Nine full weeks. That’s it – poor little buddy (my oldest) only gets 9 full weeks of summer vacation this year. He starts back to school August 1, which means the “cray-cray” officially starts the week before with the “Meet & Greet,” school supply lists, and so on. Alas, summer is soooo short for kids these days.
As you can probably tell – we do not homeschool. I think it is AMAZING for those of you who do, and quite honestly, many days wish I could pull it together to homeschool, but it just hasn’t worked out, and I truly think that has not yet been God’s call upon our life yet (and may never be). We are blessed in that my child’s public school has an after school program called “RISE UP!” that is Biblically based and helps us connect to other families with Christian beliefs. I realize we are very fortunate to have this opportunity in a public school system. But even if we did not have that, it would not matter. Not everyone has the “wherewithall” to pull off a private Christian school or homeschool situation (perhaps both parents work full time, etc.) and so, for many of us, that leaves summer vacation serving as a window of opportunity when our kids have more time to learn about the Bible. Make no mistake – we certainly do family devotions throughout the year (see here to view the Magnificat family devotions we have been working through in 2016), but summertime is just, plain and simple, when we have MORE time, and I want to maximize this opportunity.
So…9 weeks. What can I possibly pack into 9 weeks that will hold eternal significance?
First and foremost, I think an emphasis needs to be placed on memorizing. My eldest is 6 (going on 7), and I’ve discovered he’s now where I want him to be on his math facts. There is this new beast in public schools today called common core that focuses on depth, not breadth, of math knowledge and unfortunately in focusing on “depth” and math strategies, my son lost focus of the basics – plain and simple math facts. It’s all well and good to manipulate the numbers, but if you don’t know the basics – you can’t move on. You can’t reach the depths until the foundation is laid.
Rookie mistake. Some things you just gotta memorize. Which means, this summer we will be memorizing math facts, in addition to some Biblical things. Because some things you just gotta memorize. In order to get deeper into the Bible – in order to develop systemic theology – my son first needs to get the basics down. Then, we can expound on them.
So, what memory skills are we focusing on this summer? What are the basics we are going to tackle in roughly 9 weeks? So glad you asked:
1) 12 Disciples/Apostles (this will actually be 13, as it will include Judas’s replacement too)
2) Books of the Bible
3) 10 commandments
4) 12 sons of Jacob
5) 12 tribes of Israel
6) Fruit of the Spirit
7) Days of creation
8) Armor of God
9) Attributes of God
You may be wondering – why are there ten things listed above when you said your son only had 9 weeks of summer vacation? Great question. I think we can tackle the 12 sons of Jacob and the 12 tribes of Israel in one week. They’re very similar, and I want him to understand why they are not the same, and in doing so, my hope is he’ll be able to memorize all of it. Perhaps I’m being ambitious. I’ll be honest – I myself cannot rattle off every single one of the items above right now. I want to learn with him. I never fully memorized all of the above and I wish I had. So, we’ll do it together. Or, at least we’ll try (may God bless our efforts)!
10 things to memorize over 9 weeks of summer. If you’re interested in joining us, stay tuned. I’ll be uploading resources to the Shepherd My Child blog for each of the 10 areas we are focusing on and I’d love for you to tag along!