Whether you are a homeschooling family or not, the summertime quickly approaching can feel daunting.
For some, summer means trying to juggle children at home more while continuing to work. For others who homeschool, but take the summers off, this is a time that can feel somewhat aimless and unproductive. For those who homeschool year-round, it often looks like trying to continue the school year rhythm but feeling the call of summer vacations and sunny days at the lake or pool.
I know I don’t want to go into summer with a mentality of just “getting through,” but I want to set myself and my children up for a season of intentionality. I want to look back and feel like our summer was marked with memories, fun, and rest, but also learning and growing.
Here are a few rhythms I suggest putting into place (or continuing) to help maintain a sense of calm and order in your days while leaving space for the spontaneity of lazy days, sunny outings, or long weekend trips.
Gathering with your family and creating space to dig into the Word of God together is a lovely way to begin or end each day. Don’t overcomplicate it. Try choosing a book of the Bible to go through over the summer and read a short passage each morning and discuss. The book of Matthew or Proverbs are great books to start in. You could also use a family devotional like Our 24 Family Ways or more of a narrative like Little Pilgrim’s Progress. After reading and discussing, pray together for things on your heart and how the reading applies to your lives. You could also add praying for the nations to your routine. We have enjoyed Window on the World for guidance on praying for the world.
Related: Our Favorite Family Devotional + Light the Way Scripture Memory Set
Home Care & Life Skills
The summer is a great time to work on creating habits and routines for children to care for themselves and the home. You could start a new chore routine using these chore charts or simply choose a few areas you want your family to improve in maintaining and set some attainable goals for yourself and your children. Write a list of practical life skills such as cooking tasks or home care that you would like your children to work on and focus on teaching them over the summer. Here’s a free list of 100 Life Skills you could use to give you ideas.
Related: 100 Life Skills to Intentionally Teach your Children
When the heat is just too much to be outdoors, summer afternoons are the perfect time to break out the craft materials and work on skills like crocheting, sewing, and paper modeling. Try a lot of small projects or work on one large project throughout the summer. Here is a round-up of 12 handcrafts for children, with links to materials and tips for getting started.
Related: The Best Handcrafts for Children (+ Tips to Teach Them)
In our family, morning time anchors our days, all year round. Even if you don’t homeschool in the summer (or at all), try implementing a sacred time to gather in the mornings and include rich subjects like poetry, art study, music, and a read-aloud. This time can be used to keep some structure and gentle learning opportunities to bridge the gap between school years. Put your own curated resources in a basket, or use a resource like Treehouse Nature Study that has it all laid out for you.
Related: Our Homeschool Morning Time
Even if you aren’t doing your full load of homeschooling, don’t stop offering the best books to your children. Choose a specific time of the day for your children to read independently or for you to read aloud. The summer is also a great time to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I recommend sourcing books from book lists that you trust. We love reading with the seasons, and summer is no different! To fill our baskets, I refer to the book list each week in Treehouse Nature Study: Summer to gather books related to the summer nature theme we are studying. Each week focuses on one nature theme such as the sun, seashells, or reptiles, and includes a book list of fiction, non-fiction, and reference selections about the theme.
Along with the nature study books, I have discovered many wonderful summer picture books that I pull out at this time of year.
Summer Nature Study
Summer is a great time to study nature. You could choose one day a week to dive deep into a fun nature topic, or be more organic in your routine and allow topics to arise throughout the season. We use Treehouse Nature Study as the guide for these studies. Each week focuses on a nature theme and provides books, songs, hand rhymes, poetry, art, and projects. You can pick and choose from the guide how much or how little to use each year. Here are some ideas from Treehouse Nature Study: Summer to get you started.
- Start a summer garden and learn about composting.
- Try solar printing with a simple Sun Print Kit.
- Make sun tea.
- Have a Summer Solstice Party to celebrate the first day of summer.
- Visit an aquarium.
- Collect, identify, and sort seashells.
If you are interested to see what a full week looks like from Treehouse Nature Study, I wanted to offer you one full week of Summer for free! Click below to download.