View Full Version : Transitioning from summers off school to schooling year round

03-20-2013, 03:43 PM
Does anyone have any tips for schooling during the summer. We have always taken the summer off. I think now it makes more sense for me to homeschool for six weeks and then take one week off and the month of August maybe.
SO I am wondering how you transition this, do you just keep going or lighten the load during the summer months?

03-20-2013, 04:34 PM
We worked through the summer last year with the intention of taking time off at more opportune times.

I would probably lighten the load and talk to the kids about why you are schooling through the summer. Mine weren't thrilled about working year round but were more accepting once the reasons for doing it were explained to them. For us, I explained we could take vacation time and work more lightly throughout the entire year if we also work lightly through the summer.

03-20-2013, 05:19 PM
I cannot aide in the transition part as my boys have never known a difference. But we take off the months of July and December. We school the rest of the year.

03-20-2013, 05:22 PM
each year we homeschool summer a little more rigorously. the first year it was - walk the dog, do about an hour of homeschool, eat lunch and go to the pool! this year i'm thinking we'll have social things monday and friday but t-w-r will be full work days similar to the school year . ..

03-20-2013, 07:41 PM
If you could time the beginning of your summer session with a change in books or projects (preferably to something they see as a bit of a treat), that may help. Then you can have a similar transition to mark getting back into things that are a little heavier for the fall term.
This year, when summer starts, I'm dropping down to just Phonics Pathways, math, and poetry. Then on our "first day of school" in September, I'll add science (starting a new book), geography (new subject), handwriting (new book), etc. I had hoped to time math also (new series), but it looks like that will be three weeks later.
I'll have a similar transition after New Years', which is handy because we lighten up a bit at Christmastime and his birthday is in early January.

03-20-2013, 10:44 PM
Very interesting I was wondering how other families went about year round school. I think I will be less stressed knowing that every six weeks we will have a break. I did the math and we will be working 220 days if we do Fridays which will give me the freedom to not do Friday every week.

03-21-2013, 03:03 PM
I'm debating a transition to more year-round schooling, too, although it will be difficult because my DD is in PS. For this year (and what we did last year), we'll do what I call homeschool lite over the summer. Math, Daily Language Arts, and probably typing will be Monday-Thursday. I'll alternate Sequential Spelling and Aha! Science every other day, and we'll just do logic (Mindbenders and Analogy challenges) and typing games on Fridays. All in all, it should be less than an hour a day, but I'm hoping it will keep the brains thinking and make for less of a transition back to full school in the fall.

03-26-2013, 12:03 PM
I'll be checking back here to listen to all of your plans for summer break, as it is our first summer break and I planned some light academics and summer camps to keep us busy. Nothing intense.

-Continue with Poetry Teas or Lemonade under the tree outside.
-Read, read, read
-Some sort of math that is different than the Miquon math we do regularly, maybe the muderous math I read about?
-Science camp

That might be it. I'll miss curriculum though. Is that weird?

03-30-2013, 08:11 AM
We started year-round last year, and even though we've moved to unschool, we're still continuing our normal routine through the summer months, because it helps ds to have a schedule, and he gets bored without the mental challenges. I recommend using the weather for all it's worth - nature walks, nature studies, hiking, gardening, build forts, nature camps (especially if you live in an urban area), water activities (microscopes, play, et cetera), ...

It gets so hot here by the afternoon, we play outside in the morning, and use the afternoon for inside reading, research, etc. I like that it takes the pressure off the rest of the year (i.e. if someone gets sick or we need to take a week-long break, it's okay).

Cynthia Williford
03-31-2013, 04:34 AM
We homeschool year round, but I try to incorporate more hands-on and fun activities into the schedule over the summer. So, for example, my son will be studying physics over the summer by building a trebuchet and conducting experiments. He loves botany, and he'll be doing community gardening over the summer instead on an online class. My son also goes to science camp over the summer and takes music lessons. We don't have much summer here, so we have to take advantage of any good weather that we get. My daughter's the hard one to plan for. She's 4 and all of her social activities come to an end when summer begins. I was just planning a nature walk unit for her. Fortunately, we plan to travel a bit more over the summer this year, and every trip is an excuse to learn something. :smile:

03-31-2013, 12:10 PM
Just as homeschooling frees you from the school district's calendar, schooling year round cal free you from having to make a preset on/off schedule...at all.

We homeschool year round, pretty much 7 days a week. From my perspective I really like being able to adapt to OUR needs not some preconceived schedule, even my own. Three days of those 7 are lite days because of other activities. When the kids need to run in a lower gear, we run in a lower gear. When they re hitting on all cyclinders, we run longer days. I keep a master plan (loosely monthly goals) and re-evaluate at about that frequency. You do need to keep some sort of longer term markers in mind IMO. :)

Around here early spring and late fall are the best time to be outside, so we do our lightest school loads then. During the summer it is too hot to be outside, so we school full tilt then albeit sometimes in the pool. ;)

I don't have prebuilt in breaks and TBH I find that when the kids are completely off "school" *I* have to work harder as a parent. LOL We do take a week off here or there, usually with a theme (crafts, cleaning, outdoor adventures). When *I* need a break, I give them a list of easy things that require less of me and no planning (free reading, math review/worksheets, etc). When we travel we love to take advantage of the Jr Ranger programs at the Nat'l Parks. I guess I would rather they spend some time each day and learn that learning is a lifelong activity. They also see dh and I always learning and discussing new things.

