The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the thermometer is rising, and I’m gathering my lesson book and teaching guides. You read that right, no summer break for our family this year. Why? Because we spent the majority of the winter sick with 3 different illnesses back to back. We had to cancel Thanksgiving Dinner along with Christmas Eve & Christmas Day festivities. New Year’s Eve we all snuggled up under blankets and watched movies with multiple boxes of tissues. As for Valentine’s Day, well, we were fine on the 14th, but by the 15th we were all back to where we had been on Christmas.
Obviously, we missed quite a few days of homeschool due to illness. Thankfully our immune systems bounced back and we jumped right back to it, but it took some time to make up for that long gap of on again off again lessons. The only answer for us this year is to continue school right through June and July, possibly part of August.
Now, I could sit and pout. Admittedly, I’ve been tempted. But then I realized that this in itself is a lesson to my children about responsibility. A way to teach them that we can’t sweep things under the rug, pretend they didn’t happen, and skate on by with an easy pass because we homeschool. That doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun though! Just how do I hope to manage that? Here are a few ideas I have tucked up my awesome homeschooling mom sleeve.
- Shorter days, longer weeks: Instead of doing lessons for most of the day Monday -Friday, we will instead do ¼ – ½ days during all 7 days of the week. This will leave plenty of time for play, day trips, and relaxation for the entire fa
mily. (Myself included there…)
- Lots of field trips, hands on experiments, and crafts: We usually do a lot of fun things like this during the warmer months anyways. The only difference now will be that EVERYTHING will be centered on school. If we go to Disneyland, we’ll do a study on fairy tales. Knott’s Berry Farm? California History! Beach, zoo, and aquarium days will become science days. Do you see where I’m going with this? We can have fun, but we won’t completely slack off. Besides, what homeschooling family doesn’t end up learning every time they leave the house anyway? We’ll just take it a little deeper than usual.
- Summer Reading Programs: One thing we did keep up on while we were all under the weather was reading. Since we will finish our lessons in the next few weeks, we will join a summer reading program and read to our hearts’ contents… and then keep reading some more. Thankfully, we are a book loving family.
- Nature Walks and backyard camping trips: We are going to take advantage of having school time during the hottest months of the year and see what we are not able to see during spring, winter, or fall. Nights under the stars in our backyard will give us time as a family on top of learning new skills and discovering things we have not seen before. If Grandpa lets us borrow his telescope, we’ll accomplish even more.
- More fun printables and hands on learning, less boring worksheets: Thanks to Amy, I already have a stockpile of Lego printables for my children to use this summer. We began using them a few weeks ago, but as the weather gets warmer, we’ll be using them more. Will we still be on track? Absolutely! We will still incorporate some of the worksheets from our main curriculum; we’ll just be swapping out a little more than we usually do for something equivalent with a fun tone. (Honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t been doing even more of that the rest of the year.)
So, there you have it. That’s my plan so far. I’m sure it will shift and change a little (or a lot) as we go along. I am certain though that this will be a summer full of wonderful memories we never forget. In fact, we might just make a habit out of it.
Do you have any ideas or tips to share for homeschooling through the summer? I’d love to hear them!