How To Plan The Perfect Homeschool Summer

Do you keep homeschooling in the summer? Here are a few tips to keep the learning going all summer long!

We consider ourselves year-round homeschoolers. Which means that we “school” all year long. I know, I know. A few of you are thinking that you could never do that! Summer is the time for pool parties and friends. Fireworks and s’mores. I get it. Summer has a different feel to it than the rest of the year. It feels like….freedom!  At least that is what I remember from my childhood.

Guess what? Homeschooling during the summer months does NOT have to be a drudgery. It sure isn’t for us. Here are a few tips on how to keep on learning, and have summer fun too!

1. Encourage ownership.

Summer is a great opportunity for kids to practice time management. I use reward charts and offer an incentive to reach their goal. Our goal is simply to complete a designated number of lessons by the end of July. My big kids are completing lessons in Bible, Math, and Language Arts. Then we’ll take a few weeks completely off in August.

reward-chart-coloring-500x386

2. Make it easy.

Summer is not the time to pick a teacher intensive curriculum! We use Christian Light Education for all of our summer “subjects”; Bible, Math and Language Arts. I love CLE and really can’t say enough good things about them. The workbooks are so simple to implement because they teach directly to the student. However, don’t let the simplicity fool you! This program is rigorous and thorough. The best part  is that my kids love it!

CLE - perfect for a simplified summer schedule

Whatever you choose, make it something that your kids will want to pick up and use.

3. Create a reading environment.

I make sure our book basket is full, even in the summer time. My reading age kids are avid readers so I don’t have to push reading. Though I’d probably offer an “incentive” for that too, if needed;-) My 8-year-old son recently went through a reading dry spell.. I happily discovered that if I read him a few chapters in a book (pick one you think he’ll love!), he won’t be able to wait for me to finish it. He just takes over reading it on his own! This happened with Detectives in Togas. I read a few chapters, got him thoroughly hooked, and he went on to finish the book himself! After which, he asked for the next book, Mystery of the Roman Ransom. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of finding the right books! I reference Honey for a Child’s Heart often when selecting books.

4. Choose a weekly theme.

This is optional, but fun! I had my kids brainstorm a list of things they wanted to learn about this summer. There are two big benefits. One, it encourages ownership. Can you tell I’m working on fostering independence right now?  How much more engaging is it to learn about a subject of your choosing? Two, it helps me with library holds. I continually put books on hold for my kids, this helps me know that they are reading great books. Having a weekly theme makes choosing what we’ll read for non-fiction a breeze. Here are the themes they picked.

  • Minnesota (I did encourage this one. We’ve never done a study on our state so I thought now would be a good time!)
  • Bugs
  • Mammals
  • Ocean
  • China
  • Birds
  • Rainforest
  • Reptiles

You can tell I have an animal lover in the bunch! It is so fun to come home with a giant stack of books and just read, read, read! I’m also planning on some extra activities to go along with our themes. A trip to the aquarium after ocean week will be perfect! And what is China week without researching and preparing some authentic Chinese cuisine? Have fun with it! Summer is the perfect time for laid-back learning. 

Well, that’s how we “summer school”. How about you? Have you found any great ways to make summer learning fun? I would love to hear them!

For more encouragement, check out 7 Sanity Saving Habits For Homeschool Moms!

7 Sanity Saving Habits for Homeschool Moms

Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small referral commission, at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products I personally use and love.

Comments

  1. Teri says

    Did you use CLE Learning to Read by chance? (I may have the title wrong:) I need to find a phonics program for my 7 yr old…..what phonics did you use to teach reading and spelling in 1-2 grade?

    • Becky says

      Actually, yes! We did use it for a bit this spring. I thought it was nice but my son did not care for it. We just switched to All About Reading and we are loving it so far.

      When my older two were learning to read we used an eclectic mix of Hooked on Phonics, Bob Books, and Explode the Code. I feel like that worked well for them. However, I am looking forward to the solid base that All About Reading should give us.

      Hope that helps!

    • lisa says

      We LOVE All About Reading. It has a multisensoey approach and is very easy to implement
      My kiddo really began being successful right away with this cirriculum.

  2. angela says

    I realize this is a comment about a teeny portion of your blog post, but I wanted to tell you that you really made my day…possibly my whole week! I am an avid book reader/lover, and i remember checking two books out of the library about kids and a mystery in Roman times…and completely loving the books. (I am 43 now.) I have been trying over the years off and on to find those books and remember the titles but to no avail. When I was reading your post and saw the title Detectives in Togas, it rang a bell. I clicked on the link and I THINK THIS IS THE BOOK!!! I just wanted to let you know how happy you made me, and I think it’s great that you are encouraging your children to be readers. That is just wonderful and will last them a lifetime.

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