Maybe just the thought of instituting a “summer homeschool” makes you cringe, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play!
Although it may sound counterintuitive, homeschooling year-round can actually help your kids stay focused and energized on learning. Some families choose to homeschool in the summer so their children don’t fall behind or step backward in the fall to restart.
So how do you implement a summer homeschool schedule that your kids won’t fight? Here’s how homeschool veterans in the Kansas City area make it work:
Lighten the subject load and times.
Many families will choose two or three subjects (math, spelling, grammar, etc.), once or twice a week. Rainy or super hot days are generally the best times for doing schoolwork!
Class subjects don’t have to be all heavy. One homeschool mom chose to teach her kids cursive over last summer, and she’s planning to work on Spanish this year.
Consider changing up the schedule.
While some homeschoolers keep the same schedule and routine even during the summer, others make adjustments based on the weather.
One family has outside play in the morning when it’s cooler, saving school for the hottest part of the day.
Introduce incentive programs.
Does your child prefer going to the pool instead of doing algebra? Ice cream floats over sentence diagrams? Seriously, who wouldn’t prefer those?
Instead of making it an either-or, some clever homeschool families do both. Special field trips, day visits and food treats are earned summer privileges, based on how well the children complete their summer work. As one mom writes, “No work, no privileges.”
One mom’s incentive program involves letting the kids choose one weekday where they’re free of all chores and school … except for reading!
Think outside the classroom.
Looking for extra PE classes? Summer swim lessons at the pool!
Field trips are also a great excuse to get out of the house and have fun … while learning at the same time. Arts and crafts can also serve as educational tools (just don’t tell your kids it’s school credit).
Sometimes even something like a short, engaging math and science lab for homeschool teens can help keep your children busy while preparing for future subjects in the fall. And don’t forget VBS for younger kids!
Know when to take a rest.
Of course, it is summer, so if your kids are begging for a break, you might consider just giving it to them.
One homeschool mom lets her kids take the first three weeks of July off, but they still study during June and August to help prevent “summer brain drain.”
This blog post was originally published in June 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and detail.
What strategies and tips have you found helpful for summer homeschool? Let us know in the comments!