As the school year comes to a close, the last thing that we want to think about is more school. So what does a summer homeschool schedule look like? What should we expect our children to learn over the summer? Should learning be regimented or should there be more freedom? As a Mom of 5 who’s been homeschooling for ten years, I’ve developed a pretty good idea of what works for a summer homeschool schedule.
How much learning should happen?
This is really a personal decision. However, in my opinion, it helps everyone’s sanity to have some structure to the day. We always use the Summer Bridge workbooks. These cover topics we may have missed during the school year. In fact, they also sometimes identify subject areas that we need to work on. These are available in between every grade from preschool all the way through 8th grade. And I use them in every grade! Click on the image below to purchase your own through my Amazon link.
In addition to the Summer Bridge workbooks, we also maintain piano lessons, reading, and math facts practice. Although we do practice piano less than we do during the school year, we still practice. At young ages, these are skills that they could lose easily. So it’s important to keep up at least some practice. The same goes for any other music lessons!
For reading, we read at least 30 minutes a day. And sometimes, it is increased to an hour a day. As any parent knows, some kids like to read more than others. So work with your child! If they really hate to read, work hard to find a book, like a graphic novel, that they might not hate reading. If your child loves to read, be sure to check that they are reading a wide variety of books. One of my daughters loves to read the same books over and over. While I love that she’s reading, I also need to make sure that she’s broadening her reading skills. So we compromise on reading her own book for 30 minutes and reading a book of my choice for 30 minutes.
For math facts practice, we use some apps. But I also make sure that they have finished the curriculum that they used throughout the school year. You don’t need any fancy curriculum because you probably already have some leftover from the year! But I also like to keep things fun with these Math Wrap-Ups that I’ve been using since I was a kid. I had a wonderful math teacher in elementary school who used these in the classroom. And I’m so happy to use them with my kids too! There are lots of different varieties, from addition to pre-algebra, and even preschool skills! Click on the picture to purchase through my link.
Sample Summer Homeschool Schedule
A lot of your schedule will depend on how many kids you have, and what your family commitments look like. If you work outside of the home, and you are shuffling kids to and from camps and childcare, your schedule will look very different. But if you are primarily at home, here’s what a sample summer homeschool schedule might look like.
8 am – Breakfast
9 am- Chores, music practice rotations
10 am- Quiet reading, math facts practice, Summer Bridge
11 am- Board games, outdoor play
12 pm- Lunch
1 pm- Board games, outdoor play
2 pm- Screentime with movies or tablets
4 pm- Board games, outdoor play, dinner prep
6 pm- Dinner
7 pm- Family time
Of course, you are welcome to make adjustments as needed. And you may want to get more specific depending on the age of your children. Sometimes, my teenagers even ask me to help them plan their day! Start making schedules for your kids, and see how much they respond to it. In that way, you’ll get a good feel for who it helps most.
Additional Homeschool Summer Activities
There are lots more activities you can add into your summer homeschool schedule! For example, we always participate in our church’s Vacation Bible School. And usually, I allow each child to pick one summer camp, within reason and within driving distance to home. Our family also travels a lot during the summer, which is a great way to add learning and experience into your children’s lives. But when you’re at home, there are lots more ideas for how to enrich the time your children are spending at home.
Learn to drive or enroll in Driver’s Ed
Get a summer job
Practice cooking skills
Learn to sew (at least a button)
Change the oil in the car
Clean and detail a car
Take a CPR class or babysitting course
Learn and practice cleaning the house
Practice making PowerPoint presentations
Elementary School kids:
Practice simple cooking skills
Learn chores to help the family
Be able to start laundry and fold clothes
Take an art class online. YouTube has so many!
Pick 3-4 great pieces of art work, print them out on a piece of paper, and have them around for a few weeks. And you’ll be amazed at what they might discover after seeing it for a few weeks.
Do a deep clean of their rooms. Start with one area, like a certain bookshelf or storage bin, and completely organize that one spot.
Start a 100, 250, 250, or even 500 piece puzzle together.
Write a letter to a friend or relative.
Write letters or cards to nursing home residents or military personnel.
Play doh – I know, I don’t do it often either. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Simon says. Bonus points if you have older kids be Simon!
Mother May I? We love this game at our house, even though it’s so simple and quick. We play it over and over.
Keep the Summer Homeschool Schedule Simple
Summer is meant for free time and imagination. Although I’ve shared this post with you, I firmly believe in not over scheduling kids. Some of my favorite things to watch my children play is their amazing make believe games. We’ve had unicorn races, plant sales, and party stations in the backyard, all created by my kids. These activities all require nearly zero supplies, and lasted for hours. When you are planning your summer homeschool schedule, be sure to allow for the most important thing of all:
Lots of free time without screens.
As you can see from my sample schedule above, I’m not scared of screen time. In fact, we actually have about two hours of screen time a day when we are home. But when we have this time, we also are sure to have lots of unscheduled time. Enjoy your summer my friends!