Ah summer. The time for swimming pools, cookouts, camp, and getting your house in order. Yep. I said that last one.

It is tempting to shut down during the summer and only focus on fun (actually, it is really good to do quite a bit of that) but summer is also a great time to focus on doing some of the things that get pushed aside during the school year when academics are in the forefront of our days.

Summer Ideas for A Better Homeschool Year

Actually, summer is a great time to work on a few simple things that will allow you to have a much better school year come fall. Here are seven simple things you can do that will put you a step ahead when you start your school year again.

1. Make a summer plan

Yep, I said that. Making a summer plan allows you to keep your sanity when those hot, bored days stretch out before you.

Making a summer plan allows you to keep your sanity when those hot, bored days stretch out before you.Click To Tweet

You can use my summer planning pages to do just that. You can’t make the most of your summer if you spend your days in chaos. The handy chore charts and “I’m bored” lists will also help you easily keep the kids in order as well.

You can put all of your summer materials in your handy Summer Binder and stay fully organized and on top of things this summer.

2. Get you and your attitude organized

The school year sucks so much out of you. Always on the go and checking off the boxes, you rarely have the extra time to spend on yourself.

This is why the summer is the perfect time for one of Mystie’s courses over at Simplified Organization. Review your vocations and put some systems in place, get your email under control or set up your digital homemaking binder.

3. Get your school room organized

Pull everything out, throw things away, ditch or store old curriculum, catalog the books. When you sit down to do your planning or get ready to start the new school year you will appreciate all the hard work you did to get ready. Look at

Look at issues you might be having and see if you can figure out possible solutions. If you need some inspiration here is my homeschool room redo from a few years ago and Jessica’s more recent one as well.

Need someone to hold your hand? We’ve got you covered with this handy ebook that makes getting your room in order easy and inspiring.

4. Avoid the summer slump (but in a fun way)

Our favorite way to stay on top of skills in the summer is by using a fun app like Dreambox or Reflex. The kids don’t mind spending a few minutes each day keeping their skills sharp with fun games and they take no prep from me.

Another sneaky fun thing to do is strew reading material about that is educational but so much fun they don’t care. Or play a game together that combines exciting challenges with learning. My kids love all of these and never complain about “learning” with them.

 Vacation Fun Mad Libs Summer Fun Mad Libs Junior Life of Fred–Apples Life of Fred: Fractions Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series) Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out (Bedtime Math Series) Bedtime Math: This Time It’s Personal (Bedtime Math Series) Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks) Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks) Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks) Everything You Need to Ace World History in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks) Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks) Scrambled States Bananagrams Speed! – Multiplication Game

5. Read, read, read

Everyone can enjoy the extra time in the summer to read. You can read aloud to them — you don’t even have to do funny voices or get them in our Summer Reading Program so they can read on their own.

Schedule a reading session for a lazy morning in PJs, one in the hot afternoon, and one right between baths and that later bedtime to calm everyone down. Nope, three sessions a day are not too many and you have the time in summer.

Catch up on your own reading. As Susan Wise Bauer reminds us, it is important to our children’s education that we continue our own. And also we deserve the opportunity to get lost in a good book every now and again.

You can see how you might be reading wrong here (slow down, it’s not a race) and some suggestions from my current reading list here or some current team favorites below.

 The Winter Sea At Home in Mitford (The Mitford Years) The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education The Space Trilogy, Omnib: Three Science Fiction Classics in One Volume: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength Holy Is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present

 

6. Get a good morning routine going

Take the time now to build a morning routine that works for you. Working on it now will make it a habit so when the school year starts you can slide right into easy days.

Our Minimum Viable Morning Guide will help you build five easy habits to build over the summer to get your homeschool mornings off to a great start in the new year.

7. Work on habits with your kids

Speaking of easy days and good habits, summer is the perfect time to focus on obedience, cleanliness, and other habits. Brandy tells us why these are so important.

Build these now for a better school year tomorrow. Here is how you do it.

Or even better join in on Mystie’s Chore Chart Challenge and let her walk you through setting up and training chores with your kids. It starts May 22 so don’t delay. Perfect!

Get Organized for Summer with Kids Binder

So download your free summer planning pages and start planning a fun summer, but also one that will put you ahead when you start school in the fall. What will you add to your plan?

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Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.
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