curriculum all twelve months of the year. We have plans for our Summer like going camping quite a bit, buying an above ground pool, and taking a couple of trips. Time is so precious! I’m going to get out my camera and lock away some of these fun memories~ Summer memories are the best!

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