Tips to Avoiding Summer Backslide

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What should you do with your homeschooled students during the summer break?

I’ve asked this question every single year for the last seven years.

In summers past, I’ve attempted to:

Continue schooling as normal – My kids physically recoiled at the idea of non-stop schooling. Oh, the horror! “Can’t we take a break, mom?” They would plead. To this, I would laugh maniacally and then say, “No.”

Lock my kids outside from sun up to sun down – This went about as well as you can imagine. My pre-teens would much rather be in front of a screen than a leaf.

Adopt a lighter schooling schedule – This seems to work the best for my kids for several reasons:

  • First, pre-teens like routines. Developing a dependable daily schedule gives them stability and helps to build time management skills.
  • Second, continual schooling (even on a lighter schedule) keeps the brain agile. It’s easier for students to snap back to a full-time load when the new school year starts.
  • Third, it staves off the zombifying effects of video games. My kids default to playing video games when they’re bored, happy, hungry, scared, alone, in groups, etc. If they spend one hour learning, that’s one less hour in front of a video game.

So, what does a lighter schooling schedule look like in practice?

There are various ways to do it. Here are a few ideas that work well for many homeschool families:

Choose an Academic Theme for Each Day

Instead of attempting to work on all of your subjects every day, choose one focus such as Monday Math or Friday Filmmaking. Having a daily theme breaks up the monotony and gives your child something new to focus on.

Create Weekly Camps

A modified version of the above is to focus on one subject for an entire week and turn it into a camp. For example, create an astronomy camp, using our Beyond Is Genesis History? Vol 3 : Bible & Stars as your base. This allows you to support your child as you both explore the mysteries of our universe from a strong Christian worldview. Learn more about our Beyond Is Genesis History series here.

Develop a Big Summer Project

Is there a skill that your student wants to learn, like game development or map-making? Create a simple lesson plan that takes your child from beginner to expert. For example, if your child wants to learn baking, download a few essential baking recipes from the web that progressively takes your child from cupcakes to crème brûlée.

Do Audio Books

Incorporate audiobook learning into your child’s summer. We have an entire library of audio stories that can choose from here. Introduce your youngster to fictional period pieces like Les Misérables or New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. If you prefer to learn real history, grab a copy of Bible Comes Alive – Acts of the Apostles, a collection of 16 immersive bible stories that covers the captivating years of the early church, including riots, imprisonments, and stonings.

Final Thoughts

Avoid the dreaded summer slump by enrolling your kids in your summer homeschool (the lighter version of your normal homeschool). Not only will it set them up for success in the coming school year, but your summer homeschool will also give your students something of value to do during these long summer days. Let’s help our kids redeem the time. (Eph 5:16)


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