When It’s Too Hot to Learn

It’s too hot. The kids are cranky and we need to chill out. But I can’t help myself–no matter what we’re doing I see what we’re “learning”.

If you’re anything like me it’s thrilling to participate in everyday, organic learning. Watching my kids grow and learn inspires me.

But the hottest of days is a great reminder that rest and relaxation is an important part of being a whole learner.

Even when it’s too hot to learn I see all sorts of learning opportunities.

• After all, those homemade pops would make a great science lesson. (Which takes longer to freeze: a fruit smoothie pop or pure juice pop? Why?)

• Yes, Super Soaker water guns are so much fun, but their mechanics are even more interesting! (How *do* they shoot over 50 ft?)

• How about we race the tide and build sandcastles before the the waves come in? (What’s up with these tides anyway? Are we racing the tide or are we racing the moon?)

The Big Chill Out

Enthusiasm in every day learning is something to be valued and truly learning never turns off no matter what the weather.

However, the hottest of summer days reminds us to chill out and relax. It’s the perfect time to let go and trust that our kids are learning all the time.

An ice pop can be just a cool treat on a hot day. A water gun is a fun toy and sand castle races are memories that will last forever.

Rest assured that nothing in life is a waste of time.

• A cool pop gives a child a chance to sit and calm his mind. Reflection and quiet is an important part of learning.

•A water gun fight or a race to build a sandcastle is a process of engagement. Trial and error is a valuable aspect of learning.

The hottest days remind me that it’s perfectly okay to stop thinking about the how and why of learning. It’s the perfect opportunity to experiment–what happens when we let go?

Just like an athlete needs to rest his body after intense work outs we need bouts of relaxation and rest to absorb the many things we learn.

When we give in to summer living we say yes to a new way of learning.

When it’s too hot we slow down and go inward and that’s valuable learning too.

Sometimes it’s okay to do absolutely nothing.

In fact, it’s downright necessary.

How does your family let go and relax on the hottest days of summer?

About Hillary

Hillary feels lucky to be able to work full-time from home and shares the homeschooling responsibilities with her partner. Together, with a little creativity, a full schedule and a lot of love, they facilitate the education of their three adorable, and sometimes very loud, children.


  1. We are currently making a map – the kids are loving it on these dog days of summer! xoxo michele


    And I am hosting a book giveaway this weekend in honor of my son’s birthday – would love for you to stop by!
    Michele’s latest post: What Do You See?

  2. It’s all in perspective. You are definitely right.
    Rachel E.’s latest post: So Pleased

  3. I have a hard time being, uh, laid back as a homeschooling parent. But this is SUCH a welcome post right now. Thank you!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy’s latest post: Unplanned? More Like, Unplannable.

  4. I totally agree with you. We never stop learning. I always say that I turn into an unschooler in the summer. We like to focus on swimming and gardening which is something we can’t do during the school year.
    Heidi’s latest post: Unit Study Homeschool

  5. This year, they’ve all been hot! And dry! Ice cream helps! 🙂 We are praying for rain after 300+ days of no measurable precipitation. The kids are learning about how hard it is to keep any of their garden plants alive in a drought of this magnitude.
    I Live in an Antbed’s latest post: Fruit of His Spirit: A Link-Up in the Pages of Our Heritage of Faith

  6. I just wanted to say that I loved each and every post this week !!
    I have just recently taken the plunge to unschool and “letting go” of my expectations has been challenging :). Posts like these help reassure my brain that I am making the right decision for our family.

    Thank you,
    Kim’s latest post: Finding The Purpose

  7. Kathleen K says:

    I guess we have a different perspective. Too hot to learn? It’s hot here in north Texas–often in the 90’s by 10 a.m. As a result, it is too hot to enjoy the outdoors. Swimming in a pool with water temps in the upper 90’s and higher is as much fun as swimming in the bathtub–and just not refreshing.

    To battle the hot weather, we go back to school. Yes, that’s right. We get out our books and start back to work, in our blessedly air-conditioned home. We’ll go at a steady pace from mid July through mid September when the heat will finally break. Then we will take days off to visit the zoo, go to the playground, take a wilderness hike, get back in the refreshing pool, and so on.

    It may sound crazy, but we’ve found that is what works for us….

    • Juliette says:

      That is a great idea. We are in Texas too and have taken summers off but a big part of the reason we homeschool is the freedom in our schedule. I like this idea and will be planning to implement next summer. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Doesn’t sound crazy at all! Actually sounds completely sane and I love hearing the ways other families make things work.

      During last weeks hot streak we were definitely happy to stay indoors in air conditioning.

  8. My girls are beginning their preschool routines and since I have started in the summer many of their activities include water. One of their activity boxes (aka work boxes) this week was a picture I drew of their little pool. When they got in the pool I dropped in a giant ice “cube” that had several of their little plastic toys suspended inside. They loved figuring out how to melt the ice to get to the toys!

  9. great post. our family used to have fun in the pool or at the beach.. i love hot sunny days 🙂
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  10. Thank you very much. We tried it today • After all, those homemade pops would make a great science lesson. (Which takes longer to freeze: a fruit smoothie pop or pure juice pop? Why?)
    And yesterday we were at sea and waited for sunset – i explained to the children about the moon affects the sea and the waves.
    All your links are very useful. thanks again. We are staying with you every day.
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  11. hmmm..too hot to learn..i think the same way too…I hate the heat…and I can’t learn anything when it’s that HOT!!!
    Madeen’s latest post: flash game for angry birds

  12. The hot sunny day are exhausting, no wonder you need to let go. Where i come from if u dont have A\C on you act like a monster 🙂 so lets say cheers to A\C!!
    barak’s latest post: Dogs’ cancer symptoms

  13. “Sometimes it’s okay to do absolutely nothing” – i like that…
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  14. I couldn’t agree more. My children have become used to the fact that I can’t let any trip pass without me imparting some knowledge and asking questions later. More often than not there is more to learn outdoors than there is inside.
    Karen James’s latest post: Family Camping Tents

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