Summer break. Time for pools, vacations, sleeping in and moments packed with fun.
Unless you’re a homeschooler. For homeschoolers, summer means all of the zoos, museums, theaters and favorite haunts are packed with people. If you’re new to homeschooling, figuring out how to navigate summer is a little tricky. Your “normal” is turned on its ear as kids are suddenly in their same environment without anything to do. So how do you manage? Here’s how we tackle summer.
Enjoy a Break
When your days are complete, take a chance to enjoy having nothing to do. For a few days or a couple of weeks, do nothing (other than normal chores). Take a beach trip. Go camping. Because we have young ones and a 3 year old who still naps, so reading time still happens every day. It’s a good “down time” in the middle of our day and helps keep a little routine, even when we’re not doing school.
Regroup and Plan
In the beginning days of break, use the time to evaluate your prior year while it’s still fresh in your mind. What worked well? What needs tweaking? What do you need to do better next year? Use this time to plan your schedule a little. Look through the books for next year and set goals and dates. And, if you’re not a great planner, use the free time to work on a loose plan that can be adapted as you go along. Ask your kids what they liked/didn’t like about your school year because they often have great ideas for ways to improve. Use the time to revamp your school space. Find out how I arrange my space here. I’ve also included a blank calendar that you’re welcome to use and share!
Hop on the VBS/Summer Camp Train
We live in a rural area and there’s a Vacation Bible School nearly every week at one of the local churches. And since our town is small, our kids know other kids – or we know the workers – at most of them. They love going and it’s a great opportunity for them to be busy without ME having to be the one responsible for every moment of the planning. Summer camps are also great for this. We don’t chose to do sleep away camp, but there are lots of other day camp opportunities close (Arts and Sciences Camps, Camp Winshape, just to name a couple).
Take Your Summer Break in December
We take a very short summer break. It’s pretty much just June. In that time, we enjoy having nothing to do, take a beach trip with extended family and use it for re-grouping. Then, we start July off with our next school year. We do this so we can do 4-day school weeks and so we can take off most of the month of December. We tend to schedule our family vacations (like Disney!) in late fall/early winter because fewer people are traveling then, due to traditional school schedules.
Perhaps the biggest perk to homeschooling is setting your own schedule and summer is no different. Summer is whatever you need/want it to be, so do what works for YOUR family. Want to read a few more of our homeschooling posts? Check out this list below. Comment and tell our readers what YOUR summer break looks like.