Making Summer Goals

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling

It’s the last day of school for us, which brings us relief and freedom from the shackles of “required learning,” materials we need to cover to satisfy the school requirements. But what to do with the two-three months ahead?

Usually we have a somewhat relaxed homeschool during the summer, continued learning, but at a much easier pace, with a lot more outdoor activities and playtime thrown in.  I don’t want them to go completely cold turkey on schoolwork because that would make August that much harder.

At the same time we could all use a break, so this year, I’ve asked the kids to come up with a few summer goals of their ownwhat they would like to accomplish schoolwise and otherwise?

Work on penmanship? Learn to type? Memorize all multiplication tables? These might need a little parental input to come up with. Encourage your child to work on something they’ve struggled with throughout the year. Some focused practice might be just the thing to get them over the hump and help them be that much more ready to take on the challenges of the upcoming year.

It is also important that there be fun goals as well, such as learning to ride a bike, building a rocket, or baking a fabulous cake from scratch.

Having goals ensures that they have something to work on and strive towards this summer and avoid having “nothing to do.” Once they’ve memorized those times tables backwards and forwards, or mastered that bicycle, you can all celebrate.

At the same time, don’t get so caught up on accomplishing goals that they become a chore. Keep your list short and doable — start with five and add as needed. Remember, the key is keeping it cool.

Lastly, don’t forget to pencil in some days for doing a whole lot of nothing.

It is summer after all.

How do you plan on spending the summer?

About Amida

Amida is the mom to three darn kids. She used to stress about state standards and test scores but has since come to her senses and enjoys blogging about her family's journey into unschooling.


  1. Sometimes I hear myself say throughout the year “well, didn’t get much done today, but we are homeschoolers so we don’t have to stick to anyone’s schedule but our own!” Well, now that summer is here, I feel the need to stick to the flip side of that and to continue with the academics even during the off season. I try to keep it light and fun, as it is summer, but I want our kids to view learning as a life long and year long process. We still have lots of pool time and other fun seasonal activities, but our educational seasons are more dependent upon the kids and our home schedule. This is one of my favorite things about homeschooling.
    Jennifer’s latest post: Homeschool Lite

  2. We school year round. We adopted two boys almost 7 years ago and they can’t keep “traction” if we take off more than a few days at a time. We have adjusted to having Fridays “off,” but other than that, school is still in session. 🙂
    I Live in an Antbed’s latest post: Superhero Flying Lessons

  3. The kids are participating in some cool camps and programs this summer, but will continue to do “school lite”. We’ll also spend lots of time outdoors, riding our bikes and going to the beach.
    Dee’s latest post: Testing…

  4. We would use the summer to finally read a book series we had wanted to get to, or to do an organization project that needed doing, as well as take some field trips that were a mixture of fun and learning. We always try to get together with some other families for fellowship as well!
    Living the Balanced Life’s latest post: Contented vs Driven

  5. We’re learning Spanish together as a family and we started just as school was ending. I require them to do a little math too. But we keep it light and breeze, mostly because I *need* the break!
    Carrie’s latest post: agoraphobic

  6. 4.5 yo DS is learning to hold his breath underwater in the inflatable pool. 🙂 I think that’s a great survival skill to learn.
    Emily’s latest post: The Cheapest Raised Bed Ever

  7. This has been on my to-do list for a week….but it’s not getting done! Thanks for the kick in the pants to follow through and set some goals for myself AND the kids before the summer slips away!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy’s latest post: “Talking” Etiquette- a Timeless Guide to Modern Technology

  8. Kristen says:

    My goals for my children are:
    1). To read everyday. My oldest started reading this year and my youngest is sooo very close to putting the pieces together. I don’t want to lose momentum.
    2). Swimming. Oldest is swimming independently, but not far. Youngest is just starting lessons.
    Both reading and swimming are survival skills as far as I’m concerned and if we get nothing else done this summer, I want to work on those skills. If they want to, we’ll do other academics too.

  9. My twin girls are starting their homeschool routine for the first time this summer. I work in a public school, so I want to get them into a routine before I have to go back to work. The plan is to continue the same routine but either have DH (who is the stay at home parent) impliment or do it after I get home. The girls are only 3, so it will be a light and simple routine focusing on letter and number recognition (it is what the girls are most interested in right now so I am running with it) and fine motor skills (cutting and tracing). They are also doing swimming lessons and gymnastics class.

  10. Being somewhat counter cultural in our approach, we decided to be intentional about our homeschool starting this week-when most kids are taking a break! Our son is just 5 1/2 and wouldn’t have really started kindergarten last fall anyway, but we (I) have been too lazy in the approach to learning. So, I used the packet from ListPlanIt that I won (I think from Simple HomeSchool) and made goals for the summer and took inventory of the learning games we have. This week he’s had VBS and we’ve played several games that are teaching him number recognition and concepts like more than/less than and he LOVES it!

    We’ll do some backyard camping and local area hiking too.
    Kelly’s latest post: Sourdough Week

  11. For us, ‘school’ has always been relaxed. Our kids are all under 6, mind you. This Summer, we plan to have fun training our new puppy, play outside, do lots of gardening and bug searching, hopefully learn how to ride 2-wheelers, and just enjoy life. Where I live, we have 3 months of sun, if you’re lucky – the rest of the year is iffy, cold, rainy, cloudy. I feel like they need to soak up as much Vitamin D as humanly possible!!! But, come Sept, it’s time to get serious about a schedule and really implementing our curriculum. Until then, it’s fun time with lots of reading and hands-on projects through the summer. No schedule over the Sunny months! Forget it! 😉
    Cass @ The Spirited Homeschool and Unplug Your Family
    Cassandra’s latest post: Unplug Your Family- This Old House

  12. Wow..I am shocked…
    I spent all of my childhood just sleeping all the summer time, looking for less to do, no one has ever encouraged me to make a decision on what I would like to accomplish during the vacation.

    I can only thank you for this post so I can take care of my children, in a way no one has done for me.

    Thanks again,

    Michael’s latest post: The seven segment display and us

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