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.
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!
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!)
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!