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Summer Learning for Homeschoolers

by Jessica Parnell | Jun 06, 2017 | 3 min read

Summer is often full of lazy, hazy days, where we prioritize family and fun. And that is important! However, it can also create “summer brain” that lasts long into the school year. Come August, many children are reluctant to work, slow to get started, easily distracted, and longing for the ease of summer. Help your child stay on track this summer by spending one hour a day doing educational activities, workbooks, library trips, etc.  You will be grateful you spent time each day focusing on summer learning– though they many not admit – your students will be grateful, too!

Why Summer Learning

As a new homeschooling mother, I often dreaded the idea of pushing my kids to learn during the summer. But, research shows that it’s critical that we spend time refreshing our skills and reading during our breaks. Students who do nothing during the summer months will fall prey to summer learning loss, and the start of your school year will be tougher than you can imagine. Children lose an average of two months of reading mastery over the summer and a whopping 2.6 months of math skills! Each fall teachers spend 3-5 weeks re-teaching concepts to children who have not used their summers wisely. If you want to ensure that you don’t lose what you’ve worked so hard for this year, and that your fall goes smoothly, you’ll want to spend a little time on summer school.

Where to Start

It’s hard to wrap our minds around how we’re going to get our kids to sit down and focus on more school after such a long school year. And that’s because you shouldn’t! Summer learning should be fun, active, and engaging, not wrapped around textbooks. Here are our favorite ways to stop summer learning loss without ruining your summer break!

  • Take time during the summer to explore topics that your kids enjoy.  If they love animals, research some of their favorite animals and take a trip to the zoo to learn even more! If they like cooking or baking, create a garden where they can use their own ingredients. Now is the perfect time to learn more about your kids passions and interests. And you can take some time to explore those topics together.
  • Make math real by actually applying what you have learned during the school year. Use real-world math immersion during all of your activities during the summer by creating a vacation budget together, planning grocery trips, cooking and baking, helping them budget their time and money, measuring garden plants when planting, etc.
  • Discover what your local library has for summer programs. Many times libraries offer opportunities that your entire family can take advantage of to ensure your readers keep their noses in books during the summer months.
  • Enroll your children in local art classes or camps to explore new ways to express their creativity.
  • Use classes at your local science museum to gain hands-on experience and lab credits.
  • Participate in the DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) program to encourage focused academic work. These opportunities to read, even fiction books, help your student to continue and develop their creativity, imagination, and build their ever growing vocabulary!
  • Try an online class. Kids tend to enjoy screen time, so take advantage of that to boost their learning!
  • If crafting your own summer learning is overwhelming, go with some interactive workbooks. Consider using Summer Bridge Books to ensure your students retain what they have learned and are ready to make the grade in the fall. It’s simple and fun!

Are you ready to learn more about the 7 Benefits of Summer Learning and how it can positively impact your homeschoolers? Download this free resource today! You won’t regret spending time learning this summer and you’ll be thankful you did come fall when your homeschoolers are right on target.

What are you planning for your summer learning routine? Tell us in a comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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