SummarySometimes summer homeschooling is necessary. However, Elizabeth Turajski has discovered, when done right, a little schoolwork can make summer even more fun!
I never thought I would be a homeschooling mom who continued homeschooling throughout the summer.
I had always thought it would work better for us to get everything done during the school year and then have the summer free for leisure activities.
However, I try to keep my homeschool relaxed and let my kids go at their own pace, while still making sure that they finish all their work before the next school year. Because of this, most years we end up finishing a few books throughout the summer.
I have come to be open to summer homeschooling since it allows for a more relaxed pace during the traditional school year. It also minimizes the amount of review that we need to do at the start of every grade because it keeps old learning fresh in the kids’ minds.
The biggest dilemma I have faced during summer homeschooling is keeping the kids’ attention. I’m sure other homeschooling parents have experienced how hard it is to motivate kids to get their work done during the summer. Over time, I have learned some strategies that help my family.
1. Minimizing Breaks
My kids usually do a lot better if they take frequent breaks, but during summer this changes. Due to a lighter workload and more distractions, it works best for them to sit down and get all their work done with one or no breaks. I try to have designated “school time” instead of letting them spread it out throughout the day.
While this often leads to complaints, the kids are always happy later when they discover that they have the rest of the day free.
2. Staying Physically Active
I try to encourage my kids to be physically active all year due to the immense benefits I see in their concentration levels and moods. I find that exercise becomes even more important in the summer, because when my kids have less work, sometimes they don’t know what to do with themselves and so they sit around.
When the weather is nice, I send the kids outside multiple times over the course of the day. This allows them to get fresh air, burn off some steam, and come back in a better mood.
3. Using Summer Activities as Incentives
Summer is full of activities. Between visits from relatives, time spent with friends, and family outings, there is always something to do. I frequently remind my kids that the sooner they get their work done, the sooner they can participate in such activities without the pressure of schoolwork looming. This is often a very powerful incentive for them to sit down and tackle some remaining assignments!
4. Including Informal Learning
Every summer, the kids’ cousins come to visit, and we do a different activity each day. We go to places like the zoo, the aquarium, and kid-friendly museums. I try to make these occasions educational opportunities and points of discussion.
For example, one year we visited a museum about the history of a local town. Later, my older kids and I discussed what we saw and how the people of different times lived. This allowed them to keep on learning even when not doing formal school work.
Seton families, do you homeschool in the summer? How do you keep your kids motivated?
Share with us in the comments!