Summer Strategies for Homeschoolers
Summer had a certain “feel” growing up; it started with that walk home on the last day of school. Two months seemed endless and I welcomed, even as a kid, the change of pace. Bedtime was later, sleeping in was the norm, mornings were lazy, and we spent huge amounts of time outside. I still welcome the change of pace that summer brings, but I’m not a fan of taking two entire months off from routine and productivity. Instead, I like to use the summer to do all I can to make life easier through the upcoming school year, to get things done that I struggle to get to, and to enjoy a change of pace.
Today I’m sharing Seven Summer Suggestions for homeschoolers. I hope the warmer months bring a sweet balance of sleeping in, productivity, and a few extra lazy mornings.
Summer Suggestion #1 – Plan but not too much!
The days so easily slip into weeks, then months, and before you know it summer is over, and you’ve accomplished little. I like to create a summer wish list in June to give myself vision and structure for the coming weeks. My list contains all kinds of things: new recipes to try, places to visit, people to see, books to read, and tasks to complete. It’s important to be realistic, perhaps quite conservative regarding what you plan to accomplish. Remember, you want structure, not stress.
One of the items on my list is to organize weekly science experiments. My children enjoy science experiments but they are just one of those things that I struggle to find time for during the regular school year. Classical Education Books carries several science experiment resources; here is the one I have my eyes on for this summer.
If your school year is typically full of science experiments and activities then this resource probably isn’t for you. Maybe these easy reading resources would be a better match for some light summer learning.
Summer Suggestion #2 – Training
The summer months make great training months. Take the time to make a list of chores you hope to see your children doing as part of their daily routine when fall rolls around and take the summer to train them. You’ll be grateful once the busyness rolls around that your children know how to put dishes away, switch a load of laundry and make a simple meal.
Sometimes the focus needs to be on training character & behavior. The low-pressure season of summer provides a great opportunity for assessment and strategy. Teaching Character Through Literature is a great resource to use as you come alongside and train your children.
Summer Suggestion #3 – Win (most) Mornings
I like to indulge in the later evenings and mornings that summer affords but not for weeks on end. I prefer not to unravel our morning routine completely so this summer my plan is to treat every weekend as a long weekend and then set my family up to follow a routine during the rest of the week: regular bedtimes, waking times, and chores along with a morning learning time.
Our Morning Basket or Morning Learning Time always includes a selection of picture books…summer-themed of course.
Summer Suggestion #4 – Learn Something New and Review
Sadly, all kinds of learning are pushed to the side during the regular school year. Summer is a great time to check off those extra-curricular boxes and this summer I’ve got my eye on “Art in a Box”.
Summer is also a great time to fill in gaps or master some learning that was a bit wobbly through the year like multiplication or penmanship. Take the time to discern what truly needs work; don’t take it all on. Remember, structure, not stress. This Summer Cursive workbook is a great way to get in a little extra practice before the year starts. It will make the school year better if this skill becomes effortless.
Summer Suggestion #5 – Get Organized
Although, I’ve had to adjust my standards over the years, starting the fall with everything in its place is important to me. I enjoy the process and admit that it comes naturally to me; I’m fortunate that way. We all have to outsource at times so maybe hiring an organizer is something you should consider.
Following is a list of organizational project ideas:
- Room by Room Organizing and Deep Cleaning
- Organize Recipes & Fall Meal Planning
- Digital Organizing (photos, files, email)
- Homeschool Supplies & Resources
- Closets & Clothing Inventory
- Christmas Planning
- Garage & Shed
- Deep Clean Vehicles
- Set up/Organize Emergency Supplies
- Plan, Organize and Shop for Birthdays
Summer Suggestion #6 – Build Habits with Habit Stacking
Habit Stacking is simple and summer is the time to introduce this concept. Pick a habit that you want to incorporate into your daily routine and attach it to an existing habit. That’s it! Do you forget to take your supplements each day but remember to brush your teeth? Put the supplement bottle in your toothbrush drawer. Do you have a child that has finally mastered making their bed every morning but forgets to put their pajamas away? Work on attaching the desired habit to the existing habit. It’s not enough to just discuss this idea unless you have a house full of self-starters. You’ll need to commit to inspecting what you expect.
Summer Suggestion #7 – Stock up on Summer Resources
Summer boredom inevitably creeps in at times. It’s a good idea to allow children to figure out solutions to their boredom but I do enjoy having a few things on hand to help things along. These boredom buster resources are great to have on hand. Pre-buying the supplies and having them tucked away is the way to go.
Everyone here at Classical Education Books hopes you have a wonderful summer. We are around if you need anything.
by Adrianne Curwen
Adrianne is a wife to a public-school educator/administrator and a homeschooling Mama to seven children, ranging in age from 7 to 23. She believes that we have a unique opportunity as homeschoolers to design individualized education that suits giftings, interests, and passions. She and her husband have used a blend of registered homeschooling, enrolment with independent DL schools, and participation in public trade school programs to design individualized programs for their children. She is passionate about using as many read-alouds, picture books, novels, and conversations to educate her children but also gets excited by the amazing homeschool-designed curriculum that’s out there. Adrianne is thrilled by her new role as Communication Specialist for Classical Education Books and is grateful to have an opportunity to learn something new. She is grateful, every day, for her saviour, Jesus Christ, and has no greater joy than when she sees her most important missions field walk with Him.