Summer Learning in Our Homeschool

My daughters received a one year subscription to Smartick at no cost. 

The sun is shining more.  The days are longer.  Fun is in the air. With more sunshine and fun activities going on all around us, I have found that teaching my girls in the summer tends to look different than the rest of the year.  We don't stop learning simply because it's hot outside instead we school year-round.  We made this decision quite a few years ago when we all recognized the benefit of continuing to focus on learning even when school is supposed to be out.

How my daughters learn during the summer

How do I teach my daughters in the summer?

Our summer learning activities are not the same as our regular school year activities.  A change of pace and resources does happen.  Learning in the summer isn't about finishing a curriculum for us because this could easily cause my daughters and me burnout instead we use different resources and focus on projects that are interesting to the them.  

What do my daughters study in the summer?

They study math.

Math is the one "school" subject that we continue working on the summer that many people tend to take a break from.  My daughters continue to work on math because: 

  1. Although they both will say math is their favorite subject, some topics do not come naturally to them. The continued practice helps them to get better and retain the skills that have been learning throughout the years.  We don't usually use our regular math curriculum for math, but instead my girls use online math programs.  Smartick is the program that we are using this summer, and it is by far their favorite.  We have tried several programs throughout our homeschool journey; both of my daughters have told me that they enjoy Smartick the most.  They like the animation, clarity, and interface.  It's pretty straightforward and easy to use.  I'll write a review about it soon.
  2. It's easier for us to keep going than stop.  Since math isn't always used in the everyday lives of children, I feel like it is best for me to be intentional about incorporating into their lives everyday.  We aren't always shopping, measuring, or using other math related skills so continuing to intentional study math helps my daughters in the long run.  They are less likely to forget how to (fill in the blank) , and this makes beginning our next school year a tad bit easier versus me reteaching and wondering what happened to all the things they "learned" the previous school year. 

They continue reading.

Summer reading programs have been a staple in our home since my girls were old enough to participate. Participating in the various summer reading programs are a easy way for my daughters to keep up with their reading.  I don't tell them what to read, and this is actually true during the school year too.  I believe that giving them the room to choose the books they want to read keeps reading enjoyable versus dreadful.  

Girls studying nature outdoors. 

Girls studying nature outdoors. 

They work on whatever that is interesting to them.

Learning isn't always about reading, writing, or solving equations.  There are times learning takes place by catching up on documentaries about topics of their choosing or it might take the place of learning a new skill like a sport or craft.  Since summer is the time of the year that they have more free time, I encourage them to try out new things.  This year my youngest daughter is taking the time to learn how to play volleyball.  She is super excited. 

Learning in the summer doesn't have to be drawn out.  It can happen by doing what comes natural to your children and what flows easiest in your home.  I am intentional about working on some subjects like math, but for the most part I encourage my daughters to take this season to explore without limit. 

What does summer learning look like in your home?