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It's almost summer! As year-round homeschoolers who live in a state with yucky winters, we have to change things up in the summer. I'm posting “5 Steps to a Simplified Summer Homeschool Routine” because using these steps broke down the process enough for me to come up with our summer schedule pretty easily, and I wanted to share them with you.
We still don't take an official three-month summer break, but we do take a month off in summer, and use the rest of summer to keep up with school using this modified schedule. This way we can still get to the pool and play outside as much as possible, but we get enough schoolwork done to keep us on track.
If you're curious about year-round schooling, you can read more here: A Stress-Free Approach to Scheduling Your Homeschool Year.
During our normal homeschool routine, we get to almost every subject every day, alternating science and writing. Our summer school routine is different, but still hits the big subjects at least a few times a week. These are the steps I followed to figure out what would work best for us:
- Figure out your end of summer goals and write them down. Are you hoping to have a certain book completed by the end of summer? Do you want to have taken a vacation, spent a certain number of hours at the pool, logged a nature walk every week, etc? Knowing your goals will help you figure out what you need to plan.
- In order to reach those goals, what do you need to have accomplished every month? Then, what do you need to do every week to get to that monthly accomplishment?
- Break those weekly goals down into what you need to accomplish every day. Now that you have daily, weekly, and monthly steps lined out to reach your end of summer goal, it's easier to figure out what your summer schedule should look like. (Here's an example – if I want to read six good books to the kids over the summer, I would figure out which books I want to read, then write down one book per month. From that point I would figure out how many chapters I need to read per week to finish by the time the month is over, and from there, how many chapters or pages I need to read per day).
- Write down 3-5 “Must Do” daily school subjects or tasks, and 1-3 “Must Do” household activities (dishes, laundry, etc).
- Fill in your days with possible activities (we always make a Summer Fun List and cross off things as we accomplish them – take an art class, swim in a lake, go fishing, camp in the yard, have a movie night, plan a block party, etc).
That's it! By setting my goals and working backwards, I'm able to stay on track and make sure we have a lot of fun, too!
Here is our “not-quite-so-much school” summer school routine:
Every day, we wake up a bit later than normal, eat breakfast, and do our after meal chores (I still have to get up at 4:30am to work, so this part isn't too different, except the kids get to sleep in). By 10:30am, we are all gathered around the table for school. I mean, that is my goal. Sometimes four of us are gathered around the table, one of us is on the floor hunting for lost cheerios, and another is flushing toys down the toilet. Anyway, here is the breakdown of what we do for school, and I've included my affiliate links in case you're interested in the homeschool curriculum we use (if you purchase from these links I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you):
Mondays and Wednesdays –
- Memory work (especially great to keep up on our Bible memorization);
- Sonlight reading (this doesn't take very much time, and we enjoy it so much we don't really want to take a break anyway)
- Language Lessons
Tuesdays and Thursdays –
- Sonlight reading (sometimes we do this at the pool when the lifeguards take their breaks)
- Art (usually drawing lessons on YouTube)
This is all done in an hour to an hour and a half, which allows us to enjoy plenty of amazing summer activities (well, until
mommy the cranky toddlers insist on naps). We take Fridays off, and we spend most afternoons outdoors or at the pool. Sometimes we skip some of our reading in the morning and take it with us on a picnic, but as a mom of 5, I'll be honest here and admit that I have to be in a very generous mood to do the whole picnic thing (if you have experience packing picnics, rescuing kids from red ant hills, spilling food in your car, and unpacking it when you get back to the house, I'm sure you know what I mean).
It gives us a good break until we take a whole month off mid-July and start up again towards the end of August. At the same time, the kids are still up on their necessary skills. Plus, one of my kiddos struggles in math, so working through the summer keeps her on track with less frustration for both of us.
Do you homeschool in the summer? I'd love to hear how you do it in the comments!