When we first started homeschooling, we were living in Florida and my husband owned a construction company. Since it was swealtering during the summer and daddy had more free time in the winter, we chose to school through the summer and take more time off around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The flexible schedule is one of the great benefits of homeschooling.
After we moved to the midwest, though, keeping the kids (and myself) motivated to do school work when the weather was so nice outside was challenging, to say the least. Not to mention that the neighborhood kids were finally available to play during the day!
Rather than struggling to get traditional schoolwork done in the summer, we chose to seek out educaitonal opportunities in our community, instead. It’s amazing what you can find when you look!
If you want to keep the learning going throughout the summer but don’t want to be tied down to worksheets and textbooks, look for what’s offered near you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Fun Educational Summer Programs for Homeschooling in Summer
- Swimming Lessons: Many communities offer swimming lessons at local beaches. By attending swimming lessons at a public beach, kids gets to relax in a summer setting. They also get to meet new friends while learning a lifelong skill and enjoying the warm weather.
- Sailing/Canoe Clubs:Through boating lessons, your child is given the opportunity to interact with other children as well as work as part of a team. Lessons on great explorers or trade routes can be taught on the beach afterwards.
- Summer Festivals, Farmers Markets and Artisan Shows: These shows provide families with a wonderful opportunity to learn about their own communities as well as the historical and cultural values of other countries and cultures. There are often many demonstrations and samples available at such events.
- Theater Programs: Try enrolling in a local theater in the park or other acting/arts programs. Many of these are offered during the summer months and culminate in a final performance. These programs offer students the chance to do something different while meeting and working with other peers. Many of these programs also have non-acting positions available.
- Summer Internships:Visit local museums, zoos, aquariums and historical attractions before the summer months and look into internship programs for older students or day camps for younger ones. Many attractions offer youth internship positions of varying lengths.
- Day Camps:Get a few friends together and register for a day camp. Most local recreation centers offer camps with educational themes such as robotics, geology or marine life.
Tips for Planning Summer Activities
- Don’t overload your kids. Allowing him to try one or two new things in a summer is often enough to satisfy his curiosity and offers enough downtime to regain focus.
- Get your child’s opinion before enrolling him or her in a summer program. It is important to be sure it is something he will enjoy.
- Remember he’ll be learning while involved with any summer program so it is all right to forgo some or all of the formal classroom work he or she may normally do during this time.
Overall, turning summer into a learning vacation away from the textbooks and worksheets allows the kids the opportunity to relax and clear his or her mind. This can have many positive effects when you get back into the normal routine in the fall!