It’s the decision that every homeschool family faces as the days get longer and warmer: Should we take a break from homeschool in the summer or not? Summer homeschooling can offer fun learning opportunities or it can be drudgery for the whole family. The decision to homeschool during the summer should be based on the needs of your children and you, as a teacher.
To Break: After a full school year of homeschooling, it may be time for a mental and physical break. Summer can offer moments to recharge and mentally prepare for the upcoming school year. A break offers more relaxed schedules and the freedom to enjoy fun days playing outside. For some children, a break from educational assignments is necessary for them to be intentional about learning and concentrating when school starts up again.
If you choose to forgo summer homeschooling, you can still ensure that your children retain specific skills, such as mathematical knowledge, during the summer. Sharpen your learners’ math skills by having them measure out recipe ingredients, build a bookshelf, determine how much paint is needed for a crafty project, or complete other activities that incorporate measurements.
Not to Break: Every teacher worries that all the hard work and memorization of concepts and ideas throughout the school year will be baked away during the long, hot summer months. Summer homeschooling can help students retain academic knowledge acquired throughout the school year, especially when learning a new language or studying a difficult subject. Summer homeschool can also prevent the chaos that can result when a child asks, “Mom, can I?” or repeatedly utters the dreaded two-word phrase, “I’m bored.” For some children, a disturbance in their normal schedules, such as no school, can result in an aimless summer.
Summer homeschool does not have to include a heavy load of assignments like the typical school year. Instead, you can pick one subject or even just one unit to work on, so you can take your time completing it to ensure full comprehension and creativity. Instead of being rigidly focused on deadlines, you can explore different avenues of learning through field trips, crafts, interviews, hikes, or other fun activities.
Do you summer homeschool? What are the pros and cons?