Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Day In The Life Of A Homeschooling Family, Summer Edition :: The Kye Family

Welcoming home our newest addition! Orion (like the constellation), was named after our love of learning about outer space and the stars.
:: Tell us a little about yourself and your family, as well as how long you have been homeschooling.

We are a homeschooling family of 6. My husband and I have been married for 10 years with 4 amazing kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. Christian, our oldest is 9, Leah is 8, Kaylee at 4 and Orion is 2 and a half months. My husband and I are complete opposites in our schooling methods and almost everything else so we always balance each other out. Our kids are full of endless personality and all so different from one another. 

On a Chicago Cubs scavenger hunt!
:: Do you take the Summer off from homeschooling, or do you continue year round?  If you continue, do you do things any differently? 

We homeschool year round which seems to keep us in a great laid back routine through out the year and not worried if we happen to miss a few days for spontaneous events. 
We generally base our school work off what our hearts desire to do each day and over Summer that involves a lot more playtime with schooled friends and less time writing. No matter what the kids noses are almost always in books when not outside playing. 

Paddle boat fun at the Riverwalk! We usually look at the plants that border the water and try to identify them.
:: What are some of your favorite Summer activities to do with your children?

We love everything about Summer, especially that we get so much time outside in the warmth. For quite a few Summers we spent a great deal of time making our yard edible. We have berries galore, peach, plum apple and mulberry trees. We spent a great deal of time learning to compost and forage. Now we just enjoy the goodies of our work. 😊 We like spending time exploring nature, making up water games and learning outdoor chores (waxing the car, cutting bushes, cutting the grass, small repairs, building shelves, etc).  Our evening usually ends with dinner at home and then off to a walk in downtown Naperville, or around the neighborhood.

This is our favorite time to explore, evenings when kids go back to school.  We love skipping the crowds! Book stores, ice cream, a piano player on the Riverwalk, nocturnal animals (our last one spotted was a skunk), and just enjoying each others company
:: Do you have a favorite Chicagoland spot for Summer fun?

Our favorite spot for Summer fun is Downtown Naperville.  The kids love Centennial beach, the Riverwalk, the parks, movies in the park, all the food choices, the library, the festivals, the book stores, and all the ice cream choices.  We have so much fun right around the corner from us and are truly blessed.

:: Do you have a special way of storing and organizing your homeschool at the end of the year? 

Our end of the year is when kids go back to school in the Fall and our new year of Co Op fun starts.  I take their school work from the previous year and organize it into a binder (one for each year for each child).  I put mostly their projects (books they've written, comics they made, pictures of projects, pictures of our outings and every day learning, science project descriptions and pictures and examples of how they applied math).  I post a lot on our homeschool journey on Facebook so I go through everything and try to print out our best moments. My oldest two also started a YouTube channel with their science projects!

Kris Krindle Market over the Winter in downtown Naperville
:: As you reflect on the past school year what is something that you felt was a success, and what was something that you would like to change for the coming year.

This was our first year where we didn't do a "Monday school Co Op" ( The kids previous years went to a homeschool co op on Mondays and Fridays and T-Th I would work with them on their book work) This method was very stressful for our family because we would have to have so much book work done and not enough time to bring the school work to life in the real world.  So this year we did "Extra Curricular Fridays" and freestyled it M-Th! By freestyle, we really learn through our everyday interactions with others in the community, helping others, attending different events, learning through shopping, saving money for things we want to do, building things we want to make, and just living.  This has been our greatest success this year.  The kids are happy diving into a topic for as long as they chose and happily learning. This coming year I would like to apply Math more structured in the real world.  I find it often that we use Math but don't have as good of record keeping as we should.  This will be something that we aim for. 
Thank you for visiting with us today, Tracy.  Your home education seems to be a fun balance between unschooling and traditional school work.  I also love that your family is so involved in your community!


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