Five Ideas for Summer Homeschooling
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Some years we’re not quite done with school by May 15th, and I choose to add a little schoolwork in the summer. We do some half days in June (before it’s terribly hot) and more in July when being outside in the afternoon isn’t fun without a pool. “School,” when we do it in the summer, is quite a bit more relaxed and simple than during our regular school year. We only do a couple of core traditional subjects each day and really focus on skills with electives. Here are five ideas for summer homeschooling.

#1. I choose only one or two core subjects to do every school day. For our family, that is usually math. Often during our regular school days, I will say, “That’s enough math for today.” I’m not convinced a lot is gained after an hour and a half or so of math, even if the lesson is not completed. That tends to leave us some math that needs to be covered. The cumulative review lessons also make nice lessons for the summer. These are usually completed quickly by the student because he is not covering new material. Summer math really helps for the next school year because learning loss does not occur. This summer, my youngest is doing math and spelling. I have one doing math only and working a summer job, and another doing math and history.

#2. Focus on Skills with Electives. Any 4-H curriculum is great for this. Teach photography or art. Make a leaf collection or a bug collection. Teach sewing, cooking, or woodworking skills. Enter your projects in a local 4-H competition. The 4-H organization awards prize money, which really motivated my kids. If they win, they get to enter their projects in state competitions. We continued this through high school, so we had something to include when scholarship applications asked for a list of state-level awards.

#3. Sign them up for an educational day camp. These are growing more and more popular. My children did an arts camp a couple of summers and I counted every day as a school day. I always felt like the arts were my weakness, and the kids really enjoyed having a different teacher for these classes. They also loved getting to know the kids in the group. Classes like Musical Theater and Choir are a little more fun with a bigger group than your family. Lots of other camps may be available, like science camp or basketball. Even swim lessons are educational.

#4. Do a reading challenge! BJU Press Homeschool curriculum includes a lot of great reading challenge ideas. During the summer, it will be easy to find a fun activity to use as a reward. Local libraries have summer reading challenges along with some great programs that could become part of your summer school. Maybe you could use their theme for a fun summer unit study, for example.

#5. Read a book aloud. We often choose an adventurous missionary biography to read aloud during the summer. You can usually weave some geography into your discussions along with a lot of other topics. Many missionary biographies work for multiple ages. In our family, this is a way Dad participates. He is much more dramatic (and funny!) than me, and the kids really like to hear him read. JourneyForth Books has age-appropriate novels and biographies that are trusted books for all members of the family.

I’ve come to love our “summer school.” I never know quite how to answer whether or not we homeschool year-round. Yes, I am counting some of our summer days. But no, it doesn’t look like the rest of our year. We’re limiting our book work (except reading for fun) to a couple hours. We focus a lot more on skills during the summer. We’ve found that our kids not only learn a great deal by doing, but it often sparks their interest to learn more.

You only get about eighteen summers with your children. Make it fun. And if you can boost their education at the same time, go for it!

Meet the Author

Cynda Moore - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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