Yes, you can have the summer homeschool schedule of your dreams – and I promise it won’t be a nightmare, Homeschool Mama!
Don’t get me wrong.
We are in our last week of homeschool here, and let me tell you…I’m so done!
Summer is on the way and I am waiting with open arms.
When it arrives in all its glory, I will close the teacher’s manuals, put away the workbooks, notebooks, and to-do lists.
No more lesson plans. No more struggles over schoolwork.
The evaluations are complete and the pressure will be off!! Woohoo!
But if you think, the learning will stop for the summer, you would be quite mistaken.
Summer is the magical season that gives me the chance to kick back and masquerade as the homeschool mom I wish I could be all year.
I get to pretend I’m one of those unschooling moms who rejects curriculum and just chases the joy of child-led learning.
Sounds good, but you’re still a bit skeptical?
A Homeschool Summer Schedule? I’m So Tired!
I know what you’re thinking.
Summer school?! No way! I’m exhausted, and I’ve earned this break!
Put a fork in me! I’m done!
No, I’m not talking summer school in the traditional sense of public school.
I’m talking Summer Homeschool – very different!!
Your goal is to follow the passions of your children and keep them sharp on the core subjects (math, reading, writing).
Here Are the Awesome Benefits of Keeping a Relaxed Homeschool Summer Schedule:
There is little to no pressure on you – it’s all about fun!
You get to spend extra time focusing on what your children WANT to learn about
Summer is often so hot that you can’t be outside for very long anyway.
Kids thrive on having a structured schedule and expectations of how their day will unfold.
Ever heard your kids scream “I’m bored!” Sigh. It’s great to have fun, educational things planned!
Transition back to school in the fall will be much smoother
Your kids will need less review in the fall if you keep their brains sharp over the summer
It’s a lot of fun if you do it right!
Do’s And Don’t for Summer Homeschool Schedule
1. Do Ask Your Kids
If you don’t already have a clear idea of what your kids love to learn about – ask them!
“What was your favorite thing to learn about this year?”
“What did you wish we would have spent more time learning about?”
“What did you wish we would have learned about but didn’t cover this year?”
Take their answers to these questions and start coming up with some ideas to have fun and learn with your kids!
I highly recommend Sassafras Science Zoology. The Guide Book to Zoology also has lots of great experiments in it – we even made a reptile egg!
There were also a lot of craft ideas and charts to make for the habitats and what the animals eat.
Here is our bulletin board at the end of the summer – we were busy!
What are your kids passionate about?
How do they like to learn?
2. Do Unplug the Screens
If you are interested in educational fun with your child this summer…I have to drop this truth bomb on you.
You will lose if you are competing with a TV, iPad, or a video game.
If those are constant possibilities for your kid that you are likely to give in to, you will have a rough summer.
I greatly struggled with screen time when I started homeschooling and I realized TV (no matter how educational) was getting in my way.
I strongly recommend that you set a firm limit on screen time that is predictable.
For example, no screens until 3pm or till after dinner. When your kids know that you mean business and there is no other form of entertainment, suddenly doing that science experiment or listening to that read aloud book will be much more enticing!
3. Do Schedule a Weekly Library Day
If you already did this during the school year – don’t stop!
If you don’t even know where your local library is – this is a great time to find out!
My kids routinely check out a total of 40-50 books every week and it absolutely keeps their interest in reading and learning high.
Tip: Get online and see if you can order books through the interlibrary loan system about the subjects your kids are interested in!
If you don’t do anything else all summer – take them to the library!
4. Do Read Aloud Books Despite the Ages of Your Kids
It might be tempting to let your kids read by themselves once they’re old enough, but there is so much to be gained from being a family that reads together.
Our family has grown so much closer since we shut off the TV and started reading together. We love cuddling on the couch, talking about the story, and they always beg for “one more chapter!”
Even my 3-year-old has a remarkable attention span to sit and listen to stories since we started doing it.
Not sure when or how to start with reading aloud to your kids?
Pick an exciting book and start reading during snack or lunchtime. That is how I started and it worked out great!
