"What? School over the summer?" Perhaps this is your child's response. Maybe it is even your response. I understand. It is exactly what my children and I said the first time we pondered schooling over the summer months.
Our summer vacation is a time of rest from the hectic school year, and we envisioned summer school as enslavement to a hectic school schedule. But, schooling over the summer doesn't have to be like that. It can be fun, low-key, relaxing, and quite beneficial.
Though we do not do school year round, for the past five years we have done school over the summer. Some summers we work through a unit study about a particular country or time in history. Other summers, we do minimal work strictly to maintain the children's abilities in math and language arts. One time, we tried a different approach to homeschooling. And, during one summer break, we did some remedial work.
Summer school may not be the choice for all families. If you hold near and dear to your summer break, then schooling through the summer may not be an option for you. However, there are some good reasons to consider using those warm vacation months for school.
Reasons to consider schooling over the summer months:
- Your child needs tutoring in a specific subject. The summer months can be a great time for concentrated tutoring in one subject while not teaching other subjects.
- You want your child to retain a working knowledge of what they learned during the school year. (i.e. you don't want their brains to go to mush while they soak in the sun rays and play in the pool) If this is your motivation for summer school, then about half hour or so of math and reading a few days a week are probably enough to maintain the learning over summer vacation.
- You want to maintain some type of organized schedule or organization to your week days. Schooling throughout the summer months will help you stay organized and in your school routine.
- You want to finish the curriculum, or books, you started during the school year.
- You want to do some special activities or projects, that you weren't able to squeeze into the past school year.
- You want to experiment with a new teaching or learning style. The summer months can be a great time to explore different homeschooling methods and approaches.
- You want to teach one or two subjects over the summer instead of during the school year. This can work well for subjects like typing, art, music, and creative writing.