This podcast episode is sponsored by Monart.
About our sponsor
The Monart Drawing Method was designed by Mona Brookes, the author of the best selling book “Drawing with Children.” Millions of copies in seven languages have been used by parents and teachers for 45 years. It is a structured method that even non-drawing teachers can use in the classroom or at home. Every lesson has step by step instructions to guide the parent or teacher to unbelievable success. Monart has become extremely popular with home school associations and Montessori schools.
Today’s homeschool topic: summer-schooling!
Homeschooling over the summer is not for everyone. If you can’t fathom teaching your kids over the summer for whatever reasons- you are not alone. Take a look at Gabby’s post with us called “Why We Don’t Homeschool Over the Summer”.
If you’re a year-round homeschooling family, I’m sure the phrase “homeschooling in the summer” doesn’t put you on high alert. You’re not phased at all by the idea of continuing your children’s education throughout the summer months just as you would during the fall or spring.
For many of us, though, this phrase tends to bring some signs of distress. I say this all in good humor because I’m one of those moms.
When I think of homeschooling in the summer I have to work pretty hard at visualizing nature walks and museum trips…but that is exactly what I’m going to be talking about in this podcast.
We are going to relax our way into homeschooling this summer, and on this episode I’ll be sharing ways we’re doing that, and some tips that may get you thinking along those lines as well.
Let’s start with the first step.
Know why you want to homeschool in the summer.
Why do you want to do this? Is it to make up for learning time you feel that you’ve lost during the school year?
Is it because you’re concerned that your kids will forget those basic math and grammar skills you’ve worked so hard to help them achieve over the year?
Is it because you want to embrace more opportunities for learning while you travel?
Is it because your philosophy is year-round homeschooling and you believe that learning never truly ends?
Whatever your reasons are, it’s important to understand why you are continuing homeschooling during this season when so many people decide to take a short break. (Not so much that you have a reason to share when people ask why but so that you are confident in your own purpose for continuing education this season.)
Knowing your “why” will help guide you in finding those perfect learning opportunities this summer that are just right for your family.
One thing that keeps me motivated for homeschooling during the summer is learning. I usually like to take this time to educate myself on home education tips, get advice, learn more about philosophies and how to apply my knowledge to teach my kids.
I think ongoing education is so important. You can consider your months a sort of teacher in-service. So, if at all possible, try to attend a homeschool conference either in person or online.
These events help to keep you motivated and refreshed for a new year, as well as keep you going for the summer.
Go on field trips and get out and explore and see what’s going on in your city.
Take a look at my video at the bottom of this post and also listen in to the podcast to hear where I talk about getting out and about in your city. (It’s around the seven-minute mark on the video).
As you can see, we love getting out and about in our towns. When we lived in Monterey, California six years ago, we would catch the local farmer’s market weekly, visit natural history museums, the local aquarium, and take a slow day at the beach.
Because there was so much wildlife on our coastal beaches we could turn these outings into educational moments. I would have the kids take out their sketchbooks and draw the local seagulls and plants. It truly was a delightful sight to feast our eyes on the delectable ocean wildlife- unique plants and birds.
It was a unique experience to sit on top of the sand dunes and feel the cold fog settle in overhead and the cold sand run through our toes beneath. The rocky crags above us made for an exhilarating hike and kept me agitated as I worried that my 3-year-old would run too quickly and fall between the gigantic rocks above the ocean.
I was a worried mama, a too-careful mama, but I learned to appreciate the nature around me in this brand new place we had moved to.
Don’t overplan, but plan to have fun
Summer months are a great time to simply unwind. Usually, the school year is when I tend to over plan, but I have been learning to gradually wean myself from planning too much in my schedule.
So for summer months I like to keep it light and easy.
I plan to keep certain subjects afloat, such as math and language arts. We are doing math about 3 times per week minimum. We have even been reading through Story of the World and keeping some read-alouds around in our book stash.
For writing, I decided to keep it fun and light- letting my daughter create fun stories and see where it goes from there. She might want to self-publish at some point.
As for the real fun, we’re going out a lot- finding things to do in our community. We’re enjoying family vacationing (we love Disney), farmer’s markets, museums, theme parks, comedy shows, art exhibits, and cultural events.
There is also church activities, VBS, and getting together with our homeschool group for park days this summer.
So, we have a lot to look forward to. Here are a few more things to think about when planning homeschool over the summer. (Check out the video below at about the 4-minute mark or listen to the full podcast to hear more about interest-led learning).
And just in case you like videos, please be sure to check out my YouTube Channel! Here’s my video on the same topic of summer homeschooling you may enjoy.
Tot School– a resource for toddlers and preschoolers you plan to homeschool along with your older children. I used this when my youngest daughter was two.
Outschool– a resource for a la carte online classes . We’ve used this platform for art and writing classes over the summer.
Adventure Academy- my latest fun educational software find. Check it out!