Summer is here! Some families continue to homeschool through the summer, some stop formal schooling but continue to provide educational opportunities for their kids all summer, and some are ready for the break and simply play all summer. Whichever way you spend summer in your homeschooling family, here are some ideas for activities.
In your community are lots of opportunities for providing summer fun, and many are offered for free or at a low cost:
- Reading programs: Check out your local book stores and libraries for summer reading programs. These usually involve signing up and getting fun things like a book bag, stickers, etc., filling out a form with books read, and bringing the form in to receive a free book and/or other “prizes”. This encourages summer reading and makes it fun.
- Free family movies: Regal Cinemas offers showings of free family movies every week during the summer in select theaters. This is a great way to cool off and enjoy a movie together in a theater, for free! Check the website to find a participating theater near you.
- Camps & special activities: Many local attractions, such as zoos, aquariums, and museums have summer camps, special activities, and even sleepovers. Look at your local events calendars of individual attraction websites to find out what is offered near you.
- Local days & teacher days at area attractions: Many of the local attractions mentioned above also offer days with reduced rates for locals. We happen to live in a very touristy area with lots of fun attractions. Problem is, most start at $20 per person. But on local days, we can get in for $3 – $5 per person! These are usually not listed on the websites; you should call and inquire about such days at each place. Additionally, many attractions offer educator discount days in July and August. Many of ours are free admission for teachers and so many kids on these days. Again, call each place you are interested in to inquire about this.
- Pick-Your-Own: We take the family and go blueberry picking at a nearby pick-your-own farm every June. Do an online search for pick-your-own farms in your area. You can find all kinds of fruits and veggies to pick. In addition to providing a fun family activity, this is a very economical way to stock up on produce.
- Experience nature: Go camping, on a nature hike, or bike riding together. If you don’t live where this is possible, backyard camping is lots of fun as well!
Besides participating in activities around the community, there is fun to be had at home:
- Family movie and/or game nights: Each Friday we host a family movie or game night. If it is a game night, we get out the board games, put out some yummy snacks, and go to it. If it is a movie night, my creative little chef of a daughter and I make dinner and snacks that go along with the theme of the movie.
- Water and outdoor games: If you have access to a pool, there are lots of water games to play in it. If not, there are lots of land-lubber water games everyone in the family can get in on. I love water games because they cool us off in the heat of the day, they give us a somewhat structured activity to do, and we have a blast together! You can find lots of pool and water/outdoor games on Disney’s Family Fun website.
To keep up the learning for the summer, but in a fun, easygoing way, try these ideas:
- Gardening: We have a veggie garden going through the summer. The kids help out and learn science by learning about plants and charting their growth in a garden journal, math by measuring garden & planting dimensions and plant growth, and cooking by using the resulting veggies in the kitchen.
- Cooking: This summer I am going to go through a list I made of simple recipes that I want my children to be able to cook on their own. In addition to having prepared kitchen helpers for next school year, cooking lessons also naturally incorporate reading, math, and science skills.
- Reading for science and history: My kids and I love the Magic Tree House series of fiction books with their non-fiction companions. We are reading one each week through the summer, and using them as a jumping board to delve deeper into the topics they present through further reading and fun projects. The books cover science and history topics. We are also learning about countries around the world in an easygoing way by reading about a different country each week and cooking some dishes from the country we are studying.
We make a scrapbook of our summers so we can fondly look back on the fun we had and the things we learned. Our past scrapbooks contain: lists of favorite books we read, insect and bird drawings, postcards & brochures, news clippings, our garden reports, hand & foot prints, inches each child grew, favorite ice cream or snowball flavors, leaf rubbings, maps with routes of trips highlighted, our own movie reviews, party invitations, sketches, ticket stubs, pressed flowers, and of course, photos galore.
What will your family be doing this summer?
Join 15,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your family all year