When we first started homeschooling, I saw summer as a way of preparing for the next year–a few months to dedicate to intense schooling and perhaps, complete half of the next grade-level.
Looking back, I clearly see that this was a totally unrealistic goal, not to mention an unpleasant way to spend the summer. Given the choice, almost no child would chose schoolwork over fun in the summer months. That’s not to say they are opposed to learning. I firmly believe that most children are wired to learn, but on their own terms.
There is no better time to let them explore their own interests — without the constraints of “school” — than during a long summer vacation. For us, that means taking full advantage of the outdoors and local activities.
Although we are relaxed homeschoolers, we are part of a charter school, and therefore must abide by their rules — we have to participate in standardize tests and turn in a certain amount of busywork every month. Summer is a welcomed break from all that and through our years, I’ve learned to embrace the freedom, rather than abuse it to “get ahead.”
It is a time for less focus on academics and schedules, and more focus on individual pursuits.
Last summer, we had the opportunity to go hiking with our friends every week. It was a fantastic way to explore many of the local trails and spend time outdoors. This year, we hope to do more of the same, as well as setting aside ample time for doing “nothing” — reading, playing, and having fun.
And while we may sneak in a few math problems here and there to keep their skills fresh, it won’t be overwhelming. After all, we unschool during the rest of the year — summer is a time for funschooling.
- Attend summer street fairs and festivals.
- Spend a day at the beach.
- Explore a local park.
- Enter in the county fair.
- Pick some fruit at a U-Pick farm.
- Picnic during an outdoor concert.
- Give your garden some loving.
- Hit all the local museums.
- Go on a camping or a weekend road trip.
- Take a hike.
How do you plan to funschool this summer?