How To Keep Things Going Over the Summer...

Summer is here. Since most of us spent our childhood years attending a public or private school, summer really meant summer BREAK. No school. No homework. No schedule. Right? But then September would roll around and we suddenly realized, sitting in our plastic school chairs, that the term "summer slide" was a real thing. Perhaps if we were too young to realize it, our teachers certainly did!

So, what is a homeschooling family to do? We all feel torn between wanting to give our children a much needed break and feeling concerned about losing the academic ground we worked so hard to gain. Well, I believe we can do both. So, here are some great ideas to keep things going over the summer:

1. Have a short morning session where everyone covers a little math and reading. If you live in an area where the heat and humidity are an issue, do your session in the afternoon when it is too hot to go outside. 

2. Allow kids be outdoors exploring. Give them magnifying glasses, jars for catching creepy crawlies, nature journals and butterfly nets. Teach them how to look up information about what they catch and have them draw/write about it in their journals.

3. Get to the beach! Play in the sand, visit the tide pools, collect shells, make memories.

4. Work in the garden together. The lessons here are endless, really. Let each of the kids have a raised bed or a container to plant and maintain, send them on a quest to collect unwanted caterpillar or snails. (last year the horn worms on our tomatoes endlessly entertained my children.)

5. Go on an evening walk and see what you can find. All kinds of interesting critters come out around dusk. 

6. Have a quiet hour in the afternoon (typically after the kids have had plenty of outdoor activity) set aside for reading. 

7. Visit the library. Often. Many libraries have summer reading programs to motivate kids to read. Enroll the kids and make it a point to come back at least once a week. 

8. Take a vacation or a stay-cation. Just explore a new place together.

9. Get outside with the littles and blow bubbles, paint on easels, do sidewalk chalk, get the wading pool out, read in the shade of a tree, jump on the trampoline (yes, you too, mom :)

10. Get a book about astronomy and lay on a blanket under the stars. See which constellations you can make out, read about them together.

Now, its your turn. What do you do over the summer to avoid the infamous summer slide? Let's hear it!