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As a homeschool mom, I’m just as excited as my kids to reach the last day of school each year. Summer break is my time to accomplish the goals that I’ve had to put on the back burner. Yet, in recent years, I’ve seen the benefit of adding a little schooling to our summer breaks.
Reasons to Homeschool During Summer Break
More Time During the School Year
With four kids in four different grades, our days fill up quickly despite my efforts to streamline our homeschool. I sometimes wish that I could clone myself because the subjects that require one-on-one time with each child really extend our day. Thus, I’ve begun homeschooling during summer break in an effort to make our regular school year run more smoothly.
Avoiding the Summer Slide
While I don’t worry too much about the summer slide, I did add reading and handwriting to our summer school for my youngest child between his Kindergarten and first grade years. I knew that he needed additional practice in these areas to have a smooth transition to first grade.
Making Continuous Progress
One of our homeschool subjects is poetry memorization. This is a continuous program geared for mastery learning, so long breaks really hinder progress. By keeping up with poetry memorization over the summer, my kids retain the poems they already know and add several more.
Adding in Electives, Skills, or Special Projects
Summer is a great time to add in those electives, skills, and special projects that you don’t have time for during a busy homeschool year. Whether it is cooking, sewing, or mastering the art of drawing, summer is a great time to work on these skills.
Getting a Do-Over
Despite your best homeschool planning, you may find that something you intended to teach during the homeschool year didn’t work out the way you thought it would. For us, it was Latin. We dropped the subject mid-year because we couldn’t keep up.
When summer break rolled around, I was determined to revisit Latin. After some research, I bought additional resources, and we started over. Due to some unexpected circumstances over the summer, we only completed two chapters of the new materials. Yet, we’re content with the progress we made.
As with poetry, Latin will be a mastery subject that we work on throughout the entire year while we move at our own pace. Thankfully, our do-over gave us the confidence we need to keep going.
Getting a Head Start
I was quite surprised when our Algebra I textbook arrived with five more lessons than all previous math levels. These extra lessons would mean an additional month of math tacked on to the end of the upcoming school year for my eighth grader. So, I decided that rather than finish late, he would start early. This way, when the last day of school rolls around, he’ll finish on the same day as his siblings.
Making Homeschooling During Summer Break Practical
Have a Plan
Before you jump into homeschooling during the summer months, have a reason why. Without a goal in mind, neither you nor your kids will enjoy this time. But if your summer plans for homeschool serve a purpose, you can all be on board.
Make sure that your plan is sensible. For example, when our science labs are not directly related to our science books for the year, it’s easy to complete those labs over the summer break. However, when the labs are specific to weekly readings throughout the year, it doesn’t make sense to separate them out.
Keep Your Homeschool Days Short
Everyone needs a break from homeschool during the summer months. In our homeschool, we try to take some time off immediately after the school year ends. We also try to keep our schedule flexible so that we can still spend quality time with family and friends.
We don’t homeschool every weekday, and we keep our homeschool days short. This way we can all pursue our own hobbies and activities while on summer break.
Seek Progress Rather Than Perfection
Remember your reasons for homeschooling during your summer break and strive for progress over perfection. You may not accomplish everything that you set out to do, but any progress you make will lighten your load during the homeschool year.
Our Summer Homeschooling Through the Years
- All kids:
- Algebra 1 – head start due to additional lessons
- Keyboarding – new skill
- Latin – started over with additional resources
- Keyboarding – new skill
- Science – completed one book and matching worksheets to reduce the workload during the school year
- Science – completed all science for the upcoming school year (paired with younger sibling)
- Science – completed all science for the upcoming school year (paired with older sibling)
- Handwriting and reading – to maintain these new skills
- Ohio history: completed all readers, workbook, and lap book
- 3rd & 5th graders:
- Completed all science labs for the year
There are many reasons to consider homeschooling during your summer break. In our experience, it has set us up for a better school year ahead. Just be sure to set reasonable expectations as everyone needs a break from homeschooling including the teacher.