Like some other homeschool families, our family homeschools year round. I do this for several reasons. I function better with some sort of a routine. We don’t have nearly as many struggles with too much electronics time if we have a schedule planned. If we cover some of our state required attendance days in the summer, we can take off longer around Christmas time. It works for us.
But because we continue homeschooling into the summer, my kids sometimes miss the “end of the year” fun that their traditional school friends seem to have. So we’ve found some ways to change up our summer schedule and do things differently, allowing us to still have some summer fun…even though our homeschooling continues.
We operate on a different schedule.
Although we aren’t early morning people, we try to begin devotions by 9:30 on school day mornings. In the summer, we don’t have a definite starting time, but we get up later and move slower and start later. We are a little more casual with time in the summer. Although we try to keep up with a modified routine, we don’t have a strict schedule, and we cover fewer school subjects each day.
We pursue more “fun” subjects.
I’ve often wished I were brave enough to be a delight-directed homeschooler. There is just something in my control-loving self that won’t fully let go. I worry about not covering material well or missing out on something. I worry about standardized tests. Uggh. But, in the summer, I feel a little freer. And I like to pursue subjects that interest us. We take the time for unit studies and lapbooking and just reading good books. More often than not the kids look forward to the curricula we’re using in the summer. They enjoy doing school each day.
We incorporate summer traditions.
We have certain activities that we love to do every summer. We join the local Y. We watch the $1 summer movies at our local theater. We have a trip to the beach. Some of the kids pay for their own season’s passes to the local amusement park. All of these things “interrupt” our summer school schedule, but we make time for them and enjoy them as we look forward to them each summer. When I sit down in the spring and plan our summer calendar, I map out our activities first and then plan our school work around that.
We make time to spend with traditionally schooled friends.
The kids have some friends who attend traditional schools. We also have homeschool friends who keep a more traditional schedule. So, even though we continue to school all summer, we try to make time to spend with those friends. Because those relationships are important, I work out our school schedule, so that we can go to the park, the bowling alley, the skating rink…or just hang out with our friends.
It’s possible to continue homeschooling through the summer while still having some summer fun. We can make some modifications to our schedule and continue learning while changing things up for a break.
Do you take a summer break? How do you make summer learning different?