You’re here already? How? Wasn’t it just spring break? Didn’t we just celebrate New Year’s Day? Wait, we didn’t finish the history curriculum! Oh, look! The science kits never got opened! Sweet Summer, my homeschooling brain needs a break and the kids are rioting and we cannot find any printer paper and we’re tapped out of documentaries and if we have to solve one more math problem involving fractions, WE WILL LOSE IT!
So, Summer, thank you for showing up when you did. We have missed you and your longer days, slower pace, and sunshine. I’ve brewed a huge mason jar of sun tea, extra ice. Stay awhile, Summer. I’ve got piles of books, journals, fancy pens and kids that like to sleep until after 9:00 am.
A homeschooling mama who is ready for summer
Slower Summer Homeschool Lifestyle
How are you prepping for summer? Do you take a FULL STOP 3-month break with a “See you in September” attitude? Are you year-round homeschoolers? Do you fall somewhere in between? Do you have everything planned for summer and your next school year? Do you fly by the seat of your super cute swimsuit?
Guess what? It’s all great! No matter how you “do” summer in your home and homeschool—it’s just perfect. Popsicles, pool days, and playing—sign me up!
Summer for our family is a bit different this year. My kids are older now and this means a few things:
- They like to sleep in and I am 100% on board with this.
- They don’t need me to organize activities and have lots of pre-planned ideas, themed days, etc.
- They want time away from each other and more time with friends.
- They need lots of free time. We are coming off of a very busy homeschooling year. Also, puberty. Enough said.
Family Homeschool Summer Activities
I’ve decided this summer to have a mix of doing NOTHING and to honor each kid’s current interests in ways that won’t make me go bonkers, break the bank, or send me searching for 100 different things to do to fill the time. Here’s a quick peek:
- Volunteer at the library
- Go to basketball skills training camp
- Swim at the community pool
- Keep up with math with a few planned days/weeks off as needed
- Participate in Open Gym for our homeschool basketball team
- Stain the deck furniture
- Help clean the house
- Volunteer at a local camp
- Attend Firefighter Explorers and Police Explores clubs and camps (our local fire and police departments offer clubs and camps for kids ages 14 and above to learn about these professions)
- Eat all the popsicles
- Read books! Listen to books! Write your own books! Please and thank you.
- Figure out how to play the board games I purchased for Christmas
- Go to the movies
- Take field trips with our friends (we have an amazing co-op for ages 11 and up and there are activities planned each week)
- Go to the beach and the lake
- Visit with grandparents
- Volunteer at church
- Craft and sew
- Design houses (my twins use this free online program)
- Eat and sleep
- Sleep and eat
Maybe this seems like a lot or maybe not enough. I'm not sure. My kids are 12, 12, and nearly 14. This feels like a good age for them to have more freedom, to also be bored, to explore, to sleep and to relax in ways that work for them.
Mom's Summer Activities
Let's get to the good stuff. What are YOU doing for yourself this summer? I am not talking about homeschool planning, friend. That's a given for most of us. Even though we are pretty eclectic, type b homeschoolers, I like to have a loose plan in place because my kids actually thrive better when I do.
What I am talking about it is taking a true break for YOU. Your body, mind, spirit—all of you. Homeschooling parents wear so many hats. We are "on" most of the day and night (why does my teen want to talk at 11:42 pm?) and after months and months, it's okay to pause. Actually, it's more than okay.
It's 100 percent necessary.
I have been the homeschooling mom who plows through spring and then over plans the summer to make sure that my kids stay on top of everything and don't fall behind. Behind on what, I was never sure, but I felt the need to go, go, go.
Guess who was miserable?
Summer break would end and I would be tired or find 100 excuses to not begin our homeschool year. This never benefited anyone. Not even a little.
I realized that I had to go with my FLOW and treat summer like my kids do. I need to shut off the planning, the research, and the scrolling through curriculum websites looking for the magic math bullet. Summer break is an invitation to dive into all the things that fill your cup. It is an invitation to explore, grow, rest and play.
Will you accept this invitation, friend?
I am grabbing my journal and fancy pens and giving myself permission to homeschool myself. Or maybe it's more like unschooling myself, but let's not get caught up in semantics.
Here's my "Vanessa's Summer Homeschool Fun List":
- Take walks in the evening 3-5x a week
- Continue practicing yoga
- Do a deep dive into the Enneagram (I'm a 2. Such.A.2)
- Marinate on some other projects that are swirling in my head
- Plan and a host a local homeschool conference
- Go to bed earlier
- Journal, journal, journal
- Read ALL the books--both hard copies and digital
- Watch movies (I am terrible at this but there are some I've been wanting to see)
- Hang out with friends sans kids
- Hang out with friends and all of our kids
- Make my health goals a priority
- Do some more home decorating
- Drink iced tea on my deck
I am giving us a longer summer break this year because of the local homeschooling conference I am helping to plan and because I want to have a longer break. When you're a homeschooler you can do this. It's all good and nobody will be upset because you didn't pull out the unused science kits August 1. Just saying.
So, how will you dive into your summer season? Drop me a comment below--I would love to know!