Not Back to Homeschool (yet) and Easy Chemistry

I always feel a bit out of step with the schooling/homeschooling world this time of year. The buzz, even in homeschooling circles, is back-to-school. And my mind is just not in that space this time of year. 

Like I've written earlier, this is our first year of summer homeschool. But we have always been year round learners and for the last few years we've done our state required assessments in mid August to reflect that. This week I am sending the necessary paperwork (2 pages in all) to the state education department for next school year along with the just-completed assessment (with a copy to the local school board).

Then I breathe a big sigh of relief and rest a bit. 

The end of summer is certainly a time of new beginnings and marks a new year for me just as much, if not more so, than January. Even so, we like to ease our way into September's changes and I don't think too much about that until we've maxed out our enjoyment of summer. 

So while the rest of the homeschool world is buzzing with back-to-school excitement (not those unschoolers of course who are motoring on as they usually do, unstructured and free) we're in an in-between space right now. Thinking about a new school year but still enjoying summer. And taking a break from morning math et al. for mommy to rest and get organized. 

The kids are busy these days devouring library books and engaging in messy and creative work. Making silly putty has been a recent activity that is an easy, safe chemistry project. 

I wrote about this project a couple years ago and this is the link, Homemade Silly Putty. This is an experiment/craft that my kids have loved to do over and over again and keeps hands and minds engaged for hours. All you need is borax, water and white glue.

Buying extra bottles of white glue for this project has been the extent of our back-to-school preparations. 

Is anyone else in an in-between time or are you all on the back-to-(home)school bus?

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  • Nicole

    Nicole on Aug. 26, 2010, 11:10 a.m.

    Almost every year we head out on a last summer camping trip in early September so we don't really have a start date for homeschooling. We also learn all year but we do get a little more organized about it sometime in the middle of September. Over the summer I think about what we would like to do this year and order some books and maybe plan a little, but it's all very peaceful and relaxed. After all, it is still summer!


  • Claudia

    Claudia on Aug. 26, 2010, 11:23 a.m.

    We are easing in. Although we are year round learners and I'm still trying to figure out the lines between life and school (if there is a line), I had planned to start the more "formal" subjects (math and LA) at the end of August after all our summer commitments wrapped up. However, my son wanted to start at the beginning of August instead, so even though it's been hard to get into a routine because of his mid morning tennis lessons, we are managing to get quite a bit of more structured work time in. Still, I think we are both looking forward to a more regular routine beginning next week.


  • Ashlee

    Ashlee on Aug. 26, 2010, 10:30 p.m.

    I have been following your blog now for a couple of weeks and am really enjoying the peaks into your life and homeschool. I am starting to homeschool our 5yo this year and am looking forward to sharing this experience with others who have similar lifestyles. Wishing you the best in your last of summer! :)


  • Hillary

    Hillary on Aug. 27, 2010, 3:06 a.m.

    This was perfect because I read your headline and scratched my head, "Really, renee is doing not-back-to-school-stuff already?" We're right there with you. I love the new energy of fall, but it's not fall yet!!!!!


  • Rana

    Rana on Aug. 27, 2010, 5:11 a.m.

    I'm still holding onto Summer I have until Sept 24th. Although you can tell there is a change in the air here. The kids and I try to get to the beach as often as we can and all the parks in our area. Since we are apart of the Unschoolers group I don't look at school starting in the Fall either. We are making goals for the fall/winter months, things we would like to see and do.

    We have made the silly putty only we call it slime. Next time have your kids put a couple of drops of food coloring in it. The kids love to mix them and make different colors.

    Enjoy the last bit of summer!


  • Heather

    Heather on Aug. 28, 2010, 2:31 a.m.

    We're year-round schoolers, too, but have been on a break for the last couple of weeks due to Daddy's vacation and our normal break week. We start back on Monday, but we're not hitting it hard and heavy. We have filed trips and crafting days with friends planned for the next couple of weeks, so I'd say we're easing back in. ~h


  • Misha@ ~beautyandjoy~

    Misha@ ~beautyandjoy~ on Aug. 29, 2010, 12:03 a.m.

    I actually was thinking about you guys this week and thinking about how you are not doing all this stuff. We actually kept doing learning all this summer, I just never called it that to see what my kids would do. I got a break from keeping records (something I have to do for the partnership program we are a part of) but I wanted to see what they would do without the structure. It was really neat to see and made me think of you all.

    Maybe that is in our future. More planned year round learning. Or maybe I'll just keep watching. It's so beautiful to see all the different styles. I love being a part of such a creative, diverse community!

    The other thing is I wish our summer was still going. Six week summers are starting to make me old before my time. I need more sunshine playing for my bones! :)Our leaves are turning and it's getting into low forties at night.

    I'm glad you had a good getaway, too - so glad!


  • Leslie

    Leslie on Aug. 29, 2010, 11:12 p.m.

    I've noticed the back-to-school buzz also. We are actually right in the middle of our school year - we will finish up in December and start a new year in February- it's the Costa Rican school schedule, so it works better for us. Hope your end of summer is full of fun!


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