Are you toying with the idea of doing a summer homeschool this year?
There are a lot of great reasons to follow the year round schedule!
But…there are also some things you might want to watch out for when you don’t take that break.
I have done both – summer homeschool and carefree summer – so I am so happy to share with you the pros and cons that I have lived through!
I know it will open your eyes, get you thinking, and help you make the most of your summer – homeschooling or not!
Taking long, completely unstructured breaks can be a blast for…about one week.
After that, you tend to get bored kids who are whining about wanting something to do while they waste away in front of a screen.
There is a reason why there are so many articles, posts, and products geared towards entertaining kids during the summer.
Keeping a loose homeschooling schedule helps kids to still have some structure to their day – as opposed to big wide open expanse of time to fill every day.
You mornings can be full of read aloud books, math games, journal writing, crafts, science experiments, and educational youtube videos!
Instead of restless, listless kids who don’t know what to do with themselves.
You may have labored for an entire school year to help your kids nail down those pesky math facts.
Or maybe learning those grammar rules, typing skills, or foreign language vocabulary words was an intense experience.
Whatever it was, you might be worried about letting those hard fought skills languish for 2 months.
Keeping up a little bit of daily work is a great way to maintain what they’ve learned and prevent the frustration of having to relearn it in the fall.
People seem to forget that summer is often full of oppressive heat and kids don’t want to be outside for more than a couple hours.
They get hot, thirsty, tired, and sun burned if they are out too long in that 85-95 degree weather.
This results in them spending more time inside in the reprieve of air conditioning – and wanting entertainment.
If they have to be inside anyway – why not have some fun, educational things ready to keep them learning and their minds engaged?
That is much better than the guilt of letting them watch cartoons or play video games all afternoon long.
If you feel like your kids are behind, the summer is a great time to focus on certain areas they need to improve on.
A relaxed summer time schedule may be just what they need to catch up to grade level and be right on track for the start of the next school year.
Some families aren’t behind, but they want to work ahead during the summer.
Because that gives them a much more flexible schedule throughout the school year!
If they work ahead, they could take more time off or have a more relaxed 4 school days/week schedule.
This attitude of working ahead is also a great way of planning for the unknown.
I started our school very early with my kids last year. I didn’t know that I would REALLY need that extra padding in our schedule because we had an unexpected move, family visited, and of course Coronavirus threw a wrench into everything.
You cannot deny that getting back into the swing of things in the fall will be a lot easier….if you are already in the swing of things from doing summer homeschool.
Your kids will have a much easier time transitioning into a full, normal schedule and probably be more confident as they move up a grade level.
You will also not have such a jolt to your system as you switch back to the homeschooling routine.
When you are already in the mindset of teaching, learning, and planning it makes it so much easier when fall rolls around!
Due to the ever irritating coronavirus, many places will be closed this year and meeting up with friends will not be as easy.
Your normal summer things like water parks, big BBQs, pool parties, family reunions, vacations, etc. will likely not be happening.
Instead of sitting around and feeling grumpy about it – why not just keep up your school routine and get something done?
Keeping up with summer homeschool sound pretty good, right?
Well, there are definitely some cons you want to consider before making a decision about what to do with your kids.
Homeschooling can absolutely be a draining job for any mom. You have to were so many hats!
The summer is the perfect time to take off all those hats – and just be mom!
No stress about getting the school work done.
No stress about planning educational glory every day.
No stress about juggling all the other things that need to get done besides school.
Instead, you can get to that crafting stuff you haven’t finished, finally make all those phone calls you’ve been putting off, get in a better exercise routine, or read all those books you’ve been putting off.
Taking a break during the summer can be an awesome way for a homeschool mom to model self care to their kids.
You can rest, recharge, and be energized in the fall to go another year with your kids!
Your kids may need a break just as much – or more – than you do.
Their brains have been stretched inside out as they’ve taken on new skills in every subject.
You know how you feel when the weekend rolls around – finally a break! Finally some rest!
That’s how kids feel about summer.
They use the time to recharge and get ready to take on more in the fall.
You may laugh at that idea, but I have found my kids do much better when I let them take a break from something . As opposed to drilling them every day in fear that the skill will be lost.
I know you probably already deal with people thinking you’re a little strange for homeschooling your kids.
That will only get worse when you tell them you can’t do X because you’re still doing school in July.
Hopefully kids are coming by to go ride bikes, play in the sprinklers, and run through the neighborhood.
It will be be very hard for the neighborhood kids – and your kid – to understand why you’re are stilling hitting the books instead of heading out for some sunshine.
I am pretty careful to check in with my kids and make sure that our homeschool is working for them.
I really don’t want them to grow up and think that they were somehow shortchanged because I chose to homeschool them.
I can’t think of anything making them feel more bitter towards homeschooling than never getting a full summer break to run around and just be kids.
Their childhood is so short, and there are so many summers ahead of them that they will have to work through. The carefree innocence of childhood is a precious memory that should be defended.
I have heard from many homeschool moms that are further ahead in the journey than I am. They always say they wish they would have been more relaxed in the elementary years.
They wish they would have made more crafts, taken more field trips, and explored more with their kids – instead of stressing about all the standards.
These moms never say they wish they had spent more time drilling math facts, grammar, or anything else.
I want my kids to know it’s okay to take a break – their whole brain will not empty out.
I want my kids to remember staying up late, sleeping in, eating watermelon, and running through the sprinklers without a care.
I want them to have the summer childhood memories I had – that all of us probably had.
I just sold you both sides of the arguments – so you may be wondering where I really fall on the issue.
Yeah, I still don’t know.
I have done a summer with homeschooling and I’ve done one without. I really see both sides of the argument.
This year is more crazy than usual, because I am emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted from all of the coronavirus hysteria.
I want a total break for 2 solid months!
I want to have wide open days where I can work on this blog, work out, clean the house, hang out with my kids, or watch Netflix on my couch in the middle of the day like a total diva – ha!
My kids had a successful year and they are right on track – if not ahead. I want to reward them with a break – not give them a complex about falling behind.
I also love the structure that homeschooling gives our days.
Especially when it’s miserable hot outside.
Also, my kids love learning and have shown interest in continuing with some of their favorite subjects into the summer.
I am planning to just take it how it comes this year.
I will encourage my 3rd grader to keep up with her Spanish.
I have purchased a fun reading workbook for my kindergartener.
I have a handwriting book for my sweet preschooler.
And I will use this fun zoology book full of cool facts, experiments, and activities – if they want to.
And I will provide them with mountains of library books as best I can.
No hard feelings if they just want to run outside and be kids.
So maybe that might be considered a hybrid of a summer homeschool schedule?
I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about and consider as you decide what to do this summer.
Are you needing a routine to follow to keep you sane?
Do you want to work through the summer so you can be more relaxed during the traditional school year?
Are your kids behind and needing to play catch up?
Do you need a break like no one’s business?
Do your kids need a little bit of normalcy this summer – whatever that means to you?
What is motivating your decision?
Fear of falling behind? Or a desire to keep the learning party going?
Think it all through, talk to your spouse, and definitely talk to your kids.
If appropriate, let them help you make the decision, so it is more of a joint effort – you will get much more compliance that way 🙂
Do you think I missed any points?
Drop your thoughts in the comments – I would love to hear your stories and experiences with summer homeschooling!
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