A typical school year, whether in a brick-and-mortar building or a homeschool, is 180 days long. Many homeschooling families opt to follow their local public school’s calendar, meaning they begin in August or September, and end the year in May or June. Other families, however, homeschool year-round, meaning they’ll stretch the homeschool year across twelve months. This does not necessarily mean they’re schooling for a full twelve months straight. Often these families will homeschool for a stretch, sometimes throughout the summer, and then take breaks around the holidays. If your family homeschools year-round and you’re looking for some resources, we’ve got you covered. If you want to start homeschooling throughout the year or simply want to lighten up your course load during the summer, months, these out-of-the-box homeschool curriculum resources and summer learning activities should help with that!
Hands-on Learning Hits the Mark When it Comes to Summer Learning Activities
Hands-on Science and Math Summer Learning Activities
What better way to incorporate science and math into your summer learning than with the help of an actual scientist? Aurora Lipper, founder of Supercharged Science, is a former NASA scientist, pilot, and astronomer, with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Through Supercharged Science, and most recently, SuperCharged Math, Lipper teaches kids of all ages in a fun and engaging way. Her method is to show the real-world application of the concept first, to get kids excited about learning, and then to present the lesson in a hands-on and meaningful way.
The hands-on activities in her Astronomy and Earth Science courses are perfect for summer learning. Her MathMagic Camp gets kids working and playing with numbers and using them to wow their friends and family!
Gameschooling: Summer Learning Activities
Board games are always a fun rainy-day activity, but over the years, games have become educationally sound. There’s even been significant growth in the homeschool community around gameschooling, with some families carving out one day per week, to play educational games.
Some favorites include any of the offerings from companies like Keymaster Games and their entertaining National Parks-themed games. Underdog Games’ offers a series of history-themed games and Math For Love’s Prime Climb is great for practicing math facts. Finally, GameWrights The Scrambled States of America will help your child familiarize themselves with US Geography.
There is no shortage of family-friendly educational games on the market, in fact, there seems to be a game for every subject you’d want to teach in your homeschool, making gameschooling a fun and engaging way to get some summer learning in!
Backyard Fun: Survival Skills That Make a Difference
There’s a growing trend towards getting back to nature and summertime is the perfect time to get outdoors and begin learning survival skills. Whether that means, filtering water so that it’s drinkable, learning to start a fire, creating a survival shelter, or foraging for edible plants, there’s always something valuable to learn.
Homeschool History Summer Learning Activities
Traveling Through History Graphic Novel Style
Graphic novels, love them or hate them. While some are just simply not fans of graphic novels, there is no question that the genre has truly brought a world of learning to a variety of students over the years. Whether it’s the reluctant reader or the child who needs to see information presented in a new way, graphic novels are here to stay, and when it comes to history, there is no shortage of options.
When the weather gets too hot and sweltering to do much, else, settle in, in the comfort of air conditioning with a glass of lemonade and a good book.
The March Trilogy: Chronicles the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of John Lewis
Graphic History: An 8-book series covering notable events in American History
For additional Black History titles, The Arapahoe Libraries has a comprehensive list of options.
Take a Historical Culinary Tour From the Comfort of Your Couch
If your homeschooler enjoys cooking and culinary arts, and you’d like to incorporate that into your homeschool in the summer months, look no further than YouTube.
In 2020, Max Miller was furloughed from his job at Walt Disney Studios. So, he leaned into his YouTube channel. Miller began sharing recipes found throughout history. The recipes use ingredients from the time period, when possible. Miller also includes commentary and insight into the particular players of the time period. The YouTube channel, Tasting History with Max Miller currently has nearly 2 million subscribers, and Miller recently launch his eponymous cookbook. The book, coupled with the informative videos has the makings for a full history and cooking unit.
Ways to Embrace Online Learning This Summer
Your student is probably already well-versed in coding at the middle school level, but if they’re just getting started, or need additional practice, there are plenty of resources online. And if your child needs extra typing practice, or needs to brush up on their writing skills, help is just a mouse click away.
TinkerCAD is a free in-browser 3D modeling program
Scratch: free coding resources for kids from MIT
Night Zookeeper: Reading and writing practice in a fun video game setting
Typesy: Typing lessons, games, and activities for all ages and skill levels
VocabTest.com Online SAT prep for middle school through high school
SAT Math Prep: Online SAT Math practice problems
Life Skills for the Homeschooled Student
Finally, homeschooling families are uniquely poised to teach life skills to their kids in an organic and authentic way. After all, with kids home throughout the day, they have a front-row seat to the inner workings of running a home. The summer months are the perfect time to put that knowledge to the test. The relaxed schedule lends itself to more free time for kids to get to know how the family business runs, or involve children in the household tasks like budgeting, grocery shopping, and home and car maintenance.
Consider using this time to help expand your child’s life skills. Have them sign up for a CPR/First Aid Class, take cooking classes at the local community college, or get a babysitting certification at the local hospital. As a homeschooling family, you know that learning happens everywhere and in all things. There is a lesson in everything. Summertime is no exception, it just takes a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking.