If you have educated your children at home for more than one year, you know all too well what can happen during the three months off during the summer — brain drain! Here are 7 summer learning strategies to help you combat learning leak:
1. Homeschool year round.
One of the easiest ways to keep your children learning is simply to keep going through the summer! You’ll find possible schedules in the Smart Scheduling part of our Step-by-Step guide.
Homeschooling year round was our own strategy for a number of years. The schedule provided us with lots of time during the year to take a week off, flex days when something urgent came up, and a summer break — albeit a shorter one.
2. Pursue a passion.
Summer is a great time to encourage children to learn while following their own particular pursuits. Learning is always easier when the subject is something we are interested in.
At the same time, skills — such as reading, writing, and thinking — can be honed while pursuing a delight. Besides, summer gives our kids more time to get in those 10,000 hours!
3. Focus on living literature.
One of the easiest ways to encourage learning is to keep reading. Through living books we can travel the world, step back in time, solve a meaty problem, or learn about situations we may one day encounter — all from a cozy armchair!
Here are a few ways to implement a summer living-literature strategy:
- Keep books handy and in places members of your family typically congregate — coffee table, baskets by chairs, etc.
- When someone expresses an interest in a topic, feed them a book on the subject.
- Put together a summer reading list for each child. Give them a copy with checkboxes to mark off when a book is read.
- Find a theme for your read-alouds this summer. (We have spent years in the deserted island genre.)
- Find an interesting series for each child to work through.
4. Play math games.
Practicing facts can be fun!
Summer is a great time to get outside and be messy. You’ll find all kinds of fun summer experiments in our Summer Fun Activities section.
6. Explore nature.
There is much to learn by observing nature. Try a nature activity.
7. Visit the national or state parks in your area.
History and geography come alive through these real venues.