Summer is just around the corner. It’s hard to believe another school year is almost over. Many of my friends are talking about their plans. Some are taking trips. Some have to navigate summer school. Others are using the summer as a practice run for homeschool. It has me asking, What about summer break? Whether you are homeschooling or not, this is an important question to ask and I think I have a few answers and few tips to help you out.
What about Summer Break?
This year I made the decision to move towards a year round homeschooling setup around here. This means that our Summer won’t be a few months of outdoor play, constant camps, and the words “I’m bored” on a loop. Instead, we are choosing to adjust our school schedule to accommodate more life. Below I am going to share a few questions and some tips to go with them.
Are you schooling year round?
Whether you have homeschooled year round in the past or not, this is a great question to ask yourself as you plan for Summer. My daughter audibly gasped when she realized we weren’t taking the Summer off. Then I pointed out the fact that Summer in Florida is unbearably hot and this gives her more off days when it is cooler out in the late Fall.
If you are planning on schooling year round, it is important to decide how that will impact your Summer. Will you be taking days off for camps, special events, and last minute play dates with non-homeschool friends? It is important to figure out now what your policy for these events will be so that they don’t cause a problem for you in the Summer months.
It’s also important to decide whether you are going to be using a curriculum based approach to Summer, an interest-led approach, or more unit studies and printables. We will be working through our Teaching Textbooks Math through the Summer months and doing some of our curriculum with more of a focus on unit studies and hands-on learning.
Are you using the Summer as a Homeschool trial?
Whether it is because of educational reason, a difficulty with schools, or a spouse to isn’t quite sure of homeschooling, many parents will choose to use the Summer as a homeschool trial. This can be a great way to test the waters and see what homeschooling will be like. It’s also a great option if you are unsure if you want to completely pull your child from the traditional school setting.
Before starting you will want to do some research. What are the rules for homeschooling in your district? What curriculum will you be using? Are there any learning gaps you need to overcome? It is important to answer these questions first so that you get the most out of your Summer trial.
Will your child be in Summer School?
Some children struggle with concepts in school. This can leave them with the expectation of Summer School. It is important to look into what your options are and start scheduling around this. Different Summer schools run on different schedules so you will want to look into what the enrollment schedule is now as well as what the school schedule will look like for Summer.
Are you using Summer to catch up on Learning Gaps?
If your child has learning gaps from the previous school year this can be a great time to play catch up. Whether you homeschool or not, there are many options for this. Depending on what the learning gap is, you can pick up a curriculum for that subject, enroll in Summer classes, or work with a tutor for the Summer. This is a great time to help your child to overcome learning gaps and be ready for the coming year.
I know we are working on some Spelling learning gaps because my daughter is struggling with 2 of her letter blends. We will use the Summer to work on getting these down pat so she can thrive in the coming school year.
Are you taking the Summer off?
Sometimes the kids need a break. Even more than that, sometimes mom needs a break. If you need to take the Summer off of education it is completely ok. A break from organized learning can be a great time to explore fun things as a family and encourage independent play.
There are some things youSummer reading. Children absorb so much from reading and it is a great “I’m bored” activity. Many libraries have Summer reading incentive programs and activities throughout the Summer. Find a few fun unit studies. If you are taking the Summer off you may find a case of the “I’m boreds” comes around soon. This is a great time to encourage independent play or offer them a unit study to work through.
Are you traveling?
Summer is a popular time to hit the road and see what else the world has to offer. If you are planning to spend a long time in the car I suggest grabbing a great audio book or packing some small printable packs. This will give you the opportunity to make the most of the time on the road in a fun way.
Opt for an educational attraction. There are many different educational locations you can visit while on vacation. In Florida, we have tons of them!
Looking for more?