Summer is the best time to learn! The weather is perfect, there are so many opportunities to be outside learning, and it’s just so fun! It’s easy to have a more laid-back approach during summer time, and that’s okay! The key is to keep them learning all year long and to make homeschooling fun.
Have some structure. Yes, you should be laid back, but not too laid back. Kids need some type of structure, and they like to know what is coming next. Knowing the plan for the day helps ease anxiety and also keeps them on their best behavior!
Combine learning. When you do activities, try to combine different subjects and learning objectives so you can kill two – or three – birds with one stone. For example, I’ll let the kids help me cook – which will cover math and home economics. Before we cook, though, I have them help me create a menu plan – and sometimes we even create recipe cards! You could get super crafty and have them make recipe books, too.
Do some research. Take a poll. Ask the kids what they want to learn. This will provide a jumping off point for all activities. This can work whether you do unit studies, lapbooking, or traditional homeschooling.
Learn everything! No matter what you’re doing today, squeeze in a learning experience. Whether you’re going to the park (hello, nature hunt!), or to the grocery store (menu planning, math, etc), learning is all around us. Don’t make learning so boring that it feels like “school”.
…Even the not-so-fun stuff. If you’re homeschooling through the summer to get your kids caught up for public school (or the next grade level), it’s important to work on their favorite stuff and their least favorite stuff, too! I like to pick one subject they love, one they don’t necessarily love, and then something in between that needs to be worked on for them to be caught up. Incorporating multiple subjects into outside learning fun is the key here.
Take a road trip. My goodness, road trips are seriously the best learning experiences ever! From helping you plan the actual trip (maps, mileage, gas costs, food stops), to planning the activities (costs, time involved, distance from camp grounds or hotel), kids can learn more during a road trip than they ever could sitting at a desk! Start a Pinterest board for road trip learning games, and print them all out before it’s time to go. Limit electronic usage and make sure they’re taking in the great outdoors!
Take a day trip. Even if you can’t take a road trip across the country, you can usually squeeze in a day trip. Head to the zoo, Science Center, or any other “almost” local attractions. Spend a day planning everything out, then spend another day actually taking the trip! You can still have the kids calculate mileage, expenses, etc. it will just be on a smaller scale. If you’re taking a trip to the zoo, print out some scavenger hunt sheets before you leave!
Remember: life lessons are just as important as academic lessons. Summer is the perfect time to let the kids choose what they want to learn about – and how! Don’t put too much pressure on them to sit down and do book work unless they are playing catch up.