4 Reasons NOT to Homeschool Summer
I have been homeschooling for more than 10 years now, and until recent years we have homeschooled during the summer too. While it wasn’t the same activities or amount of work, it was still homeschooling during the summer.
In all our early years our homeschool, summer consisted of what I called workbook or light mode. We would finish with our curriculum and move into sort of a transition mode where we kept up with some of the basic skills in math, grammar, and reading so that we wouldn’t lose ground over the summer. (Using grade level workbooks from Barnes and Noble or Amazon was a great way to do this.)
Fast forward a handful of years and homeschool summer became more of a burden than a help. I am not sure if it changed because the kids were older and didn’t need the structure and repetition of the basic building blocks, if it was just too much and burn-out was setting in, or if it was personality/learning style related. Whatever the case may be, we have moved to not homeschooling during the summer months.
Reasons NOT to Homeschool Summer
So now you’re probably wondering what my reasons could be for not homeschooling over the summer! I think you will find they are pretty straight forward!
1. Mom Needs a Break
I don’t know about you, but at a certain point I need to NOT be responsible for so much! Raising kids and keeping a house is a tough job, then add homeschooling onto that plate, and it is a recipe for burnout! By the time the nice weather hits, I am looking forward to soaking up the sun and mindlessly reading a book by the pool while the kids swim.
2. Kids Want Some Free Time
I am not just talking about quiet afternoons or a schedule-free weekend; I am talking about real time off. A real break from the schedules and notebooks. Each of my kids uses this time in different ways. I have one who wants to sleep in, one who wants to be up early to play as many video games as possible, and one who just wants to be able to choose what she is going to do and at what time.
3. Summer Schedules Bring New Activity Opportunities
Often during the summer there are different classes and activities available because other kids are off from school. There have been many times my children have enjoyed a fun art class, rocket science, pottery, and more due to the extra things being offered in the summer months. If we are tied to our own learning schedule, then there is no time for things like this.
4. Time to Regroup for a New Year
The summer months are a great time to sort out our homeschool room. I usually get rid of or donate things we have outgrown and dust and do a deep clean of shelves, carpet, etc. Then we store away curriculum we may use again and start gathering up things for the coming year. When we didn’t really take an extended break, I was so overwhelmed with clutter and disorganization that it became suffocating. Having the extra time means not only do I get a much needed break but I also have time to wind down from the year and prepare for the coming year.
We just finished our first year of homeschooling (we began in February after we withdrew our daughter from public school) and have been working briefly each day in workbooks and reading. I think for us it felt like we needed to continue the momentum we had built up so we are going to work through the summer. I can definitely see the advantages in taking the summer “off” for both the kids and mom though! Hopefully by this time next year we will have a better grasp of how our schooling will go and be able to take a breather, gather ourselves and prepare for the coming year. This year though has been a live and learn experience for us so we are rolling with it! 🙂
It depends on the year, whether not we school that summer. I’ve been homeschooling for 15 years, have 2 homeschool graduates and two still homeschooled. We started out with homeschooling in the summer, but a few years in, I discovered something that is very important to homeschooling moms (although it took a few more years to really trust this gem of a discovery)– change in homeschooling is ok. Good even. As our life needs change, our homeschool will too. That is the beauty of homeschooling. We can adapt it to whatever we need. Homeschooling is not just a way to educate your kids, it’s a lifestyle that will be with all of you for the rest of your lives.
So, some years we school year round, others we take a break (we’ve even had ‘summer vacation’ in winter once!). Each year is still full of wonderful discoveries and continued changes. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, you are right. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do what’s best for our children from one year to the next. 🙂
This is our first year homeschooling. We plan to school through summer, but we take breaks through the year and here soon our family will be growing and we will be taking time off with that.
. Our plan is not to try and keep a Monday through Friday school schedule all year but take breaks when we need to and unwind, take family vacations, hikes in the national park or even just go have some kind of fun when we feel the need or want. As long as they get 180 days in a year we are good.
. This is our way of thinking at the moment. It may change later on. I do like hearing your opinions on it though
Every year I aim to continue school through the summer but it never happens. We always take the opportunity for the kids to try different activities and usually that means school is brushed over. This summer we are really going to try the “light work” you spoke of with just reading and math, but we’ll be taking lots of breaks for swim lessons, VBS, etc. We too have a baby coming in the fall, so I know we’ll be taking a nice break then. I just love the flexibility homeschooling provides!
Yes, I totally agree with you! We too have been home schooling for 10 years now. We live in upstate NY where the winters are long and brutal. We long for the few short months of sunshine! I need to just be “mom” for the summer. We look forward to hikes, church camps and our local Six Flags where we have season passes.