Keep the Learning Going During Summer Play!


By Ann Clay

Virginia’s steamy summer is just about to get under way.  What was a grim, dark, and wet spring has segued into a typically sultry June, and it’s time to wind down the learning in your homeschool.  Or is it?

Perhaps you’ve completed your end-of-year testing/evaluations, and your kids are anxious to sleep in and then drive you to distraction with their messiness, boredom, lack of direction, and need to chill. Probably you yourself are ready to chuck the structure of the school year and want some fun. With a little imagination and an internet connection, you and your young charges can fill this summer with fun, learning, and exploration.

Some homeschoolers don’t take a summer break. In my own family, I work so much at my paying job during the winter that things get a bit lax in the academic department when it’s cold. So it’s pretty typical for us to be working hard at least through June and early July. Other families call it quits as early as May 1st because the warm temperatures naturally slow them down.

Whatever your family trend, there are tons of ways to keep the learning going all summer without the kids even sensing your educational goals. Here’s a list of types of activities, each followed by one or two suggested websites to start looking for specifics. This is not intended to be comprehensive—it’s just to get the ideas flowing!

If you use Pinterest, start a board on summer activities using these links as a jumping off point. Or share these ideas with the family and ask for more suggestions. One way to involve everyone is to let each family member choose an activity each week. That way the whole family gets involved and can do something they love, while the others must try new things

Travel: Plan a big family vacation or just visit museums and other indoor outings (any place with air conditioning is high on my list).

No-cost Virginia attractions

No-cost Virginia outings

Beach it: For some, getting into the water or being on the beach is de rigueur. Find local swimming holes, hidden beaches, and avoid crowds.

Virginia beaches you may not have heard of

Stay home:  make your own backyard fun—build forts, make mud pies, make a mess.

Ideas for stay-at-home fun

Gardening:  A great way of keeping the learning going during the warmer months. Use containers or till a large area in the yard.

Gardening with children

Get crafty: Summer crafts are a sure thing, especially for those inevitable rainy days.

Indoor ideas

Hiking: Get into the great outdoors, head for the mountains, and find a challenging hike for the whole family.

Virginia’s best hikes

Got more ideas? Use the comments section to share your ideas.

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