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With the arrival of spring just a few weeks ago, it won’t be long before we welcome summertime. For those of you that homeschool year-round, summer is business as usual. Perhaps you have a more laid back schedule to make time for the beach, pool, and family vacation. But for homeschoolers who typically follow a traditional school year schedule and take the summer off, it’s not a bad idea to keep learning throughout the summer.
They’re not called the lazy days of summer for nothing, but keeping your children busy and learning during these months is crucial if you want to avoid the dreaded summer brain drain. The last thing you want is for all that hard work on first grade spelling words or preparation for the 8th grade standardized test that took place earlier in the year to go right out the door. The summer gives you an opportunity to review and even get a head start on the next year.
How to Turn Summer Learning into Summer Fun
There are many ways to keep those minds sharp over the summer, but don’t worry, it doesn’t involve doing school work for hours on end. There is so much fun to be had, and when you take the learning outside, your kids may not even realize they’re learning. Here are a few fun activities that incorporate nature, biology, history, and more!
Going camping? In addition to creating a ton of unforgettable memories, take this opportunity to teach your kids important life skills like how to set up a tent, start a fire (and the importance of fire safety), and even how to catch their own food by fishing. This will serve as another chance to teach them about different kinds of fish and their habitat.
Heading to the beach or lake? In between dips to cool off, walk around and explore the area. Make nature your very own science lab. Bring along a notebook and camera to record your findings. Children can collect seashells and take note on their shape and texture; they can also throw in some art by drawing all the wildlife they see and what they observe them doing.
Summer sports? Now that you probably have more time, perhaps your children are interested in learning a new sport. Swimming is a big one this time of year thanks to the warmer weather. Not only is it a great exercise, but learning about water safety is a crucial skill for children of all ages. Older students can even learn valuable life-saving skills by taking a class to become CPR-certified.
Packing your bags? Many families take their vacation during the summer months. Whether you’re flying or taking to the open road, do your homework beforehand. Depending on where you’re going, you may find a ton of educational side trips like museums, nature centers, historic sites, and more. Have the kids practice their writing afterward by journaling about their experience.
Take the Learning Outdoors and Online!
Summer is usually that fun time of year that so many of us look forward to. The warm weather and sunny skies make everyone want to head outside. Make the most of it as a homeschooler and show your children that learning isn’t just meant for a particular time of year or something you only find in a book.
Incorporating online education with a program like Time4Learning into your summer homeschooling plans means you can learn on the go and enhance all those summer activities and trips that you have planned. It’s also ideal for those not-so-perfect rainy days when the kids are looking for something to do indoors. So whether it’s a trip to the beach, a day at the park, or a stay-in-your-PJs-kind-of-day at home, there is always something to learn — no matter the season.