Why Homeschoolers Deserve a Slow Summer

two girls catch butterflies

The concerts, award ceremonies, and end-of-the-year parties have faded, so it's time to take a deep breath. Summer is here, and the living is easy...or at least it used to be.

Who has time to take a breath when you have to enroll in that sought-after robotics camp? Oh, and there are dance intensives and day camps for every imaginable interest. And let's not forget the traveling sports team.

As homeschool moms, we may even feel the desire to get a jump on the new school year.

This isn't a bad idea if your summer is miserably hot and you flock outdoors in the fall, but do we need to fill every moment with enrichment?

Have a Slow Summer

So let's embrace a slow summer. A summer where we enjoy our time together and put aside the pressures of achievement and academics. We file away the checklists and curriculum.

How can you have a slow summer?

The first step is to say no.

No to the camps, classes, and activities. Summer is when you're not required to be somewhere at an appointed time. It's the time to stay up late and not have to worry about setting an alarm clock to make it to a homeschool co-op, so don't go making commitments you'll regret.

Then, say yes.

Yes, to all the delightful pleasures of summer:

  • making homemade ice cream
  • catching lightning bugs
  • swimming until your fingers are wrinkled
  • going to a drive-in movie
  • taking a hike
  • picnicking by the river
  • finding a hidden picture in fluffy white clouds
  • playing in the backyard sprinkler

Why Homeschoolers Deserve a Slow Summer

These are the types of activities that become a part of who you are. They create a setting and invoke feelings your children will carry with them throughout their life.

The Benefits of a Slow Summer

Why should you institute a slow summer?

The first significant benefit is its effect on your bank account. A slow summer doesn't require deposits, reservations, or expensive equipment. It is waiting in your backyard, local pool, or park.

Another benefit is that everyone gets some well-deserved downtime and relaxation. I'm excited to not have the weekly grind of activities and requirements. My children are looking forward to being able to sleep late any day of the week.

Most importantly, a slow summer provides you with time and memories.

I'll never forget the summer my brother and I made a water slide in the backyard with black landscape plastic and a garden hose.

My mom still tells the story of the summer she and her siblings decided to dig a swimming pool. They ended up with a large hole they filled up with water and everyone got in.

There isn't time to dig a hole to China if you're being rushed off to a STEM camp, and childhood is the time to attempt digging through the earth.

Commit to a Slow Summer

It can be challenging to say no to the expensive summer camps and activities when everyone around you seems to be signing up. But we're homeschoolers, and we already swim against the current.

Yes, a summer trip to Europe would be fantastic, but that isn't within my budget.

Instead, we'll visit family, eat popsicles on the deck, and go to the neighborhood pool. And we'll paint, garden, and be bored.

Why? Because they're called the lazy days of summer for a reason.

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About the Author

Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six always homeschooled children who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of relaxed homeschooling draws upon classical to unschooling methods and everything in between.

While homeschooling her children, teaching at a Project Based Co-op, and writing about learning outside of school, she still tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills. Read more from Bethany on her site BethanyIshee.com: Real inspiration for the authentic mom.