Summer School for HomeschoolLisa Trombley
When we first started homeschooling, I chose to follow a traditional school schedule: we started in August and ended in May.
But through the summer break, my children seemed lost without our consistent school day routine. I wasn’t quite sure what to do because I felt I needed a break and did not want to continue with our full schedule all year round. I also noticed that when we resumed our lessons in the fall, my children required a lot of review because they had forgotten so much.
I decided to try summer school, and it has worked so well that we have continued every year.
Our Summer Schedule
We finish up with our regular curriculum in May and then take 2 weeks off with no school work at all. When we begin summer school, our days start after lunch when we spend 1-2 hours per day, 4 days a week on academic studies. In the mornings, we head outdoors for fresh air and exercise before it gets too hot to endure. We take a whole week off for Independence Day in July. At the beginning of August we take another two week break with no school work at all. Then we ease slowly into our regular curriculum one subject at a time in the fall.
Our Summer School Studies
My children encountered the greatest losses in math and reading when we took the entire summer off. So those are the two subjects we work on daily during summer school. Instead of working from our regular math books, we do things that are a little more fun and laid back: math games, worksheets, learning wrap ups, and online activities. For reading we choose books for me to read aloud to the children, and they spend time reading aloud to me. I also encourage them to read on their own for 20-30 minutes every day.
During summer school I also like to focus on fun hands-on topics or studies about things we don’t have an opportunity to do during the regular school year. One summer we chose to focus on ancient Egypt for the first six weeks of summer school and then do a study on electricity and magnetism for the second six weeks. One year we spent the entire summer studying geology and archaeology. One summer we studied a unit on different artists followed by a study on composers. I chose our read aloud books to correspond with the topic we were studying in summer school.
Summer school ensures the children are not forgetting the important math and reading concepts that learned while also exploring some fun topics. The learning possibilities are endless and can be low stress for mom too. Take some time to enjoy learning and have some fun this summer!