The Home School Court Report
No. 3

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By MaryAnn Gaver
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Smart Move
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MaryAnn Gaver

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I Peter 4:10

Inevitably, when talking about homeschooling, we parents tend to elaborate on what we plan on teaching our children. And that’s fine. Well, how about occasionally putting the shoe on the other foot and letting our children teach us?

Be it cooking, art, music, or fixing things, what could you learn from your child this summer? My twins, Austin and Justin, have taught me (in depth) about airplanes and aviation, rocks, and rock collecting. They’ve also taught me how to swing a golf club and to play a good game of chess, something I previously had no interest in.

Name something your child enjoys or is good at. This summer (or anytime!), find out why he or she likes this activity and ask to learn a little more about it. Taking an interest in the people in our own households encourages them to grow. And we parents might just find that we learn something along the way!

MaryAnn Gaver and her husband, Jay, have been homeschooling their twin sons for six years.

Tips on Making the Most of Summer

Summer in Winter

About 13 years ago, we started breaking our summer into two parts. We begin our school year in July, and take off from Thanksgiving week until January 2. We are able to finish our 180 days around mid-May, with holidays and vacation time to spare. Breaking midwinter allows us to enjoy the Christmas season without the stress of school. And having six weeks off in the early summer is just enough to satisfy the kids' hunger for a break but have them looking forward to school starting again in July, when it is too hot to play outside.

—Lisa W. / Clover, SC

The Pool’s the Place to Be

Living on the edge of the Mojave Desert, we homeschool through the summer in order to keep the children indoors during the worst of the heat. I also set up a swimming pool under a shady tree in the backyard, and the children spend hours each day fulfilling their physical education requirements while keeping cool and having fun!

The initial cost of buying the pool and maintenance chemicals is easily offset by the money I save by not having to pay public pool costs or buy gas to drive to the nearest lake. The whole family benefits from being able to swim at any time, day or night, without the hassle of packing up gear, snacks, and diaper bags and spending precious time on the road or in traffic.

I paid $200 at Costco for a 16-foot diameter, 48-inch-deep pool. A small wading pool for toddlers costs less than $10 at K-Mart. I use natural products to maintain the pool, such as baking soda, mineral salts, and household bleach. I apply these products at night so that the pool is safe to swim in by morning.

September and October are our vacation months, when outside activity is more enjoyable.

—Mary D. / Hesperia, CA