Written By Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies.
We are year-round homeschoolers.
(Well, sort of.)
I didn’t set out to homeschool year-round. I wanted our summer days to be filled with watermelon and popsicles, sandy toes and cannonballs, shooting stars and fireflies.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my kids crave structure.
Whenever we stay up too late, whenever we veer a smidge too far from our normal path, I notice a change. There is an increase in power struggles, sibling squabbles, and tears.
As a result, I’ve learned that homeschooling year-round works best for us right now, in this season.
Here’s how we homeschool in the summer and still have plenty of time for popsicles and cannonballs and shooting stars:
Photo by MemoryCatcher
How to take a structured summer break
The trick to a structured summer break is to choose educational activities that your children love and then find a summer rhythm.
And then you call it homeschooling, even if it feels like you’re cheating a little.
Some days, this means nothing more than calling a trip to the beach a science field trip. Other days, it means following a more relaxed version of what you do during the school year.
We are a family of morning people and so we tackle most of these items in the morning, with a few sprinkled throughout the day.
And this leaves us with plenty of time for all those summer favorites, cannonballs included.
Start the morning with a routine
We start our summer mornings the same way we start our mornings during the school year: with Coffee and Books. This simple morning activity is the anchor of our homeschool day. It is a tradition everyone loves because it starts our day off with connection and fun.
There’s something magical about sharing a book from your childhood with your children and I try to do this often during the summer. I have such fond memories of my 2nd-grade teacher reading The BFG to our class.
Add some fun math
We are a family of gameschoolers and summer allows us to play even more. Gameschooling is fun for everyone and it is a fantastic way to practice math skills … without your kids realizing it!
And a smidge of writing
Our family follows the Brave Writer Lifestyle and summer affords countless opportunities for fun writing activities, from postcards to nature journals to scrapbooks.
One easy way to squeeze in daily writing is by having morning journal time. We love these 3-year journals. The daily prompts are fun and non-intimidating–perfect for summer learning!
Add an audiobook
A simple way to sneak in some learning – and fun- during the summer months is to stock up on audiobooks and stories. We listen to these stories over meals and whenever we are in the car.
Sprinkle in some family movie nights
Summer is the perfect time for family movie nights because everyone stays up a little bit later.
We love to listen to a fantastic book and then watch the movie. Pairing books with movies leads to fantastic family conversations and learning.
Play, play, play
It is often said that play is the language of childhood. And while play is important all year long, there is certainly extra space for it during the summer months!
Play is learning, but if you are having trouble “counting” it as homeschool, add a little structure.
You could leave a play invitation in a sunny spot:
Or, you could provide your children with a challenge such as constructing a fort (STEM!), building a tiny fairy village (art!), or helping in the garden (nature!).
Another idea is to have what my youngest calls “a game picnic.” We will often grab a game and head to the park or toss a waterproof game in our bag and head to the beach.
Once the play begins, sit back, sip your coffee, and watch the learning unfold!
Don’t forget to fill your mama soul
Let’s not forget summer self-care for the homeschool mom. It is so important to take care of yourself during summer break. For me, this means poolside professional development.
(Really, this is a fancy way to say that I read oodles of delicious books by the pool.)
My children are happiest near water and so we try to swim as much as possible each week. I am happiest reading near water and so I try to do as much of that as possible.
It’s a win-win for all.
Summer homeschooling should be fun
You need to figure out what feeds your family’s soul and do more of that during the summer months so that you can greet September with a smile.
We homeschool our children year-round because they crave routine. The trick to taking a structured summer break is to find a rhythm, sprinkle in a few favorite educational activities, and have fun.
Are you a year-round homeschooler too? Share here.
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