In Summer! The words to the song play over and over in so many of our houses. We are dreaming of sand, fun, vacations, and snow puddles?
How many of us dream of summer school when creating our summer plans?
When we take off more than a few weeks at a time from learning, my kids regress in certain skills. The time it takes to catch back up feels like even more time is slipping away. It’s just not worth it. I keep a schedule going all summer. (And then there are the classes we didn’t complete during the school year – that’s another reason we do summer school.) Many kids with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia or other learning struggles regress in skills during the summer.
If you haven’t done summer school homeschool style before, it’s not that hard. The first step is mindset. The hardest part about summer school is putting it in place.
Presentation is key.
If you haven’t done summer school before, your kids might not feel so fond about the idea. If that’s the case, don’t call it summer school! Find another name for the summer learning: Exciting learning activities, Extended learning, or Summer Educational Activities (SEA). You don’t even have to call it anything – just inform the kids that it’s a new thing you are doing. If you know the purpose of WHY you want to homeschool during the summer, the presentation and carry through will fall into place. Take some time to catch your vision and know how to present it to others.
Relax the schedule.
Sleep in. Don’t keep a schedule, or keep a less intense one. Set aside a few hours a day for educational activities. In Texas, it’s too hot to play outside around three o’clock. That’s a great time to sit together in the AC and read. Another approach is to do schoolwork three days a week and take two days off. It’s your schedule and you can make it what you want it to be.
Make it fun.
Don’t lose sight of fun. Find a way to keep things light and special this summer.
Take school outside.
Reading a book? Take a blanket outside and read in the sunshine. Math drills? Draw the numbers on the driveway and run from answer to answer. Spelling words? Draw them in dirt with a stick.
Throw in rewards and benefits.
Kids work hard for rewards. (OK – not just kids!) That’s why contests are so popular. Give incentives for doing work during the summer. It can be as simple as movie time once a week, or a system of points for each subject completed with extra special activities they can earn.
Even if you aren’t planning on doing a full schedule In Summer, brushing up on skills or getting ahead is always a good idea! Hopefully these tips will give you a place to start!