Summer’s here! That means warm weather, vacations, dips in the pool, and plenty of relaxation after a long, challenging year homeschooling your child. Sure, everyone should take advantage of the break and enjoy the season; but have you considered–the two words that might make any student shudder–summer school?
I know, I know. That’s probably the LAST thing you want to hear. However, there are some real positives and benefits for both you and your children. I’m not suggesting five days a week of seven-hour classroom sessions all summer long; think more along the lines of abbreviated homeschool days, with lots of fun and educational activities mixed in. Why?
Say your child was struggling to pick up on certain subjects or lessons for a good part of the school year; then all of a sudden, during the spring, it all starts clicking. Their confidence is high, they’re in a groove. Do you want to just shut it all down right when things are starting to make sense for them and when they’re feeling good about themselves? Or do you keep it going through the summer so, come fall, they can easily transition back into the subjects that previously had been giving them a hard time? Let them keep that momentum (even with a less intensive schedule) throughout the summer. It’ll definitely pay off in the fall and beyond.
You’ve established a routine and a schedule that’s worked well for teacher and student(s). Some kids thrive on the structure…heck, you probably do, too! So why not keep it during the summer? You can modify it as much as you’d like, but keeping a similar schedule and routine will probably serve both of you well as you try to plot out the rest of the summer. Plus, it’ll help make that transition back to full-time school in the fall that much easier…for both of you!
FUN, FUN, FUN!
Learning during the summer can actually be more fun than during the school year, because summer presents so many more opportunities that just aren’t available the rest of the year. Head to the local ballpark (if you have one…if not, watch a game on TV) and catch your favorite baseball team. There are plenty of math lessons to learn in baseball–teach your child how to keep score, how to calculate a batting average or ERA. Most teams have actual analytics departments these days, so baseball really does embrace education.
Take a trip to an aquarium, zoo, or museum. Yes, these are open year-round, but now you can spend a whole day there and really dig into the lessons that can be learned: When did dinosaurs roam the earth? How do fish breathe underwater? What’s the natural habitat of a hippopotamus? How do you spell hippopotamus?
Enroll your student in some day camps. This is a great opportunity for them to pursue their passions (acting, singing, sports, science…they have camps for practically all interests) while interacting with other children of different age groups. Win-win!
Homeschooling during the summer doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, it could be a really amazing way to learn and have fun together, as a family. Get input from your kids and figure out a schedule together that works best for all of you, including your awesome summer outings. Who knows…they may actually look forward to summer school!
If you already homeschool your children during the summer, we’d love to hear what your days look like in the comments below!