Our Ideal Summer Heartschooling Rhythm
If you have been here for any length of time you’ll probably already know that I am not big on schedules.
I mean, I’ve created broad annual goals each year to avoid them and my mini planner is perfect for those with schedule avoidance. But I wanted to go a little deeper into my heartschooling plan for the summer.
I actually think this is more than a schedule, I think it may be . . . dare I say . . . a routine.
Me and routine, we have a love-hate history. I’m not a fan of her but I see the benefits of getting to know her so I’m slowly exposing myself to this idea of routine and honestly, the more I get to know her, the more I see her benefits.
I don’t even know who I am any more.
In the past my beef with routine has been this idea of monotony and the only routine that I had was to not have a routine. But in the past year I’ve gotten into a few good personal routines and I’ve come to realize how they can benefit my children and our days (even though I’m still not a big fan of the word – let’s officially call this a rhythm – that is a way better word).
I am still waiting on a few resources to arrive but I think I have finished creating my ideal heartschooling rhythm for the summer and thought I would share it with you all.
Before we get into it, I guess I should back up a few steps and explain what heartschooling is.
I’m sure someone else has used the term “heartschooling” before but I’m not drawing from anyone else’s words or ideas when it comes to this idea of heartschooling. It is something I feel like I need and want to do with my kids and the definition I came up with is as follows:
Heartschooling is teaching and reaching the hearts of our children so they can know the heart of God.
This is done by spending time in God’s word, setting a gentle and loving example for them to follow and showing them how to love and forgive in their daily lives.
With that bit of information, for the rest of the post I will share some ways I plan on going about this.
I think we need to start with this one even though it is not the most important item on this list. I am working on instilling some good habits in my children this summer and I really think a regular rhythm or routine will make this a lot easier. I am so out of my element in this area though, I would appreciate any advice.
One thing that I am not a fan of are rewards charts/stickers/jars/etc. I know they work for some kids and families but not for ours, nor do I really care to make them work for us.
That being said, I do think rewards can be motivating and my kids to get some screen time a couple days a week but only once the things I want them to get done are done. These days where they have this screen time the list gets done a lot quicker.
I know the formation of habits will require consistency from me, something I am working on.
Some of the habits I am currently trying to instill in them are things like: getting better at cleaning up after themselves, helping more before and after a meal, getting some of their chores out of the way in the morning, etc.
BIBLE & MEMORY VERSES
This is one of those things that is really the most important but I struggle with doing consistently – with the kids that is, I am fine with studying the Bible on my own but for some reasons have a hard time sticking with Bible reading with the kids.
I did mention in my original heartschooling post that we plan on going through Our 24 Family Ways, I ordered the book and it should arrive early next week. Each week we will be going over a different “way” – each of which include a memory verse so we will follow along with that.
Currently we have been listening to the first week of the Same Page Podcast and memorizing those verses (the also have a passage from Shakespeare, a poem and some US president history in each episode).
I’ve heard really good things about The Life and Faith Field Guide for Parents, the subtitle is: Help Your Kids Learn Practical Life Skills, Develop Essential Faith Habits, and Embrace a Biblical Worldview. I know there are chapters all about teaching children how to read the Bible based on their age and it seems like a really good resource. I hope to also grab this book soon and put some of what I read into action.
IMMERSE OURSELVES IN GOOD LITERATURE
The last few months I feel like I’ve been even more intentional with making sure we are reading good books and listening to good audiobooks. I want my kids to be exposed to characters who love God and are willing to stand up for what they believe in.
Here are just a couple of recommendations:
The Chronicles of Narnia – it has stood the test of time for good reason. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will also be my favorite book in the series.
Frozen Fire – this audio drama is so, so, so good. We’ve listened to a few audio dramas from Lamplighter and have enjoyed them all but this one has been my favorite by far. My kids are 6 and 8 and I think they were a great age for it, though it would also be good for an older crowd (maybe up to 14 or so?).
Redwall series – we listened to the first book on audio and Raeca is currently reading book two, if you have kids that enjoy animal fantasy books, this series is great.
The Wingfeather Saga series – I read this one myself and plan on listening to it with the kids soon. The book is funny and yet has strong good vs. evil, with characters showing real courage and learning to use their gifts to help others.
Christian Heroes Then & Now – fiction books can be great but there is something special about listening to true stories of courage and bravery and this series has some great ones.
EXPLORING GOD’S CREATION
I want to take some intentional time this summer to explore and learn about nature. I bought Exploring Nature with Children last year and am only starting to use it now.
I plan on sharing some snippets of our time with this curriculum over on my personal Instagram in the following weeks, we’ll be starting with Summer Solstice next week, I’m looking forward to diving in!
I come from a line of crafty women and it appears that trait has been passed down to my daughter. I want to make sure we all work on handicrafts of some sort – things that are useful and are not going to just get thrown out immediately.
Lately Raeca has been making notebooks for her travelers notebook – she’s been taking pages of a phonebook (that for some reason still get dropped off in our neighborhood even though I doubt anyone even uses the things) she then glues decorative pages over top to make the pages sturdier and prettier. I might just have to get her to make a couple of notebooks for mine.
I have lots of other ideas for handicrafts as well and we will experiment with the ideas as needed.
I’ve said so many times over that there is so much that I like about the Charlotte Mason method, but for us, in this season, it’s not the method that we are following, but I still pull so much inspiration from her method. When I look at the rhythm that I want this summer it comes down to this simple idea that Charlotte Mason shared, that each day, each child should have: something to do, something to love and something to think about.
SOMETHING TO DO – the kids have been doing a bit of school work in big curriculum books we recently picked up, they are currently in the stage where they are excited about this because they are already “in” the next grade. They are also doing their daily chores and some days also doing some handicraft stuff.
SOMETHING TO LOVE – we are in a season of learning to love the people in our home, even as we recognize they may have personalities that totally clash with our own. Some days there is more love than others.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT – they are thinking about the stories that we read, the verses we memorize and the nature we learn about.
We may not get to every single thing every day but it has been nice to stop throughout the day and think about just these three things and ask myself if they have had something to do, something to love and something to think about. I find it to be a nice, simple rhythm for summer.
What does your summer rhythm look like? I would love to hear all about it!