Homeschool Themes for Learning Through the Summer MonthsTracy Lambert
Each year I think through a plan for the summer months. Otherwise, the time passes with nothing to show for the days. Most frustrating is that it takes my children time to catch up and remember where we left off last.
Summer doesn’t have to mean days with no direction and lots of television. Even play time can include directed time that will leave the children ready to learn fun subjects.
For our summer homeschool schedule, we continue to read and do math, but the rest of our more structured learning is replaced by a relaxed tone such as exploring the woods or lake. I do try to fit in a themed learning activity each week. Our visits to the library might include checking out books checked on this theme but will also include books that the children choose purely for personal enjoyment.
Here are some of my favorite ideas for summer learning themes.
Start a Garden
Our little seedlings are already popping their heads through the soil. I know one family who plants two gardens — one for boys and one for girls. They have a contest each year and keep graphs showing which group grow the most produce before the first frost.
Last year, we had a learning experience when hornworms decided to take over our tomatoes. That wasn’t the most pleasant situation for my would-be gardeners, but they did learn quite a bit from the experience.
Our favorite part is eating what we grow and that also means plenty of opportunity for kitchen learning.
Gaze in Awe at Summer Astronomy
Tracking the night sky can be enjoyed during the summer months without having to bundle up for a viewing. We have often sat in chairs carried onto the lawn and talked about what we see. It is amazing how much children learn when you are simply enjoying what God has created!
Watch the Weather
Summer is a great time to track storms and clouds. Rain gauges are easy for children to make and can be placed in the yard for daily viewing. Weather journals will allow children to practice handwriting skills through the summer months but are also a great keepsake of the summer.
Make Messy Crafts Outdoors
One of our favorite summer crafts is making tie-dyed shirts. In the summer months, you can set everything up outside, have fun, and not worry about the mess! Pinterest has more tie dye ideas than you could accomplish in a lifetime of summers!
Many cities offer outdoor concerts during the summer months. The local symphony performs concerts in one of the inner-city parks in our area. Many times these events are offered at a much discounted rate or even free! Check with your local visitor’s center to see what might be playing in your area.
Bright Ideas Press offers some terrific literature study guides. Reading a novel you didn’t have time to read during the school year is a great way to sneak in more classics and modern historical fiction.
The summer months can provide a nice break from the normal routine of school. If you haven’t thought about the learning experiences your summer days might hold, this is a great time to plan and try something new with your family.