Guest post by Time4Learning.com
With summer approaching, you may be thinking about the plans you’ve made to spend time with your children. Are you traveling? Planning on sleeping in more often? Are you thinking about trying a new curriculum? Well, as long as you’re a homeschooling parent, you have the flexibility to do all three things and more!
Homeschooling doesn’t limit you to one specific location or schedule. It provides you and your children with the freedom to try new things, experience different ways to learn, and it allows for more family time. And while you are enjoying the summer with your children, they’re also building new skills and preparing for the upcoming year.
Combining Summer Traveling and Learning
Giving children some additional free time while traveling, and avoiding summer brain drain was a daunting task for homeschoolers in the past. But now, thanks to online learning tools, children can build upon their existing skills, review last year’s lessons, and get a head start on the upcoming year on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Leigh, the mother of an eight-year-old and fourteen-year-old, made extensive travel plans this summer and is not worried one bit. “My children bring their laptops with them and simply log in and work on their lessons at their own pace. They’ve found that being able to repeat lessons if they don’t entirely understand the concepts very helpful. They also enjoy the interactive nature of the online lessons. They’re actually fun. They both work quietly as my husband and I take turns driving. It makes for a relaxing trip.”
If you have summer travel plans don’t cancel them, try an online curriculum provider and combine fun time with learning time.
Go Ahead, Relax Your Summer Schedule
You may keep a more rigorous schedule during the school year but plan on relaxing it a bit this summer. That’s not a problem — you have flexibility on your side. Let your children sleep in a few days a week and relax. As homeschoolers, your schedule is what you make it, so you can always blend in some fun creative ideas that keep your children excited about learning. Go a little crazy and:
- Let your children make a list of what they’d like to learn about.
- Make summer goals for your children that are outside the typical school “box”. For example, make homemade ice cream in your favorite flavor or create musical instruments with natural materials from your yard.
- Teach your children how to fix things around the house.
- Provide summer-themed incentives for jobs well done — think visits to the beach or water park, or maybe no school work for the day.
There really is no limit when creating activities and tasks that combine fun with learning. This is also a great time talk more with your children. Find out what they like about homeschooling and what things they would change about it. Sharing ideas empowers your children and makes them more invested in their own education.
Test Drive a New Curriculum Provider
Summer is the ideal time for finding new or supplementary curricula options. It makes sense right? Why try or start a new option in the middle of the school year if it’s not necessary. That might throw your children off their rhythm and interrupt the learning process. Many parents are trying online homeschool providers, especially since their children already love getting on the computer.
The premier online programs offer many things that parents appreciate, such as:
- Printable lesson plans and teaching tools
- Comprehensive reporting for easy portfolio usage
- Parental support through online forums
- An automated system that grades lessons and tracks your child’s progress
- Affordable membership backed by a money-back guarantee
- The ability to start, stop, or pause your membership at any time without penalty
- 24-hour access from anywhere, using most internet-connected smartphones and tablets
Children love online lessons because they share similarities with video games. The activities are interactive, colorful, and animated. Learning in this environment makes children comfortable because they’ve spent so much time on the internet and it’s familiar territory. Jillian says she doesn’t have to remind her 10-year-old to study anymore.
“She gets on her computer and starts up the program without a hitch. It’s second nature to her. And I can easily check her progress because it’s automated. We tried out our online program last summer and she still gets a kick out of the interactive experience. And if she ever does grow tired of it, I can cancel without paying an extra fee.”
Preparing for the summer months shouldn’t be stressful — especially when you have the flexibility homeschooling provides. It should be a time to experiment with different learning methods, enjoy family time, skill build, and prepare for the upcoming year. You have flexibility, desire, and imagination on your side. After all, you’re a homeschooling parent!