This is a common question that some homeschool parents ponder…
“Should my child do homeschool during the summer?“
And the answer to this question will vary from family to family, and circumstance to circumstance.
And to help you decide whether or not summer homeschool is for you, I will give you some things to consider.
But first, I want to note that we homeschool, we do NOT need to follow the same strict guidelines of a public school system. In the public school system if a child is behind, he has to do summer school or get held back.
However, when you homeschool, you simply just pick up where you left off come next school year, and that’s okay! That’s the beauty of homeschooling.
Think about this— Does it make sense to hold a child back from the next grade level because they struggle in 1-2 subjects, yet excel greatly in all the others, therefore forcing them to redo the ENTIRE grade level and all its subjects over again just because they struggle in one to two areas?
Or, have the child do summer school or summer learning 5 days a week to play catch up and strip away their summer break?
No it doesn’t. Just work with your child in those struggle areas.
Disclaimer- I’m not talking about a child who has gotten behind due to laziness. As really involved homeschool mom we don’t allow our children to become lazy and not do their school work, right?!
You’d seriously have to be really uninvolved in order for your child to be allowed to become lazy in their school work and school studies, and in this case, maybe reconsider your “why” for homeschooling, because plopping your kids in front of a homeschool curriculum workbook, or a computer or DVD curriculum to be left to themselves all day IS NOT HOMESCHOOL. That is what we call, “public school at home”.
Rant over. Now that my rant is over, let’s get back to it!
Should we continue to homeschool during the summer:
You should probably continue to homeschool through the summer if:
1. Your child missed a lot of days of schooling because of sickness, family issues, or any other reasons.
In this case, you could also check out my post: How to Catch up in Homeschool Fast! but I wouldn’t say you need to do FULL ON summer learning.
2. Your child finished less than 1/2 of a curriculum book (such as a math book).
For me, I would just have my child do 1-2 math lessons a week during the summer so that we weren’t playing too much catch up come next school year.
3. You love flexibility and don’t like to do homeschool every single week during the “normal” school year.
In this case, maybe throwing in a few lessons each week during the summer could keep you on track and allow you to continue to have that extreme flexibility of not schooling each week during the school year. This is what people refer to as “year-round schooling”.
4. If your child has had a rough time in a certain subject and they need constant reminders to keep it fresh in their mind.
In this case I would have them work about 20 minutes a week on said subject, just to keep it fresh in their mind until the next school year starts so that you’re not playing major catch up and review.
However, please note that at the beginning of a lot of school books is review, so there will be review in your child’s school books prior to learning new concepts.
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5. If you want to do year round homeschooling
So many homeschooling families love the flexibility of being able to take as many breaks as they want, whenever they want, therefore some do what we refer to as, “year round homeschooling”.
And in this instance, some homeschooling families will continue their homeschool work throughout the summer.
If you do decide to do some summertime homeschooling, just make sure to have a good summer homeschool schedule in place so that your child can still enjoy their summer break and leave plenty of room for family trips and memories, a summer activity each day or week and a summer vacation that still feels like a summer vacation.
Now, if you choose NOT to do homeschool during the summer, but would love ways to keep your child learning:
1. Read, read, read.
Read to them and let them read good, living books.
If you only do one thing this summer to keep your children’s minds fresh and growing with new knowledge and fresh ideas, it would be to read to them! Never underestimate the power and effects of reading great literature to your children. 😊
2. Get out in nature.
They will naturally learn and pick up things about their environment and the animals around them. You could identify plants around you— edible and poisonous.
3. Take a trip the zoo, aquarium or museum.
This is a sure-fire way for them to “learn” all sorts of things about science and nature, without you teaching them a school formal lesson.
You can check out my free Homeschool Field Trip Planning sheet right here!
4. Remember to rest.
At the end of the day, we all just have times when we just need a mental break from learning our school studies. This does not mean that your child won’t be learning anything throughout the summer, because they will, especially if they love to read, but stepping away from the math or away from the grammar, is good for your child for a stretch.
My final thoughts…
Summer is the perfect time for children to explore their creativity and learn new skills.
The summer season offers a great opportunity for children to learn, grow, and explore all sorts of new things that can’t always be done during the colder months.
They can go on adventures with friends or family members, they can try out new hobbies, or they can even take on a summer job to make some extra money.
However, with the right balance of work and play, the summer is a a great time to take it easy from homeschooling, yet, have enough time to throw in some schooling if need be.