As soon as we can start going to the pool, our family switches gears into summer mode. It is easy to let school slide in the summer, but we maintain our priorities of learning and staying on a schedule. Our personalities just do better when we keep learning and staying in a routine, though we do adjust it for every season.
Why school in the summer?
There are 3 main reasons:
- When kids stay in practice and continue using the skills they learn, their minds retain the knowledge better. When I taught elementary school, we would easily spend 4–6 weeks reviewing skills learned in the previous grade level to make sure the children were ready to learn the new information. By schooling just a little bit, it actually prevents a lot of that regression.
- Most kids do better when they are on a schedule, so having a routine can help your family focus on what is important each day.
- Doing a little learning activity can prevent boredom and all-day TV watching, too.
What should you include in your summer schedule?
Your summer schedule should reflect what is most important to your family. Here are some ideas of things to include:
- 15 minutes (or more!) of DEAR time – Drop Everything and Read (parents, too!)
- Nature walks or gardening (mornings or evenings may be best)
- A weekly visit to local events, museums, family music concerts, and art galleries
- Art projects
- Science experiments
- Writing or drawing in a notebook
- Creating a family video to share or teach what you have learned this year
- Daily Summer Activities from Evan-Moor – If you are looking for super quick, easy, and fun learning activities, this book is your golden ticket. My kids ask every day (even on the weekends) if they can do their Evan-Moor daily learning activity books. No joke. At $12.99, they are worth every penny to save you time and keep your kids learning this summer.
Some final tips:
Summer is a great time to finish up lessons or activities that you didn’t get to do during the school year. Also, your child can review any areas where more practice is needed – just keep it short and fun!
We work on bigger learning projects in the summer rather than our traditional routine of teaching multiple subjects.
Since our family has younger children, we get outside in the morning while the temperatures are cooler. The kids play and get out a lot of energy! It is also a great time to run our errands – especially if we are buying ice cream!
We have our learning time after lunch when it is too hot to go outside. Then, when school is done, we have a snack and get ready to go to the pool.
Finally, ask your child what he or she would like to study! Summer is a great time to let your child take the lead on what to learn. If kids are interested, their motivation to keep learning will be stronger.
If you need some ideas for summer activities, Evan-Moor has several options for you to consider. TeacherFileBox has lesson plans for PreK–grade 8 in every subject. You can also follow Evan-Moor on Pinterest for inspirational ideas all year long. Be sure and like them on Facebook, too!
I hope you have a great summer full of learning and fun!
Amy Michaels is a certified teacher with 11 years of elementary classroom experience who is actively homeschooling her own children. Her mission is share the best teaching methods and resources with all homeschoolers. Amy supports parents through her podcasts, webinars, and online training for homeschoolers on her website http://www.thrivehomeschooling.com.