Written by Kara Fleck
We are year-round homeschoolers, but when it’s summertime I like to move at a slower pace, keeping things light compared to the rest of the year.
In May and August we take the entire month off and I honestly don’t care if they never crack open a book.
Well, okay, I do care, but I’m not going to push it. This is their time off as much as mine and they can fill those days, or not, as they wish.
However, June and July are our summer session and we’ll fall back into our homeschool rhythm, although admittedly at a slower, more “the living is easy” kind of pace.
What does this look like? And what are our summer learning plans for this year?
In general it looks like late nights and late mornings as we turn off the alarm clock and don’t worry so much about a bedtime delayed by fireflies or spur of the moment bonfires with friends.
It looks like time outdoors and long walks and swimming balanced with field trips, library books, and some academic goals, including finishing up any studies from the previous school year.
A few years back I heard the term “bridge” applied as a way to transition from one grade to another. Keeping in mind that “grades” is a concept we float pretty loosely around here, I like to use this time to bridge from one grade to the next.
We finish up lessons from the previous year, firm up skills we are working on, and start to lay the groundwork for the year ahead.
Crossing the Bridge From:
8th grade to 9th grade (my 14-year-old)
- American History – we’ve been taking our time this 8th grade year, heading down quite a few rabbit trails, as we are working our way through the book series A History of US. This will continue into the early part of her ninth grade. This will be the bulk of her summer session work.
- Math – daily practice
- Writing – I’m encouraging her to keep a journal this summer and she’s got a grammar workbook I want her to finish up.
- Culinary study – she’s very interesting in cooking and loves to do it. I consider my job here to follow her lead and just keep resources and opportunities available to her.
3rd grade to 4th grade (my 9-year-old, who turns 10 in June)
- World History – he’s got about a dozen chapters left in the book we’re using, so my goal is for us to finish the book. I’m also eager for a certain book coming out next month about giving your child the world through reading.
- Math – daily math practice (he uses Teaching Textbooks)
- Science and Nature Study – I’ve got some fun weather related projects using the book Whatever the Weather planned.
- Writing – the Time Capsule journal from Gadanke
- Harry Potter – right now this boy is into all things wizard all the time (whoever would have thought something would break up the Minecraft streak?) I received a Harry Potter themed Wizard School zine as a bonus a while back and I think we’re going to have some fun with that this summer as he continues to read his way through the books.
1st grade to 2nd grade (my 8-year-old)
- Science and Nature Study – she’ll join in with my son and me, and probably my 4-year-old, for weather related projects
- Language Arts – giving her as many natural opportunities as possible to write grocery lists, letters to friends and family, and playing word and letter games to build on the skills she developed this past school year.
We had a fun time observing DEAR day (Drop Everything And Read) with Sarah Mackenzie and so I plan to continue with the DEAR Day tradition throughout the summer, setting aside some time daily to spend reading both independently and together.
I considered a formal reading challenge, and that might still happen if something comes along that is tempting, but for now I think we will just settle on all the library books our arms can carry and see where the words take us.
Tell us in the comments- which obstacle do you find yourself most often getting hung up on?