Preventing Summer Learning Loss for Your Homeschooler
*(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)*
What I absolutely love about homeschooling is the flexibility, and I’m sure you enjoy the freedom as well, right?
If you’re a novice to homeschooling or have been doing it for some time, then you know how exhausting it is, especially if you have multiple children.
I’m pretty sure you appreciate your breaks as I do.
It can be hard to manage everyone making sure everyone gets the full attention they deserve.
You may often beat yourself up for some that didn’t get the attention they need for the day.
I find that my 4-year-old doesn’t get all that she needs from me every day because I’m working with a middle schooler and fourth-grader – not to mention wrangling one-year-old twin toddlers.
Homeschooling has allowed me the flexibility to try different schedules based on our life situations.
In the past 4.5 years, we have had three kids, with all of them being difficult pregnancies, so we had to adjust a good bit.
Sometimes that meant homeschooling more during the summer.
Different Homeschooling Schedules (Pros vs. Cons)
I’m thankful for summer, but just like public school students experience summer learning loss, our homeschoolers can experience that as well.
Trying different schedules can help you plan for summer a bit better. The ones I’ve tried that continue to work for us are year-round and traditional.
Here are my pros and cons of both:
Traditional Homeschooling Schedule (180 days -August – May/June)
- Longer summers
- Off when others are off
- Longer breaks during holidays
- Longer summers mean your kids can experience summer learning loss if you don’t plan ahead.
- Everyone is off at the same time, so places of travel are busier.
- Your schedule seems longer, so you can burnout faster.
- Your child may have a rough start the next school year because you have to reteach basic skills due to the longer summers (unless you do some work over the summer).
Year-Round Homeschooling Schedule (180 days – July – April/Early May)
- Consistent routines
- Gives you and the kids a chance to recharge.
- Your kids have a better chance of retaining the material they learned and can prevent summer learning loss.
- You’re off when others are still in school, so you can travel during less busy seasons.
- No long summer break.
- Not as long of a recharge.
- Kids may feel like they are constantly doing school.
I found that the year-round schedule worked for us when I had a newborn.
That way, I was able to have ongoing breaks as needed.
But, I also found that the traditional schedule worked with my twins being one year-olds and needing constant attention.
I was able to take a longer Christmas break – which I so needed. Granted, we also started a bit earlier in August in order to be able to do so.
This year, we are currently doing the traditional schedule, and I am so looking forward to summer. I feel like it will give me extra time to focus on getting work done during the summer that I’ve truly struggled with getting done during this school year.
I can also spend more quality time with my four-year-old by giving her more one-on-one attention because she truly enjoys learning.
But, in my mind, I’m already preparing for summer material.
Some materials that I’ve used and plan to use again are:
Evan-Moor Daily Summer Activities
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do still take summer breaks, but my kids always know that I’m going to keep certain subjects fresh in their minds so they don’t experience summer learning loss, and you can, too.
Of course, they prefer not to be bothered with it, but maybe one day they will appreciate my efforts.
The main subjects that I have my kids focus on are math and reading.
These are the two subjects in that your child can suffer the biggest learning loss from. I don’t spend everyday doing these subjects over the summer, maybe 2-3 days a week.
Tip: You could also count these as 1/2 days and use them towards the next school year if you’d like.
I don’t mind giving them a few weeks off to do nothing, but after that timeframe, they’re starting to forget some basic things that they’ve learned.
In the past, I have been so guilty of going for 1-2 months without ensuring that my child gets that extra learning during the summer, that we end up having a rough start to the next school year.
I end up having to reteach so much, and it’s frustrating for both parties.
With math, I may have them start their next grade level, or I may have them continue to practice their previous math and work on basic math facts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Saxon Math has math facts as part of their daily lesson plan, while CTC math is digital and does include games.
Of course, you can imagine which one my kids prefer.
You don’t have to be limited to these two games; you can also play fun math games with these activities.
Reading is a bit more flexible for us because I mainly want them to keep their reading skills strong.
They get to practice reading material from their summer books, but a library trip to get different types of books usually does the trick.
I also enjoy read-a-louds or audiobooks!
Some of my favorite read-a-louds are:
The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe (don’t forget to watch the movie!)
The Cricket in Times Square
The One and Only Ivan
You can start doing read-a-louds as young as 4 when they’re able to sit for longer periods.
If you have younger children who are in the early stages of reading (preschool to first grade), I’d also recommend working on phonics during the summer.
If you’ve been homeschooling for some time, then you know where your child is struggling, so then you can focus on strengthening those skills over the summer.
You get to know your child a bit better when it comes to their struggles. Take the time over the summer to help them master concepts, or if they didn’t finish certain materials, they can extend the learning into the summer.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a summer break. We take time off to do other fun things like vacation or just plain sleeping in and staying up late.
Having the right tools in place for your child to prepare for summer learning is crucial to ensure they have a good start to the next school year and that you don’t have to do a bunch of reteaching.
Know that some school years are better than others depending on situations that are out of your control.
This may mean more work over the summer or less work but always try to keep them learning no matter what.
I hope you found this useful.
What kinds of things do you do over the summer to prevent learning loss? Share in the comments.