According to George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, it’s “Summertime, an’ the livin’ is easy.” So why would you want to spend summertime in school?
To some students, the thought of taking classes in the summer doesn’t seem fair. We might pity the kids who sweat out their summer school lessons while we sweat in the playgrounds, parks, and picnics!
In reality, summer school has many benefits for homeschoolers, and can keep students from having to catch up in the future. Brains need not go on vacation when the family does. Brain drain — when the student forgets what was learned during the year — is an all-too-real possibility during the summer months, and you can avoid it!
Besides plugging up summer brain drain, other benefits of summer school include:
- Forward progress Your pace may slow down, but that pace can allow students to continue learning without the pressure of a tight schedule.
- Field trips Summer weather and more free time allow families to catch up on field trips they may have missed, as well as take advantage of summer deals.
- Flexibility A relaxed summer schedule can allow buffer days for when unexpected events shake up your schedule.
- Future planning Keeping the kids’ minds on school helps you and them discover interests and incorporate them into the “regular” school year.
- Focus Preparing and facilitating just one or two classes allows you to focus on a new area or reinforce a subject for a struggling learner.
- Flow Many students prefer routine and a predictable schedule, and a sudden reentry into a school year after a long break can be jarring.
- Further study A less-intense time of summer school can challenge a student by allowing him or her to dig more deeply into a favorite subject.
- Fun! There are a lot of summer activities that combine learning with fun! Day camps can provide opportunities for science studies, like, “Why do mosquitoes seem to like me more than others?” and “What exactly does allow a boat full of campers and snacks to float?” The budding journalist can keep a record of summer action. History comes alive at reenactments and museums.
As you can see, there are many opportunities for summer learning that don’t have to steal the season’s spirit from the homeschooled student. Summer schooling can prepare you and your student for homeschool success in the fall!
What ideas and stories can you share about summer homeschooling?