Summer is right around the corner. At the end of a homeschool year, hopefully, the curriculum is being put away, and you are relaxing and enjoying the summer weather with your family. You don’t have to feel like summer is a total waste of learning opportunities. You don’t have to worry about the dreaded summer slide. There are a lot of unusual and fun ways to homeschool during the summer and keep learning.
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Fun Ways to Homeschool During the Summer
There are more ways to learn than just book and curriculum work. We have become big fans of relaxed homeschooling over the last year or two. My kids have been learning and amazing me with the knowledge that they are picking up through books, documentaries, and their life experiences.
Just imagine what they will learn with a little nudge this summer.
Summer Reading Program
There is just something about earning prizes that get children chomping at the bit. Public libraries often have reading programs during the summer, in person and/or online.
The wonderful thing is that there are no requirements on what is to be read, so your children can choose what interests them, whether fiction or non-fiction. I do not limit what my children can read (besides obvious adult content books). This may be the single element that turns your reluctant, slow reader into a voracious, skilled reader by fall!
You could also visit your local nature preserve and gather information about the birds specific to your location, like the blue herons that we often see flying above us as they go from one lake to another, which we just happen to live in between.
There are so many ways to gather and preserve flowers, even to use as colorful potpourri to add to your home decor. Besides botany, this could turn into an amazing voyage into some little-known history. Children love to learn things that no one else knows about.
Gardening and Preserving
Gardening is something we do every year, with varying results. This is good, old-fashioned sweat-equity learning! Turning over the ground, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting–all great activities that challenge the body as well as the mind.
What do you do with your harvest? Preserve it! Canning, dehydrating, and freezing are among the choices here, and science learning abounds with each choice.
If you want the know-how, talk to family members, your grandparents probably know how to preserve everything you are growing. They are a great source of information for you and your children to learn from. Or, look online, grab a book from the library, or talk to fellow gardeners.
There is nothing written that you can’t keep reading aloud to your kids this summer. Grab a book and a blanket, head outside to read for a little while each day, or every other day. Take some snacks out with you, or lunch. I like to pick books that have been made into a movie for a rainy day movie day.
Look to the Sky!
One thing about summer is the nice days we get, and another is the option for later bedtimes.
Spend the day looking up at the clouds. Spread a blanket under the trees and stare at the clouds. Take turns telling what picture, whether a horse or an angel or something else, each cloud made. Use their imaginations to tell what stories the clouds make.
Use your telescope and take turns staring at the moon. Grab a book of constellations and look to the stars. The stars and the constellations they make are more than just interesting but help to tell stories of mythology.
There is so much to learn from the world without a curriculum or without specific learning times. This is why unschooling works so well. This summer you can try your hand at unschooling, or relaxed homeschooling if you’d like. There are opportunities for learning everywhere you go.