[Today’s article What Do Homeschoolers do in the Summer? was written by contributor Michelle Habrych.]
Summer is just around the corner. What homeschool families do during these precious months is as varied as the methods of teaching their children. If you’re new to homeschooling, you may wonder about how other homeschoolers spend their summer. Veteran homeschoolers may be looking for new ideas to switch things up at their homes. Here are some of the ways we have spent our summer months and some of what we plan to do this year.
Take 3 Months Off? What About Math?
In the beginning, I thought I’d do what the schools did and take off three months. As my kids grew older, I realized the folly in this line of thinking when it came to the subject of math. When we’d get back to work in September, math skills were long forgotten and we spent too many tear-filled days trying to remember. Instead, I now have my children do some kind of math a few days a week during the time off. I try to make it fun for them. Some years they have books to finish before the fall. Other times we just play math games (see my post for ideas) or practice skills on IXL or worksheets. This summer I know both kids will be working on their books through the summer, as well as using IXL and games to keep their skills sharp.
June, July, and August offer many opportunities for enjoying nature together, providing a great option to continue science studies through the summer. You could visit forest preserves, farms, or botanic gardens and study botany. Birdwatching or checking out the local zoo could give your students a better understanding of zoology. Experiments that need to grow are best conducted in summer months. Plant a garden together for the ultimate science lab! This summer my kids are planning to spend a day at the botanic gardens, looking at the plants and drawing pictures of them.
Swimming is a favorite part of our summer months. This year we will once again get a pass to the local pool. We have found that this is a good activity to keep the kids outside and moving, rather than inside with screens. They enjoy it and often friends join us. Look around for the best deal for your family. We try to go three to four times a week to get the most out of our summer, and I use this towards a physical education credit for my high school student. Other physical activities can include bike rides, walks, tennis, beach volleyball, and baseball.
Reading/ Library Programs/ Book Clubs:
Reading can fill up many summer days. It’s a great opportunity to dig up some classics you or the kids have been meaning to enjoy but haven’t found time during the school year or try something new. I usually keep this relaxed and don’t assign any papers to go along with it. Combine this with your local library reading programs, and you can all earn prizes for doing something you would do anyway. This summer my daughter is considering reading a fantasy series of books with a few friends and meeting to talk about it.
Themed days were something the kids and I came up with a few summers back. For example, we could play Chinese Checkers, eat egg rolls, and watch Kung Fu Panda. Think about things your family enjoys and put them together in this way. Get the kids involved. They’ll be learning without realizing it and you have a fun time together.
Many local communities offer concerts, outdoor movie showings, car shows, and parades to celebrate summer. There are carnivals, farmers’ markets, art festivals, and fireworks, too. Many of these activities are free and provide fun learning opportunities. Last summer we met some friends for a free outdoor concert. We packed a picnic and danced in the rain while the band put on a great performance.
Speaking of rain, bad weather days can be opportunities to enjoy indoor fun. If you don’t want to spend any money, find local museums offering free days, head to the mall to people watch, or go to the library and browse the racks. Have a movie marathon at home and bake cookies. Look up a recipe everyone wants to try and cook together. Pull out a board game you haven’t played in years and enjoy playing together. Have a creativity contest using whatever crafty items you have in the house. Build Legos with the kids. Fun does not have to cost money.
Saving Money on Activities that Cost
If you have a budget for extra summer fun, here are some fun indoor activities to enjoy during the bad weather days. We use a Groupon or coupon to make them more cost-effective. Glow mini-golf, arcades, bowling, roller skating, or jumping at the trampoline park are ways my teens enjoy summer days (or winter days for that matter!).
On nicer days, plan a trip to a waterpark or amusement park. Schedule an evening at the drive-in movie or consider purchasing tickets for an outdoor musical venue.
Family Cooking Contest
A fun low-budget activity would be a family cooking contest. Look up recipes on Pinterest or in your cookbooks. Each person chooses one, makes a grocery list, and goes to the store to get the ingredients. Take turns making the dishes. Everyone votes on their favorite dishes. You could even offer a certificate (printed off the computer) or a first-place ribbon to the winner. Whatever you do, have fun doing it together!
We’d love to know your favorite summer fun activities. What’s on your Summer Bucket List?
Related posts to check out:
- Summer Homeschooling Plans
- 15+ Fantastic Tips for a Spectacular First Trip to Disneyworld
- Great skill to work on in the summer: Teaching Kids to Cook
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)
Michelle Habrych enjoys summer by reading poolside and swimming with the kids. An annual trip to the drive-in movie is one of their family favorite activities.