I don’t call us year-round homeschoolers.
(More in protest than anything else.)
The truth is, we do learn year-round. But that title just sounds so sad. No summer vacation. No days at the beach. No feeling of excitement when late August rolls around and it’s time to begin anew.
No, instead of year-round homeschooling, we employ something just a little bit different.
We have our regular school year. Then we have what I have come to refer to as “summer learning.”
Our first few years of homeschooling, I tried to take the entire summer off.
I wanted my kids to experience the same joy I felt, knowing that school was out for the summer. The endless stretches of time, the lazy afternoons, the sprinklers, the joy.
Turns out, my boys respond pretty poorly to endless stretches of time and no predictable plan.
After three years of summer vacations, I began to dread summer. After four, I decided I needed to create a summer learning plan that met all of our needs – a break, a nod to the more relaxed days of summer, but with structure and the predictability my children crave.
Turn out, summer learning is one of the best things I have ever done for our homeschool.
How Summer Learning Can Make Your Entire School Year Better
I have come to see summer learning as essential to our overall homeschooling plan and progress. Here’s why:
Trying New Things
Summer is the perfect time to try new things in our learning. I am sure this is more a psychological thing, but it feels like there’s a lot less at stake. I am more willing to throw caution to the wind and see what happens if we only study Harry Potter all summer-long.
Because I have been willing to try something new, I have learned so much about what really works for my kiddos. The trial and error I allow myself in summer is invaluable.
Confidence Building (for all of us!)
Because our summer learning plan has a much shorter time frame associated with it, I find that we all feel such a sense of accomplishment as we work through it.
For me, planning is easy and implementation is much more straight-forward than a September introduction to a year-long curriculum. For my boys, they feel a more immediate sense of accomplishment and completion.
Easier Transition Back To School
Perhaps most surprising has been how easy this approach makes our transition back to school in the fall. We are rested, because our summer learning plans typically require less and allow us more freedom. We are still in a functional routine, which makes a return to our usual days that much easier.
Our summer learning actually prepares us for our learning throughout the school year.
I am really looking forward to our summer learning this year.
Would you like to join me in creating a plan that works? I am sharing all my best tips and tricks for summer learning, as well as a real life look at our summer learning plan as part of this four week, email only series. I would love to have you come along for our summer!
What are your learning plans for this summer?
If you enjoyed this post, check out Jamie’s newly release book, Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy.