Just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean you throw out all routine! People – especially children – thrive with routine and knowing what’s coming next. But how can you possibly organize your summer into something structured when it’s supposed to be relaxing and free-flowing? Here are some tips to help make that happen:
- Block off your homeschooling. Decide what times of day you want to homeschool and stick to it. Carve that timeout and protect it for your own sanity. Whether you choose to have morning hours, mid-day hours, or evening school hours it has to be what will work for your family and situation. Of course, you may want to think about the fact that most homeschoolers like getting together in the late morning or early afternoons when you decide what time you’ll be available.
- Deschool. If you’re just getting started with homeschooling, you’ll definitely want to take some time to deschool. Perhaps summer won’t be a super-organized time for you – and that’s okay! In fact, if you’re new to homeschooling, it’s always best to deschool first regardless of the time of year.
- Start with a basic list. Write down your goals for summer learning along with the basic subjects you want to cover and the things you want to accomplish each day (chores, meals, etc.). Start there and branch out. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many to-dos for each day. Instead, keep it basic in the beginning and add to it when you see you have room in your day.
- Stay flexible! Let’s face it – for all your well-laid-plans, there will be days when it sounds so much better to just spend the day at the beach or pool and let whatever happens happen. You can schedule these free-flowing days (like making every Friday a free-for-all day) or you can just expect them to occur at random times and go with the flow when they do. Regardless of which scheduling method you choose, leave room for spontaneity to take place.
- Books, books, and more books. It can’t receive enough emphasis: reading is critical. To avoid the summer slide, see to it that your students stay sharp in the skills that will make a difference, such as reading (math is the other big area). This means you’ll probably want to incorporate a weekly trip to the library in your homeschooling regimen. If you’re doing a free-for-all Friday each week, maybe that would be the best day to do it. Just make sure your students know it’s taking place and then make it happen.
Undoubtedly, keeping a routine during the summer months will save your sanity in many ways. You’ll know what to expect from your children, and they’ll know they won’t be spending the day playing video games or being bored. Need more boredom buster ideas to include in your day? Check out our list of 101 Things to Do This Summer and make this one a summer to remember.