Do you homeschool year round? Or are your children in traditional schools but you want to avoid that notorious summer slide? Here is our summer homeschool plan to balance book learning with hands on activities and simple children fun!
Our Summer Homeschool Plan
When I first started homeschooling, I looked forward to summer as a much needed break and a chance to take stock and make any adjustments that seemed necessary as I planned for the coming year. Now that I’ve got my sea legs a bit (and my youngest is no longer an infant that requires more devoted attention), I’m ready to tackle the idea of year-round homeschooling.
As a result, this year we have embarked on a summer homeschool plan that keeps the kids’ skills sharp while also still feeling like vacation to them and a break from lesson planning for me.
I really wanted them to enjoy the simple pleasures of a childhood summer – like going to the pool and playing for hours at the park – at the same time as they take advantage of a less busy schedule to take on big projects that interest them.
So how are we achieving that balance?
Some activities will be ongoing, such as saying prayers together in the mornings and doing our read-aloud at lunchtime. Beyond this, I divided our activities into three areas: Written Work, Projects, and Adventures.
Written Work is what we traditionally think of as schoolwork: math, grammar, history, etc. For each of the boys, I created a weekly checklist of what they need to accomplish. For my 8 year old, he has to complete two tasks off the list each day, while my 5 year old has to complete one.
Thankfully, we found curricula that we love this past year, so they just need to keep going in those. As in, no lesson planning for me, unless there is a project tie-in I’d like to do, such as a craft or engineering project to go with our history lesson.
My eight year old has to do: History, Spanish, Religious, Math (twice), Language Arts (twice), Creative Writing, Coding/Science, and Journal.
My five year old has to do: Phonics, his Kindergarten workbook, Math (twice), and Spanish.
This is less than they have to do during the school year and so still allows plenty of time for free reading and unstructured play.
Projects are very open-ended and can relate to any subject (however loosely). For example, my five year old loves to build Lego and Knex sets, so we built a castle together. My eight year old loves coding, so he’s teaching himself to do some really nifty things in different coding languages (I expect he’ll be helping me with my website before long!) Other ideas are cooking, crafting, making slime, doing science experiments, and so on. This is the time we can dig into projects that we might not have time for during the school year, when we’re also juggling enrichment classes and sports. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to follow their passions and explore new subjects!
Adventures are a favorite area for all of us! This basically includes anything that gets us out of the house and exploring. It could be going to a park, going on a nature walk, geocaching, trying a new restaurant, or going to a museum. Summers are for exploring!
What does your summer homeschool plan look like?