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Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies
We are year-round homeschoolers. We didn’t plan to homeschool year-round, but the again we never planned to homeschool.
Year-round homeschooling works for our family for several reasons:
- Philosophy- I believe that we are learning all the time
- Maternal anxiety reduction- I second-guess myself less often when we learn in the summer months
- Cooperation levels- I have learned, time and time again, that my children do not transition easily from no structure to more structure. It backfires every time.
And although we homeschool year-round, our homeschool routine goes through seasons.
Summer is just… lighter. Our summer homeschool routine is flexible. We can school on the patio, at the lake, by the pool, in the car.
Today, I’m sharing our summertime plans, subject by subject. When you are finished reading, I’d love to hear yours!
summer learning: lifestyle
When you think of homeschooling as a lifestyle, everything changes!
Summer is the perfect time to pack a game in your purse and have what my youngest calls a “game picnic,” or play a waterproof game at the beach!
So much learning happens when you relax and have fun together!
Read more about gameschooling:
- Gameschooling: Learning Through Play
- Guide to Gameschooling: Learning Through Play
- Gameschool Challenge: Add More Play to Your Day!
summer learning: math
Since December, my kids have been “playing” Smartick Math daily.
Yes, they have been playing math.
My kids have played Smartick on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, birthdays, and – most recently- on vacation. They wake up and ask to play. It has yet to feel like work. This is why I often refer to Smartick as math dessert. My kids just can’t get enough!
Best part? It’s only 15-minutes a day. Perfect for summer learning!
Read more here:
Summer learning: reading
Coffee and Books is our favorite homeschool routine. During the summer months, we take Coffee and Books outside to the patio. My kids listen as they eat breakfast and, later, as they run around the backyard.
I love Coffee and Books for many reasons, but at the top of that list is this: I start the day with the easiest, and yet arguably most important, thing: read alouds.
Read more here:
Summer Learning: science
Are you looking for fun, easy-to-use, and educational summer science activities? I have two resources for you!
100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! is written by Colleen Kessler. Colleen is an award-winning educator, author, speaker, homeschool mom to four gifted and 2e children, and founder of Raising Lifelong Learners.
This gorgeous book is jam-packed with experiments and nature activities that children can do with–or without–their parents. In addition, it includes fun facts and jokes that will delight your kids!
I love when I find a book that is easy to use, engaging, and educational. [easyazon_link identifier=”1624143733″ locale=”US” tag=”thehomeschoolsisters-20″]100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever[/easyazon_link]! is one of those books, and it will teach your children how to find the answers to oodles of questions and it will show your children that they don’t need a museum or science text to have fun with science… all they need is their backyard!
And then I have an old favorite to recommend: Exploring Nature with Children: A Complete Year-Long Curriculum. This resource is completely self-contained and includes all the information you need to make nature study a part of your family’s routine. It would work for both those comfortable in nature and those new to nature exploration. It contains 48 weeks of material, starting in September and continuing throughout the year, but you can jump into the curriculum at any point during the year. (I first learned about Exploring Nature with Children from Kara!)
Read more here:
- 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever!: Become an Expert on Bugs, Beetles, Worms, Frogs, Snakes, Birds, Plants and More by Colleen Kessler
- Exploring Nature with Children
- 10+ Science Games for Your Homeschool
- 5+ Nature Games for Your Homeschool
- 15+ Books for Young Scientists
Summer Learning: history & Geography
This year, I was introduced to two amazing homeschool resources: Around the World Stories and Pin It Maps… and they work so well together!
Around the World Stories is a monthly subscription service that delivers original, high-quality stories to your inbox. Each story is 25-35 minutes long and is dedicated to the fun adventure of a child from a specific country, with a new country featured every four weeks. The stories come with a parent guide including discussion points, country background, fun facts, language, and extension activities to make the story a truly memorable and educational experience.
Pin It Maps is an amazing company that provides beautiful, hands-on, Montessori-inspired pinnable maps. Through hands-on exploration, students quickly learn geography. Each set of maps comes with flags for pinning, large-scale maps for pinning, and a set of control maps. The control maps allow for self-monitoring and correcting, and the maps can be used again and again.
In our homeschool, we love to pair Around the World Stories and Pin It Maps. On a recent trip home from vacation, we listed to all of the Around the World Stories about Poland. When we arrived home, my kids took to the maps to locate Poland and all of the cities mentioned in the episodes.
I don’t have a photo of that moment, unfortunately (my phone was still packed). But here is a photo from our Iditarod study a few months ago:
Read more here:
- Around the World Stories
- Pin It Maps
- Natural Learning with Pin It Maps
- How to Make Christmas Eve Magical, Fun, and Educational with Pin It Maps
- 5 Ways We are Using Around the World Stories
Summer Learning: Art & Music
I love to keep fun art and music ideas in my back pocket. They are perfect for rainy days, under-the-weather-days, or days when you need to loosen up and have more fun. They are also great for sick days, and we’ve had a string of those lately.
Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite art and music resources. These are online, affordable, and simple to use. No prep necessary!
Read more here:
Don’t worry- we didn’t forget homeschool parents!
And, let’s face it: Summer isn’t all sunshine and roses.
The transition to summer can be a tricky one. Finding a rhythm that works for all members of your family is no small feat. As a homeschool mom who has been running full throttle all year long, you need a break. But is a break even possible? While you fantasize about ice cream sandwiches and leisurely summer reading on the front porch, your children might be craving more structure and routine.
Listen to our episode, What’s That Noise! Summer Survival Strategies, here!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us: do you homeschool during the summer? Share here!
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