Summer break is coming quickly, and there are a ton of posts lately about why you should switch to year-around schooling. Quite frankly, we’re taking a summer break and going to enjoy every minute of it. Here’s why you should too!
Summer Breaks Are Needed
1. Everyone Needs a Change of Pace
Year around schooling allows you to keep going around the year without ever truly stopping homeschooling. Some families pause in December, but usually they focus on switching to a Christmas focused school rather than a true break.
Sometimes we all need to stop to enjoy being a parent for a season. No more worrying about whether or not our kids got a math lesson done today. Instead you have hours to enjoy together. Go for a hike, go swimming, pick up a project. Change the rhythm of your household for a season and prevent homeschool burnout.
2. Complete Larger Projects
As my kids have grown, our school days have become longer. I may not need a summer break with my youngest children. Their school day takes 20-30 minutes unless I pull out a project! The middle school and high school teens have hours of homeschooling each day.
There’s the math lesson to complete, history books to absorb, science to study, papers to write, literature to read, and a foreign language to learn. We’re not even touching on the necessary electives for kids to graduate from high school.
In practical terms, this means my high school teens don’t have time to complete large projects during the school year. No time to immerse themselves for hours and days in writing a book, programming a computer game, sewing a new wardrobe, or trying to win the library teen reading challenge.
High school teens need a long break. A break long enough to absorb themselves for days and weeks into projects that are near and dear to their hearts.
3. Fix Bad Habits
As you concentrate on homeschooling throughout the school year, kids pick up bad habits. Perhaps the kids are dropping their laundry on the floor instead of in the dirty laundry hamper. I just might have the bad habit of not starting a load of laundry first thing in the morning.
When I’m stressed over the homeschool, I tend to let many of these little irritations slide. It takes too much energy to fix the laundry when there’s a math lesson to complete or I spent my day nagging a child into completing an essay. We have to pick our battles after all.
Summer break is the perfect time to focus on a few of the bad habits and fix them. After all there’s no math lesson to complete or writing assignment to fight over. Instead there’s only plans to spend the afternoon at the swimming pool. Start a habit of tossing laundry into the washing machine first thing in the morning. Stand over the children as they change and insist dirty laundry be tossed in the hamper instead of onto the floor.
This is the time to develop good habits in the children that will leader to a smooth school year in September.
4. Deep Clean & Reorganize the House
Summer break is the perfect time to deep clean and reorganize the house. If you move constantly, the house may be clean and organized. We don’t. After a year the corners are gathering dirt. Toys are lost under the piano. I once even found a lost library book under the refrigerator.
Spend part of summer break working through the house. Organize the closets. Get rid of broken toys. Figure out the perfect spot for science experiments. Determine where to store art supplies, craft supplies, and science supplies.
Build a reading nook for the children to read their literature this year. Stock it with great books, baskets, and pillows. Spend time rethinking your house and create the ideal home for your family.
6. Plan the New School Year
One of the most important projects I complete over the summer is to plan the new school year. All papers are printed and filed. This prevents those Monday mornings when I discover we’re not prepared for the homeschool week.
The printer is out of ink. The children don’t have their student accountability questions. There are no coloring sheets for the youngest children. No one knows what to do.
Instead I take some time during the summer to print and file paper. We put together the new portfolios. Last years books are placed into storage. This year’s books are placed on the shelves.
Science, art, and craft supplies are purchased, organized, and put away. I finalize our homeschool plans, fill out my planner, and order the last of the needed books.
There’s time for me to browse through the various school books, read up on science, and clean out each child’s school crate. By the time the first day of school arrives in September, I’m ready and organized for the year.
7. Inspire Yourself for the Next School Year
The most important job I have during the summer is to relax, enjoy my break, and inspire myself for the new school year. By this time in the school year, I’m feeling a bit run down.
It’s time to reread The Well-Trained Mind and Teaching from Rest. It’s time to remember why I homeschool in the first place. It’s time to look through all my plans and get excited about the wonderful, educational year we have coming.
It’s time to get inspired for my 16th year of homeschooling my kids. After all, my youngest children deserve a mom who’s just as excited about homeschooling as she was 16 years ago and just starting out.
For me that’s the most important part of summer break. Taking a long break and eagerly awaiting the start of the new school year. 2016-2017 is going to be a great year!
Do you enjoy a summer break?