The kids are all sitting together anyways, and they’re eating (so they’re not talking!).
Some great books to start with would be The Chronicles of Narnia, Little House Series, The Magic Treehouse Books, Imagination Station Books (phenomenal!), and the Rush Revere Series.
You should be able to get all these books and so much more at your local library – but here are some links if you need them:
5. Do Have a Schedule (But Don’t Be Rigid)
Let your kids know what days you are planning to do some school, so they can anticipate it (and you will be prepared).
It might make sense to do a 2 day, 3 day, or 5 day schedule – whatever works for you!
Things will naturally come up though, so be willing to go with the flow if the weather is perfect for a picnic, the neighbor kids are outside playing, or you found a coupon to the local water park!
Remember, the summer is all about fun and it’s okay to be flexible.
****Keep reading to see my own summer homeschool schedule!
6. Don’t Over Do It
If your kids are in the zone with their science lesson, reading, or art project, by all means, let them go as long as they want to.
As a general rule though, try not to let your summer homeschool schedule be more than an hour at a time.
That might sound short, but you will probably get more done over the span of the summer if you stick to that time limit.
Your kids will be much more willing and motivated if they know school won’t take the whole morning.
7. Don’t Do “School Work”
If at all possible, avoid anything that looks like traditional school and typical bookwork.
Remember, summer is the time for you to be the homeschool mom of your dreams!
Your personality may want to sneak in a worksheet or a flash card, but fight it!
You do not want to burn your kid out on school and have them start up in September already tired.
Try to make it as out of the box and fun as possible.
Think nature walks and journaling, crafts, science experiments, read-aloud books, and fun math games!
8. Do Bring the Screens Back
I know, I just said put them away. But if you keep a tight reign on them, you can motivate your kids to enjoy some really educational screen time!
Because my kids get such limited screen time, they jump at the chance to play Reading Eggs and Reflex Math (the best online math we’ve found by far!). They also love to watch Liberty Kids (free on youtube!) and Planet Earth (free on Netflix!).
My younger children are DELIGHTED to watch LeapFrog Videos and they have learned and retained so much from them! All my girls have actually learned their ABCs and counting from an early age with these DVDs.
You might be able to stream them from Amazon or check them out from the library. If not, here are some links:
Tell the kids that they can have (educational) screen time after you have finished up whatever other lessons you have planned.
There is a lot that can be learned with screens, as long as it is kept in balance.
Here is a Dreamy Sample Summer Homeschool Schedule:
8:00 – Multitasking Breakfast
While we eat together we will do our daily devotional, discussion, and then a chapter or two from our favorite read aloud book.
9:00 – Break Time
Kids will get dressed, brush teeth, run around outside and play.
10:00 – Enrichment Subjects
I’ll call the kids back to the classroom table and we’ll dive into one of our enrichment subjects: The Cultured Kid, Art, Music, History, or Science. Depending on interest, energy level, and the schedule for the rest of the day, we may do more than one of these things.
10:30 – Snack Time
This is also a great time to read aloud to kids!
11:00 – Individual Work
Younger kids may be done for the day and ready to go outside and play at this time. My older kids I will encourage to journal, read, and play some online math games IF they are interested. Because it is summer schedule, I will encourage, but not enforce this individual work.
12:00 – Chore Time
The house can get pretty messy and chaotic during the summer months. It’s smart to schedule chores right before you eat – no eating until they’re done!
12:30 – Lunch Time
During these relaxed months, it is also a good time to talk to kids about nutrition and picking their own lunch items. What are strong choices for their body’s this summer?
1:30 – Quiet Time
This is usually the hottest time of day and a great place to have a quiet time for your homeschool family – even the older kids.
2:30 – Snack & Free Play
This can be going outside with friends, going to the park, going to the pool, scheduled playdates, independent play, or controlled educational screen time.
5:00 – Dinner Prep and Dinner
When you don’t have a full homeschool day to complete, it can seem more manageable to have the kiddos in the kitchen with you and helping you get the meal on the table. Pourers, stirrers, taste testers, and table setters are all needed!
