Why I No Longer Homeschool Through the Summer


When I started homeschooling, I never stopped! We pushed hard all year long and then during the summer we went into what I called “light mode” or “workbook mode." I was so worried about summer slide and about keeping ahead of the curve that I didn’t stop to think about any other consequences of my choice to school through summer.

Homeschooling through the summer kept the kids academically up to pace. For instance they didn’t lose math concepts since they were practicing them all summer long. What they did lose, however, was a true sense of freedom, breathing deeply, and just being.

In recent years I have changed my tune about pushing the books all summer long. Let me tell you the reasons why I no longer homeschool through the summer.

Interest-Led Learning

A schedule takes away from the free flow of life learning. When the kids and I are free to move about without set activities in place, we are free to let our minds wander and take us someplace new. We have found new art projects, new playgrounds, new books, and old toys that seem new! The opportunity for spontaneous, interest-led learning is a main reason I no longer homeschool through the summer.

Exhaustion

I am tired! The plain and simple truth is that the daily grind of homeschooling wears on me, too! I am the one who has to keep the whole family on track. I create the lists, enforce the rules, pick up the pieces when something doesn’t go right, and keep us all moving in a forward direction. It can be exhausting, and summer is a chance to leave behind some of those responsibilities and find more me time.

Fitting In 

Why I No Longer Homeschool Through the SummerThe world around us adopts a summer schedule, and we find ourselves at odds with that schedule when we keep schooling through the summer. My children participate in competitive sports that operate on a traditional school schedule. The town and community programs hold unusual events and classes during the summer that we like to take advantage of. The neighborhood children are out of school for the summer and looking to play during their lazy summer days. It makes sense to adjust our summer schedule to that of the mainstream.

Leisure Time

Lazy, nothing to do and nowhere to go days are a treasure. The weather is pleasant only for so long where I live (about 2 months). We savor lazy summer days when we can lounge around, go to our little slice of private beach, hit the pool, or read for sheer pleasure.

Preparation

Having a break leaves time to declutter, organize, and regroup. The long break allows us both the time to relax as well as the time to clear out from the previous year and prepare for the coming year:

For all these reasons we have chosen to put the schooling aside for the summer and take a break. Much to my surprise, I have found that it is okay to let go and let things flow. The world does not end, the kids don’t suddenly drop a grade level, and we are generally healthier and happier when the new school season comes around in the fall!


About the Author

Heidi CiravolaHeidi Ciravola has been married to her husband for over seventeen years. Together they have three children with whom they began their homeschooling journey with in 2006 when their oldest was beginning second grade. Heidi is a mother, taxi service, and homeschool parent by day and an avid reader and homeschool blogger whenever there is time left over. You can visit Heidi at her blog Starts at Eight where she blogs about homeschool products and unit studies, homeschool organization and general tips, and homeschooling high school, as well as many book reviews, lists, and unit studies.

   

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