Four Fun and Educational Homeschool Curriculum Ideas for Summer Learning

Have you been thinking about homeschooling and summer learning? Whether you want to homeschool year round or take a break for the summer, here are some ideas to keep kids having fun and learning.

“I'm bored.”

I turn around from the breakfast dishes I'm trying to wash. “Well, go outside.” Sounds of a small child opening and shutting slamming the door.

Five minutes later: “It's too hot outside,” says the sweating, pink-cheeked child.

My hands dripping, I stop again. “How about getting a book to read?” Sounds of a small child shuffling books around on the bookshelf.

Two seconds later: “I can't find a book. Can I just play the Wii?”

Playing for time: “Um, how much have you already played today?”

Small child who is too small to reliably count to 100 and has no idea how much Wii has actually been played, “Not much.”

Sigh… “Okay. Sure.”

This was the pattern of our summers during our first couple of years of homeschooling. 

And then I discovered what should have been an obvious fact. As homeschoolers, we could have whatever schedule I wanted to have. As long as we had 180 days of homeschooling- the requirement for our state-we could homeschool four days a week, take a week off for every six, take a three-month summer break, or homeschool year round. 

Once I decided this, I had the answer to the really hot summers where we lived, to kids who wanted too much screen time, to the struggle the kids- and I- had without a schedule or routines. And so, we began homeschooling year round.

Summer learning ideas

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. All opinions are always my own.

Summer Learning and You

Ahhh, summer break!

Before you sit down to rest, Mama, prepare yourself for the question every homeschool mom hears at this time of year: “Are you homeschooling through the summer?”

Well, should you homeschool through the summer?

The answer is, “yes!” and, “no!”

If it works for your family to maintain a regular learning schedule for the summer, keep homeschooling. But, if your kids, or you, need a break, it's perfectly okay to take the summer off. Homeschooling is flexible, and you can do what works for your family.

When my kids were young, we did homeschool through the summer. It allowed us to maintain a routine, and because we didn't take those days off, we could take more vacation days throughout the year. It's also super hot where I live in the summer, and the kids can't be outside too long anyway. So, I thought we might as well be getting some homeschooling done. Besides, summer learning kept the kids from the cries of, “I'm bored,” and the constant asking for more screen time.

Five Homeschool Curriculum Ideas for Summer Learning

One thing I always liked to do throughout the summer was to change up our homeschool curriculum. We did what we called “Summer School.” This meant that we could keep a routine, keep the kids inside during the heat of the day, and avoid long stretches of screen time. At the same time, it ensured that there was plenty of time for going to the pool, playing with friends, and just being a kid in the summer.

Here are a few of the fun homeschool curriculum ideas we've used for summer learning over the years. And, make sure you keep reading to get access to more than nineteen amazing free homeschool resources from Homeschool Buyers Club. You can use these over the summer- whether you are homeschooling all summer or not.

Unit Studies

Unit studies are a super fun way to keep learning throughout the summer. And there is no end to topics you can choose to study over the summer. We have taken topics that interested each child and done a unit study for each over the summer. One year, when only my two oldest kids were school aged, I let them each pick a separate study with a lapbook to complete over the summer.

You can get homeschool mom bonus points if you plan a unit study related to a vacation you're taking. One year I came up with a hefty beaches and oceans unit study and planned it so that the central part of our study was our annual beach trip. Before and after the trip, we read books and did activities all related to beaches and oceans. And, while we were at the beach, we took a day to visit a hands-on coastal nature museum.

You can come up with your own unit studies, but if you'd like some studies that are already planned out, you can check out some of the unit study posts that I have available here. If you do like to plan unit studies, you can visit the As We Walk Shop and pick up my Comprehensive Unit Study Planner to help you out.

Fine Arts/Crafts Focus

I never seem to have enough time- or to make the time- to have much of a focus on fine arts in our regular curriculum. We have always covered art and music. But I always feel as if I could have spent more time, found more resources. The fact is that music and creativity aren't really my thing.

That's why having a fine arts/crafting focus for our summer learning has sometimes been fun. During the summer, I can plan out how many weeks we have to do school. Then for each week we can study one piece of art technique and look at works of art that demonstrate it, learn about one composer and their works, and create one craft/art work. This allows us some designated time for exploring and enjoying music and art.

Summer learning ideas

Literature Studies

If you've been around the blog for any length of time, you'll know that I love literature. I really love literature. And summer learning is the perfect time for even more, well, literature!

Reading great books aloud is important year round. But, in the summer you often have library reading programs or other reading incentive programs going on, so reading aloud to kids has the added benefit of giving them books/hours to claim for their reading programs.

And if you're reading books anyway, why not dive deep into some good books, add in other subject areas, and do a full literature unit study. You can pick up some free literature unit studies here. Or check out the complete literature unit studies I sell in the shop. (Those are four-week studies, so two would be perfect for summer learning with some weeks left for vacation.)

Academic Subject Deep Dive 

One thing I've learned through teaching in traditional school as well as through teaching my kids is that we can never truly teach kids everything about every subject. It's just impossible. And occasionally, there are subject areas that we really, really want the chance to dig deeper into, but we just don't have time throughout the year. That's when we can save that subject for some summer learning!

Geography was one of the those subjects for us. When my oldest two kids were about 1st grade/2nd grade, I realized that we hadn't really talked much about geography. I'm not talking about world geography and learning about different cultures-although I love that too! I'm talking, getting a basic understanding of maps and directions and where we are in the world.

So that summer we took a deep dive into geography. We learned about maps. We talked about directions. And we even walked around our neighborhood and created a map showing where our house was located. It was fun to take time to really study a subject that we hadn't spent much time on. And it set us up to be able to study world geography later.

Homeschool Buyers Club

Free Homeschool Resources for Summer Learning

What's more fun than summer learning? How about free resources for summer learning?

Homeschool Buyers Club (formerly Homeschool Buyers Co-op) has some awesome freebies for their special Summer Camp event happening between June 13 and August 15. For those two months you can sign up and try out lots of great homeschool curriculum like:

Sign up for these and use them independently as your summer learning. Or choose one of the summer learning ideas I've shared above and add in some practice with some of these great freebies. Who knows, you might find a fantastic new homeschooling curriculum resource for the future. Or, your kids might get in some great academic practice with one or more of these resources for the summer.

In addition to all of these great freebies, when you order from the Homeschool Buyers Club now, you'll get up to three free gifts:
  • The Kids Guide to Staying Safe Online
  • A free issue of EverBright Kids Magazine
  • A month of unlimited access to eSpired Library
Summer Learning with Homeschool Buyers Club

Start planning your summer learning today by visiting the Homeschool Buyers Club and signing up for the free trials. And maybe you can avoid that conversation from the beginning of this post. Maybe. 

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