I do not homeschool year round. I have defined start and finish dates to each school year. However, I’ve tried a full blown summer break before and it was very difficult to get back into the routine of things in the fall.
So, here are the ins and outs of our summer homeschool:
Start and Finish Times
I do not ‘ring the bell’ or have a strict start time in the summer. If friends call to do the pool or the kids sleep late one day, we roll with it. Some days we do things in the school room, some days the kitchen, and some days we totally skip school altogether!
We do not do a full load in the summer. Math and reading are the only two things I worry about. I try to do a writing activity once a week. We take lots of walks to the park and catch minnows with our nets. The library in our area has amazing summer programs and we stick with that weekly. I do not buy a set curriculum for the summer. I have enough resources from my passed teaching life to sustain us. We continue to work through Math U See workbooks and we’re STILL working through our Sonlight read-alouds for the year.
We live at the pool in the summer. When I say I go everyday, I mean it. Unless there is a storm or illness, we hang there for 1-3 hours daily with friends or by ourselves. Sometimes, my hubby will go in the evening AGAIN with us after he gets off work. The Texas heat really doesn’t allow for backyard playtime, so the local pools become our backyard.
We take a long rest everyday as well. My two little ones still nap (and this prego mama does too!). While we rest, my two big boys play legos, watch TV, or play iPad. I try to get them to read, but that’s a struggle.
How I do Reading Instruction in the Summer
My main goal is just to get them reading daily. My oldest is enjoying reading silently more and more, (he’d be entering 2nd grade come the fall if we did public school), however, I like him to read aloud to me. I ask questions about what we read, and sometimes we’ll write a ‘summary’ of what we read as a team. It rarely takes more than 20 minutes.
My second son would be entering Kinder this fall and he’s reading basic little BOB books and what not now. We read 2-3 of those a day. I ask him where the uppercase letters are, point to punctuation, count spaces in a sentence, and also how many words are in each sentence. That’s it.
How Math Works in the Summer
We use Math U See and we just stick with 2-4 pages of the workbooks a day. Very similar to what we do during the school year. I just keep them trucking through so that the math brain stays well oiled. I am going to Amazon some ‘critical thinking’ workbooks as well to last us until August.
Bible Time in the Summer
We have started a family Bible time using Old Story New and New Story Old. I plan to keep up with this during the school year as well. Normally our Bible instruction was ONLY during our school day, but I hated that my husband wasn’t involved.
Science, History, Art, Handwriting, Computers, Music, Co-Ops, ETC.
There is no set focus on the ‘other’ subjects in the summer for me. I am by no means a ‘year round’ homeschooler. I like the official ‘start’ of a school year, so I want to build some anticipation to new curriculum come August/September. Also, our co-ops follow the public school calendar so it’s easier for me to do the same.
Our summer schedule definitely has a different ‘feel’ to it than August-May. I like it. It’s works. However, some parents may say this isn’t ‘school’ at all.
Do what works for you! Don’t burn out!!