Last night on the beach I had the great pleasure of chatting with several moms while our kids played volleyball. The group consisted of 3 homeschool Moms, 1 mom who's always homeschooled older son went to PHS this year and whose younger son remains homeschooled, and the last mom has 3 kids always PS'd. This is a lovely bunch of women who I respect greatly, and enjoy each time we are together.
I learned last night that High Schoolers have work to do over the summer! And, to me, it seemed like a lot. 3 novels and a paper. Now, when I was in school we started after Labor day and finished the first 3-5 days of June. I do not recall any mandatory summer reading and I am certain I never wrote a paper in the summer. Nowadays, the kids start school before Labor Day in some areas and don't finish till the 3ed or 4th week of June. That leaves roughly 8 weeks left to play, swim, enjoy the family, travel, explore.... I don't understand the need to assign required reading of 3 novels and a paper.
I tend to read lots of biographies, historical novels and cookbooks during the year. To me, summer screams for bad fiction, cheesy crime novels and an occasional cliche romance thrown in for good measure. Summer reading is carefree, light, non-substantial and fun!! Are we taking the joy of reading from our kids by telling them what they MUST read? I do make suggestions to my kids about noteworthy works, and sometimes they even follow my lead! But I can't imagine assigning a book to any of my kids and not only forcing them to read it, but making them write a paper about it as well!!! This is ludicrous to me.
More than anything, I hope to inspire my children, encourage a love of learning and show them that the journey is enough, the destination will be what it will. I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn alongside my babies and see their faces light up when they hit upon something interesting. I love this unschooling life, and I love my free summers!!!