The Importance of Summer Learning

May 5, 2020
Written by:
Courtney Newman

Summer is near even though it feels like spring barely began! Many of our homeschooling programs and curricula are drawing to a close. With summer break almost upon us, are the impending endless days of freedom for your kids beginning to cause anxiety for you? After all, without a routine or schedule, it doesn’t take long for boredom to begin wreaking havoc on our nerves. 

So far, this year has been one for the books. If your homeschool schedule has suffered a bit, you’re not alone! It’s been difficult to stay motivated and focused for weeks at home, but at the end of the day, that’s okay. Numerous families learning at home are feeling off-track or behind at the moment. However, there is a solution to help your children catch up: homeschooling during the summer.

The Importance of Summer Learning
Click to peruse our infographic for summer learning ideas!

I can already hear the groans of reluctant children who defend their summer break as desperately as if it was rationed food. However, homeschool summer school does not have to feel like a regular homeschool schedule or resemble the usual daily structures. Summer homeschool is all about incorporating educational elements wherever possible, but with a focus on fun and discovery! Summertime learning loss is a big issue with traditional summer breaks and one which homeschooling during the summer can solve!

Advantages of Summertime Learning for Homeschoolers

Let’s begin with what summer homeschool programs are not. Summer homeschool is not the same as school year learning. Summer vacation is a wonderful tradition and one that is well worth preserving. A break from our usual routines is a chance to replenish creativity, enthusiasm, energy, and spirits. This slower season rejuvenates parents and children by providing a chance to view learning through a different lens and to develop new sets of dynamic learning tools.

With summer, we have long, lazy days of sunlight for two months. If that’s not ample opportunity for summer homeschool programs, I don’t know what is! Summer is a chance for each of us to roll up our sleeves and plunge deep into summer homeschool projects that ignite our curiosity. This special season provides a unique opportunity to create educational goals that are in harmony with the specific needs of the learner. Summer is a great chance to introduce such a child to a range of diverse experiences. At last, there is plenty of time to pursue the individual learning needs your child has!

  • Prevent summertime learning loss
  • Strengthen rough patches
  • Practice weak skills
  • Learn a new instrument
  • Work on handwriting
  • Learn proper typing
  • Possibly skip a grade
  • Improve reading comprehension
  • Catch up on lagging subjects
  • Get ahead for the new year
  • Prepare for standardized testing (required annual exams, the ACT/SAT, etc.)
  • Graduate early
  • Earn dual enrollment college credit
  • Practice college admissions essays
  • Complete college applications

How to Avoid the Summer Slide

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you throw out all routines! People–especially children–thrive with routine and knowing what’s coming next. But how can you possibly organize your summer homeschool curriculum into something structured when it’s supposed to be relaxing and free-flowing?

Homeschooling during the summer should leave room for uninterrupted, undirected play. Children make some of their most profound discoveries and connections when given the freedom to explore, move, and navigate their own learning paths. While mapping your family’s plans for the summer, be sure to leave ample time for doing “nothing.” Oftentimes, these are the most magical moments of the summer season, allowing incredible opportunities for our kids to flourish.

However, without homeschool summer school, kids can lose up to two months of academic gains during the summer break. On average, students lose two months of reading skills alone! Children are also at risk of losing physical skills during the dog days of summer. As a result, they tend to “veg” more in front of computer games and other electronics. When school starts again, teachers spend the first four to six weeks reteaching what kids were taught last year. Summer learning loss even contributes to the learning gap between children of high-income families and those in low-income households. In addition, the summer slide builds progressively over the years, putting them farther and farther behind.

Visit our How to Avoid Summer Slide Workshop here.

Here are several practical ways to avoid summer learning loss by homeschooling during the summer!

      Courtney Newman

      Courtney Newman is a homeschooled graduate with a love for writing. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health Science at University of the People. Other than writing, her hobbies include reading, yoga, visiting the beach, and meditating. She lives with her husband and pets in coastal Virginia.