We homeschool year round. Now, this doesn’t exactly mean we keep the same momentum or schedule once the hot Summer months hit. What works for us is a more self-led, self-paced system. We still have a lot of fun in the sun with splash pads, pool and lake days to cool off, but we also get in a lot of learning.
Learning doesn’t have to mean rigorous workbooks either. The Summer is the perfect time to head indoors to awesome museums and special exhibits when it’s just too hot to be outdoors. Spending a couple hours checking out historical artifacts, science exhibits, or art on display is a great way to beat the heat while taking in a great educational experience.
At the start of Summer, I give the kids notebooks to journal about their experiences. This typically ends up with further investigation on their own initiative of whatever topic they’ve decided to write and sketch about, thus furthering their education and understanding.
Aquariums are another location that offers a wonderful indoor educational experience. Many aquariums have great hands-on opportunities and we’ve stopped to ask the caretakers about many of the creatures and learn new information with every encounter.
Many libraries offer wonderful programs to keep kids involved in reading and other educational activities throughout the Summer. Our local libraries run a Summer reading program with awesome rewards at the end of the season, keeping my kids super motivated to continue their reading logs and tracking those hours! They also do weekly activities, fun presentations, craft days, cooking classes, LEGO building days board game days, and movie nights so it’s great to drop in and meet up with local friends for some fun. We also stop in to play on their computers and check out new books, and DVD’s. Check into your library to see what they have to offer.
Gardening offers so many opportunities for learning. You don’t have to have a lot of space to grow things either. You can use grow bags or try tower gardening. Gardening in itself is an education in science and art.
We plant seeds, and watch everything grow. We learn what grows well with companion planting, as well as the needs of certain plants when it comes to sunlight and watering. The kids grab their journals and jot down any neat things they may see or creatures they may find. Plus, we get to snack on what the garden produces!
Science kits and experiments are a great way to keep busy while having fun and learning. I try to stock up on premade activity kits when they go on sale or there are BOGO deals.
Find some here:
Gardens and nature centers are fun to explore on cooler Summer days. Sometimes they offer special events and discount days or membership benefits, like nature classes or planting programs.
Another place to visit on cooler Summer days is the zoo. Nearby zoo’s also offer a wonderful education-filled day without even knowing it! My kids have always enjoyed an outing to the zoo and they really do absorb so much information and knowledge about animals, geography and habitats.
If you are in a location where there are nearby caves or caverns, they are a great option on hot days because they typically maintain a cooler temperature year round. Many offer cave tours led by staff that give a plethora of information that is scientific as well as historic.
If you can get a group of friends together, find a factory or plant that offers tours. They are super informative and a fun way to learn first hand how things are made. Some places you’ll find you don’t need a big group, but others prefer doing group tours, so call around to local places to find out.
I hope these give you some insight on how to keep learning and forego the dreaded “Summer slide” – it doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal planning or putting together extensive curriculum on your part either as the parent / educator. Grab some notebooking journals, head out to explore and spend some time at the library.
For access to an assortment of museums and other fun venues, check out Pogo Pass! It gives you free entrance to a bunch of entertainment venues in your area. Click on my offer link to get your pass for only $49.95 through my referral. (Discount applies at final checkout)
Have a fun-filled Summer exploring and soaking in the educational experiences.
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