Summer is finally here! No more homework, no more books! No more teacher’s dirty looks! Summer is typically meant for vacations and a break from school, but what if you want or need to homeschool through the summer? I’ve been there. There have been many years that we homeschooled the summer. Sometimes it went great and sometimes it was rough. Why did we homeschool all summer?
- Because we had some things to work on. Throughout the year I noticed one, or all of my kids were struggling in a particular area and we needed some extra time to work on it.
- We had a family tragedy and we weren’t able to do school for a couple of months and we needed to catch up.
- We got behind due to sports and outside activities.
- We had sickness/sports injury/surgery that threw us off schedule.
- We purposely decided to do year-round homeschooling.
- A friend talked me into doing it.
As you can see, there were many reasons we did homeschool through the summer and a million other reasons that you may need or want to. If you find yourself needing or wanting to do homeschool all summer or part of the summer, really think about your reason why you want or need to so that you can have a plan. Also, ask yourself a few of these questions.
- Do you need to finish all of your subjects? If you’re only halfway through your curriculum then yes, you probably need to spend a little more time getting closer to being finished with the year. But, if you’re 3/4 or more through it, then do you really need to finish all of it? Is it something that you could tack on at the beginning of the next school year? A lot of subjects repeat what’s at the end of the book the next year.
- Do you need to finish only a few of your subjects? Maybe you just need to do one or two subjects instead of all of them. Then you could spend more time on those subjects and hopefully faster so that it doesn’t take all of your summer vacations.
- Maybe it’s just a particular skill within a subject. Perhaps you noticed or testing revealed your student needs to work on a particular skill. In that case, you wouldn’t need to take it all day. Maybe even find a friend, relative, or tutor for that skill.
- Maybe you want to get a jumpstart next year? So maybe you just block off a couple of hours in the morning then you have the rest of the day.
- Is it the best thing for your student? This one can be an ouch. But are you wanting to go all summer to keep your child from repeating a grade? Consider what is best for them. Sometimes, it’s best to do “Summer school” and sometimes it’s better to repeat the grade. Remember repeating a grade isn’t a failure on your part or theirs, it’s just what is best.
- Have you met your state’s attendance requirement? This is something you really want to be in compliance with. If you’ve met your attendance, then really evaluate why you need to continue through the summer.
- Would it be better to continue or do you need a break from each other? In this case, maybe call in some help from friends or a tutor. It’s ok if you need a break, that’s why they created summer break!
If you’ve made the decision to homeschool through the summer heat, here are some how-to tips to make the most of it.
- Remember, that when you have littles that have no concept of what a school year is, it’s a lot easier to catch-up, or do year-round homeschooling. When they are older and they know their friends and family are out of school, or they hit middle school or high school, things can be more difficult.
- Try to find ways to make it more fun, or at least different than how you teach during the year. This isn’t always possible, but if you can, the change can be great.
- Could camp or a class they attend during the summer count?
- Remember, if you have a student that is struggling, they may be really frustrated, and having to go to school through the summer may be embarrassing or even more frustrating for them so have some extra patience.
- Count visiting places on your vacation as part of homeschool. For example: Go to historic places, museums, aquariums, etc. Is there somewhere you can visit that goes with what you need to get done?
- If you have a high schooler, take into consideration their work schedule, etc. You may have to be more flexible with your schedule.
- Take your school to the beach or vacation with you. Homeschool on the beach, or do a little before hitting the beach.
- Just work on the skills or elements that need to be worked on.
- Have a start date and a finish date and stick to it.
- Allow for summer vacations and activities.
- Use this time to be creative and hands-on with your lessons.
- Do they have to do every lesson or could they read a book on the subject and maybe complete a project?
- Talk to other teachers and find out what they do.
- Can you do a summer co-op with friends that need to work on the same things?
- Simplify things. You don’t have to do all the fluff that comes with lessons. Keep it simple sweetie!
Remember, homeschooling through the summer can be very rewarding, but it can also be challenging at times. So decided on your reason as to why you need to homeschool through the summer. Set your goals for yourself and your students. Maybe even have them set their own goals if they are old enough. Re-evaluate as you go, allow for flexibility and fun summer things to do. Plan for a few weeks to be finished before the next homeschool year is supposed to start if you can. That way you all will at least have a small break and hopefully have a little time to recharge. If you have any questions or suggestions, comment below. Happy summer schooling!