I love homeschooling; it’s become my life’s passion and the legacy I am passing down to my children. But, just like anything we love and devote our lives to, there are seasons where homeschooling exhausts me. Each spring, while my children are battling spring fever, I am secretly longing for summer as much as they are! I know that, with the hard work of pushing through to the end, I can enjoy my July and August months in ways that refresh my spirit and allow me to unwind. But, it’s taken me a long time to figure out how to rest during the summer after a long school year. If you’re longing to relax this summer but still feel trapped and keyed-up by the homeschooling grind, and find your mind wandering to what you need to do to prepare for next year, follow this guide for how to rest after a long school year. You know you need a refreshing summer as much as they do!
Find Rest During Your Summer Break
Rest, read and recuperate with “you” time. If you’re like me, your days start fast and furious as soon as your feet hit the floor each morning. While our days are filled with enjoyable, rich activities that I am thankful for, there’s often not enough time to refresh my own spirit during the school year. That’s why I get very intentional about my mornings and how I spend my time during the summer months. Each day I make prayer and Bible study, reading, and rest a priority. I build time into my calendar to read one book each month that is purely fun and occasionally frivolous! I enjoy naps after long hikes or swims. By the end of June, I find that making myself a priority each day allows me to shed the skin of stress and the constant need to be “doing” in order to be achieving. This refreshes my mind, heart, and soul!
Redefine summer success by making fun and fellowship your summer goal. I’ll fully admit that I am a proud type-A woman. My to-do list game is strong, and I thrive on checking off my accomplishments each day. That’s why it’s so important to reshape and redefine achieving and success during the summer months. I have had to train my brain and heart to see fun and family time as accomplishments. As a family, we make a list of the fun activities and people we want to see each summer. Checking these off makes my type-A heart happy and keeps a stress-free smile on my face.
Creating a summer bucket list to prioritize family time helps me prioritize fun and ensure that togetherness is our Number One goal. There’s nothing more important than my children and spending time with them. That’s what summer has come to mean for us: vacations, family time, and fun experiences that we don’t usually do during the school year. This year at a family dinner, each family member wrote down five things they wanted to do. It was fun seeing what each child was looking forward to this summer, and it’s even better to take the time to build those memories together.
Make the Summer Count
Do a little planning for next year each day. I know, I know, you want a break. But, doing a little prep-work for next year each day will go a long way to helping you get a jump on the curriculum planning, lessons, and schedule so you can start the year off on the right foot come September. I typically start by making myself familiar with the next year’s curriculum, then move on to ordering reading books, making a rough schedule, setting up outside appointments or lessons, and registering for sports or co-op classes. If you wait too long, you may not get into the classes or activities you want. And, doing a little planning each day (even if it’s just 15-30 minutes) helps me feel in-control and ahead of the game. And that actually helps me relax even more!
It is possible to have a relaxing and enjoyable summer as a homeschool parent. When we prioritize our family, make summer about fun, and work in a little planning, our summer days can be relaxing and refreshing without being lazy or making our back-to-school days crazy. Take it from this seasoned homeschool mom, you’ll regret making summer about projects and getting things done, because you’ll miss what matters most: making memories with your family. So put on the suit and swim with them, go shoot hoops, and enjoy a good break. You’ve earned it!