Anyway, there's no right or wrong way. Some like having a string 6 week on /off schedule, others (like me) run full on and adapt to "road conditions" on the fly.

As to transitioning, I would probably not bother and just switch to your preferred schedule. If you are concerned about resistance from the kids, you could make your summer curriculum focussed on needs (math) and fun (fav subjects and projects). If weather is good where you are, maybe leverage that to get the work done early so they can get out and play by lunch?

04-18-2013, 02:59 PM
We also homeschool lite in the summer - reading, math, some projects. Then most of the rest of the time is spent in the garden, camping, travel, swim lessons, tennis lessons. I still consider it year around.

Lazy Jane
04-18-2013, 09:27 PM
Our summers seem to be more ON than the rest of the year. Meaning that there is so much going on, cool summer camps and summer programs for kids, that we will be spending much of the summer at summer camps and camping. The rest of the year there isn't as much cool stuff for kids going on, so we do more school type stuff. :)

04-18-2013, 10:58 PM
One very big tip: Vacation Reviews.
We homeschool year round, with a 3-months-on, 1-month-off cycle. I learned very quickly that over the month break, my son lost acres of his math and handwriting skills. It took a lot of extra work to catch him back up when he came back to school. After a few cycles, we started doing vacation reviews: one page, one time a week during vacation. It's just a handwritten sheet that I photocopy, which has him write a few sentences, correct some spelling errors and then do about ten assorted math problems, keeping him up-to-date on his skills. The reviews take about 10 minutes a week, and the difference when he comes back to school is HUGE. Everything is still there in the front of his mind, and we can go on without weeks of review. I highly recommend this for all homeschooled kids, even those who have summers off. A little review goes a looooong way.

Stella M
04-18-2013, 11:25 PM
I'll miss curriculum though. Is that weird?

Not weird at all. We are on a two week term break right now and I miss our normal work. The schedule and familiarity keeps me calm.

04-23-2013, 12:52 PM
We homeschool year round as well.

I agree with everyone else regarding the insertion of nature based activities, especially since we live in Michigan where 9 months of the year generally consist of 60 degrees and below weather. Thus begins our outdoor exercise season, walking/jogging/biking 2 miles daily.

This year we are trying something new. We will continue to work on our non negotiables, reading, writing and math, but in a more wholistic manner. The boys will be working on projects.

Kbook, who desires a career in achitecture or design engineering, who's passion is building and designing, will be taking drafting classes with a design engineer friend to design and construct his own clubhouse in our backyard. To foot the bill for materials, Kbook has decided to establish a lawn service. We have to work on advertisments today.

Trickster (10), who's passion is nature, has decided to work on creating a nature documentary while exploring new insects, classifying and mounting them. He is also working with another employee at his aquarium shop apprenticeship to create aquatic animal care tutorials and has begun the reseasrch for that as well. He negotiated with the owner to receive a cricket stipend to feed his geckos whom he's planning on breeding.

We will also be gardening, the hubs just finished building 2 raised garden beds yesterday. Trickster is growing green beans and raspberries, Kbook is growing strawberries and Asters. They are both responsible for research and care for their selected crops (lol). They have voted against swimming classes, last year they trained with a swim team and collectively decided against formal swim. They agreed to robotics camp and some other hard core outdoor camps. They will probably take some art, filming and blogging classes...I try to keep it casual, not too rigid.

07-04-2013, 12:18 AM
I searched for this thread, and have found quite a few ideas- months down the road, smack in the middle of summer. I pulled my oldest out of ps 2-3 weeks before the year was supposed to be out. He was asking to do things in a month, so we just rolled w/ it. Since it's our first year, I've found I'm disorganized and need to learn to plan better. Or something. It's pretty much been a routine, and had a pretty good rhythm til we could take a break. Then it was pulling teeth to get back on track. We took a couple weeks off lately and I 'planned' my first quarter and designated week breaks for the next July-June. Yah..it got shot to hell the first week. We've done probably 1/2 of what I had planned. I'm starting to realize I just need to cut it down during the summer, since it's the only time of the year they have all the library programs- so that's our second home. Such high expectations.

07-04-2013, 12:56 AM
I've always considered us to be free-range during the summers. We are required to log 36 weeks @ 24 hours/week. We do table time for about half of that (not a second more), and the rest is spent in extension activities. Done by the end of May, start up again in Sept.

Technically, though, even when in public school, dd had quite a bit going on during summers. This summer she is plugging along at her leisure on JMG level one and a home study bird biology course, raising chickens and beekeeping for 4H, and spending lots of time on the water swimming and kayaking. I never considered this schooling, but my definition of schooling has expanded :) We found our bliss in project-based learning within the first few weeks of homeschooling. The only activity she officially signed up for was a summer book club. We also bought a family pass to the local historic park, which is worth it's weight in gold.

07-12-2013, 11:38 AM
We've done it all along, but that just means first grade on since we unschool for kindy. (And I consider my style just parenting at 4). This year, my kids had 4 day school weeks starting in the spring. The first two weeks of June were 3 days school weeks. Then they had the last two weeks of June completely off. They'll have the 3rd week of July off since the oldest is going to Camp Quest. So, that comes to about a month off in summer alone. They don't mind since they know they get more days off later. Also, it's not like it takes all day. We do the same subjects in the summer as during the other seasons. I decided to homeschool during the summer since it's usually terribly hot. It's our worse season for being outside. This summer isn't as hot as normal - but it rains every single day. (We actually have a bet going on to guess the next day that it doesn't rain. It's been over 20 days since we had one of those).