6:30 – Family Time
I know it is sooooooo easy to flip on the TV in these evening hours, but try on these school days to get in the habit of going on a family walk, playing a couple games together (we love these math board games!), or reading more together. Kids will love it and your family will be so much closer as a result!
8:00 – Bedtime
Everybody should be showering, brushing teeth, putting on jammies, and climbing into bed. Try to spend 5-10 minutes with each child and go over the day with them. Ask them about their highs and lows and what they learned today.
Enrichment Subjects for Your Dreamy Summer Homeschool Schedule:
If you’re stumped on what school things are actually fun, consider looking into some of our favorite summer enrichment subjects:
Art: Kids Art Box
Kids Art Box offers a beautiful curriculum that the whole family can enjoy!
Learn about famous artists, make beautiful art, and have fun!
Multiple projects in each box also means you don’t need to buy a box for each kid – Winning!
Coding is the way of the future and will be a skill that many kids need. Check out Code.org and sign up for the free program that kids in public schools across the country are using.
Foreign Language: The Cultured Kid
Yes, you can teach a foreign language to your kid! Even if you barely speak English correctly 🙂
Check out The Cultured Kid and start teaching your kid French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, or English with engaging video, songs, games, and activity sheets!
You can start for only $1!
Music: Music in Our Homeschool
Music in Our Homeschool is a fresh, modern take on music!
Check out 30+ online courses that explore nearly all types of music!
My kids and I have learned so much!
If your kid is 10-14 years old, they need MoneyTime!
It is a fun – Oregon Trail-style game – to teach your kids the 30 things they need to know about money!
So much more fun to learn this way than looking at a credit card statement and trying to figure out why that 16% interest rate is killing your wallet.
But We’re Too Behind for a Breezy Summer Homeschool Schedule – We Have to Do Real School!
Okay, I hear you.
Keep in mind that during the elementary school years – the core of your curriculum is reading, writing, and math.
Everything else is enrichment at this point and will be retaught throughout elementary and high school.
This means that you only need to be concerned about reinforcing those core subjects during the summer.
If your student is struggling with language arts:
Can you find a pen pal their age to write to weekly? A friend that moved away? Even a family member? The writing will be good handwriting practice, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure – and what kid doesn’t love getting mail?! If they are resistant, have the pen pal write to your student first – the excitement of mail might really motivate them to write back right away!
How about gifting your child with a fun journal and a cool pencil that can only be used for journaling on Fridays? You can help them brainstorm through all the events of the week for ideas! Maybe print some pictures off and tape them inside so it looks like a little yearbook your kid can share with friends and family!
Ever heard of Madlibs? They are a fantastically fun way to help kids remember the difference between adjectives, verbs, and nouns. You can print them for free off Google or Pinterest!
Rip the Page is a great book to get young creative writers motivated and inspired!
If your student is struggling with math:
There are many online math games that are fun and free – Xtramath and Mathplayground are great!
Pinterest is overflowing with math games for kids! Check it out!
Homeschoolgameschool.com is a website dedicated to teaching through games – highly recommend!
Recap Dreamy Summer Homeschool Schedule
Not so bad?
Hopefully, you see that as a totally attainable summer homeschool schedule your kids (and you!) would learn to love!
I would recommend mixing it up to always keep the schedule fresh.
You will likely experience a little bit of resistance from your kids if summer homeschool is a new thing at your house. But just ease them into it. As soon as they start having fun, things will get easier.
Hopefully, they will start to see the joy of learning and the fun of discovering new things they’re invested in!
If you need to, consider a little positive reinforcement. Check out this post – How to Motivate Your Homeschooler to Get that Work Done.
Already have some summer homeschool experience? I would love to hear all about your topics, activities, and schedule in the comments! I know others would enjoy reading it too!
Need more encouragement and ideas as you head into the summer and look towards the next school year?
I would love to add you to my Monday morning email crew of awesome Homeschool Mamas!
Start your week with a cup of coffee while reading some tips, tricks, encouragement, and some funny stories thrown in!
Want to make sure you hold on to all this for when you need it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest Board and share with your friends and followers!