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Top 10 Summer California Homeschooling Tips

by Jessica Parnell | Jul 23, 2018 | 3 min read

As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, summer slide is a huge issue for students in the United States. While there are many educational programs for you to use during the summer for homeschooling in California, it can be difficult for your child to actually want to participate in “school” since it’s supposed to be summer vacation. But field trips … those are fun, exciting, and memorable! That’s why we’ve created the top 10 summer California homeschooling tips just for you.

California Homeschooling Ideas

Visit some beaches!

California is known worldwide for its amazing beaches, and each one is different! Go to Huntington Beach to watch the surf competitions, or check out La Jolla to explore the beautiful sea life or to catch a glimpse of some seals! If you’re more interested in exploring an historic boardwalk, check out the Santa Monica Pier for rides, aquarium animals, and amazing food!

Go to some nature reserves

Since California is such a big state, there is a variety of different kinds of nature reserves for you and your family to explore. Check out Point Lobos Nature Reserve — rumor has it that Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island is based on this beautiful destination.
Another nature reserve to check out is Torrey Pines. Torrey Pines is home to rare California pine trees, sandstone canyons, and beautiful cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. So take a day to hike, explore, and take in the beauty of Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve.

Research vegetation

Homeschooling in California can provide ample opportunity to research the copious amounts of vegetation in your state. Check out the Manual of California Vegetation (MCV) to start learning about California’s plant communities. The MCV even has a listing of rare California plants, so check it out and see if you can find any of them in your area.

Do some weather studies

The weather in California varies drastically depending on where you live. The southern part of California is more prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, and drought, while the northern part of California experiences high levels of snow and rain. Take some time to study the trends in California weather and predict what you think will happen this coming year!

Visit national parks

Homeschooling in California means that you have plenty of time to explore all of the national parks in your state! Some of my favorites are Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Kings Canyon. Each has beautiful scenery and opportunities to bike, hike, climb, horseback ride, and more! Plan a camping trip or a nature hike with your family to experience the best of the national parks near you.

Visit theme parks

California is home to numerous different theme parks that are fun and safe for the whole family! Some of the most popular theme parks are Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND®, and Six Flags Magic Mountain! To make things more educational, try having your student research the amusement park and make a plan of action before you go!

Go on a museum hunt

When California homeschooling, the word “museum” is a must do! The good news is there are tons of fun museums in California for homeschoolers to check out and explore. Some of the most famous ones include the San Diego Air and Space Museum, which is one of the largest aviation museums in the country, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, the Crocker Art Museum (which even has specified homeschool days), and the World of Wonders Science Museum! Have your child pick an exhibit and then research the subject matter before visiting to make this field trip even more exciting!

Visit an aquarium or zoo

The Aquarium of the Pacific and the San Diego Zoo are two of the most famous animal centers in the country! Both have hundreds of animals and animal species that your family can research, interact with, and watch! Sometimes, the zoo will have animal feeding days or the aquarium will have special shows where the animals perform fun tricks!

Study the USS Midway

The USS Midway is one of the longest-serving aircraft carriers in American history. The ship has flight simulators, a guided audio tour, and tons of exhibits for your history-loving student to explore and experience. This is a great way for your family to truly appreciate U.S. history. The USS Midway also offers California homeschooling-specific activities and seminars, so keep an eye out for their calendar of events.

Travel through the Black Diamond Mines

The Black Diamond Mines of Antioch, California, are home to tons of historical wonders. From the Native Americans to ranchers, coal miners, and sand miners, each time period has a different story. Go picnic, hike, or take a tour of the mines to see how different people utilized this nutrient-abundant area of California!

With such a large state to explore, California homeschooling doesn’t have to be boring! What other adventures do you have during the summer?

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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