The end of the traditional school year is approaching but homeschooling doesn’t have to stop there! Many homeschoolers choose to continue their lessons throughout the late spring and summer months. Some families choose year-round homeschooling because it allows them more travel flexibility and seasonal breaks in school activity. Although parents may find this method appealing, the children aren’t always as thrilled about school year-round. Here are three simple ways to make year-round homeschooling fun AND effective for the entire family.
Less Bookwork Days and More Field Trip Days
One of the greatest ways, if not the greatest way, to learn is through experience. Field trips are a wonderful way to experience what is being taught in lessons at home and bring key concepts to life for our little learners. Switch out a few days in your homeschool week for activities outside of the home to keep students engaged. According to SC homeschool guidelines, you can most definitely count field trips as homeschool days and some families incorporate educational field trips into their family vacation plans!
Unable to move around as freely as you’d like? That’s okay because there are lots of virtual field trips available online that are free of charge. You can schedule a virtual field trip with friends or create a watch party for a documentary and invite others to join you. Click here to see a list of free virtual field trips available with positive reviews.
Move Your Homeschool Outside Sometimes
Technically, this minor change in scenery can be done any time of year, but it is still a nice approach if you find it difficult for your children to focus indoors during the warmer months. Instead of completing math practice at the kitchen table one morning, try placing a blanket in the backyard and doing lessons there. Vitamin D is good for us and after lessons are done, you could easily have a picnic style lunch for fun! Subjects like science and reading are pretty easy to move outside as well. For example, planning an earth science scavenger hunt for the morning sounds way more exciting than science textbook reading and worksheets.
Create a Homeschool Pod and/or Unit Study with friends
As someone once said, “everything is better with friends!” Socialization in your homeschool is only a problem if it isn’t prioritized. It isn’t necessarily hard for homeschooling families to socialize as long as they are intentional in incorporating it into their homeschool. Over-the-summer unit studies or pods are an effective way to dispel the socialization myth and make homeschooling more interactive. An easy way to do this without sacrificing precious school days is to invite friends to learn with you all. Putting together a pod is pretty simple if you allow it to be. Call up some of your homeschool friends with children that have similar interests and ages to start planning a homeschool pod for the summer. Parents, with the help of the children (team interest led learning here!) can put together a unit study based on a particular topic or hobby. Create a schedule to meet as a group—meetings can be in each other‘s homes, a local library, at a park, or any other meeting space you can think of. Parents can rotate teaching and lesson planning responsibilities or there can be a designated teacher for the group. You decide!
In a Nutshell
Year-round homeschooling can be fun and effective by incorporating these three simple concepts. These aren’t concepts that should only be used during the summer, but they are helpful in keeping homeschooling fun without parental burnout taking place. Additionally, dialing things back some during the warmer months allows you time to prepare for fall classes and do some personal development of your own. I’m a firm believer that as homeschooling parents, we should schedule some time in our year that affords us the ability to read books on homeschooling, child development, and education. Part of our duties as homeschooling parents, and as parents overall, is to keep learning as our children are learning so that we learn and grow together.
Are you looking for ways to keep your children learning and engaged over the summer? Check out our H.Y.P.E student clubs through the Akoma Homeschoolers Hybrid Learning Center for enrichment opportunities that can count towards your homeschool days.
Registration is open and ongoing throughout the year. We’d love to have you join us.
As usual, happy homeschooling!
Shamay Oware, executive director of Akoma Cares