5 Questions To Ask Before Planning Summer Lessons
It’s the final stretch of the school year. While many homeschooling moms will put lesson plans aside and breathe a sigh of relief, another group is planning summer lessons to get their children caught up.
I firmly believe in taking a summer break. Regardless if you follow a traditional or year-round school schedule, both you and your kids need a break. It’s important to take time away from studies to play with your children and rest. Adding schoolwork to a summer break should be decided carefully.
I have experienced summers where I required my children to do some studies. One year was out of frustration, and another from prayerful consideration. If you are planning summer lessons, first ask yourself these five questions.
1. By what standard does your child need to catch up?
If you believe your children need to catch up, first consider who it is you think they are behind. Early in my homeschooling journey, I measured the success of my kids by public school standards. I learned quickly not to compare. Homeschooling is not setting up mini public schools in our homes, and therefore progress should not be measured the same.
2. Have you set reasonable goals for your children?
We all want to be the proud parent of the world’s next genius. Be careful not to measure your homeschooling success by the progress of your children; let them grow at their own pace. I have one child that began reading well at five, and another that wasn’t interested until seven. I didn’t fail at teaching; they simply were not ready. Make sure the individual goals you’ve set for your children are reasonable.
3. Do you need to make a curriculum change?
If you are confident you have set reasonable goals, but lessons are ending in frustration and tears, it may be time to change curriculum. Adding summer school may only increase frustration. Take a break and enjoy your kids. Make learning fun again through games, nature walks, and free play. Find a curriculum that works better for you and your children, and get a fresh start in the fall.
4. Is there a heart issue?
Homeschooling is all about heart lessons. Our kids are going to resist subjects they don’t like. They will get mad at us for pushing them to learn times tables, or will blow off writing reports. Falling behind due to a season of rebellion has consequences. Before deciding on summer lessons, address any heart issues. When deciding consequences, consider if you can offer some grace.
5. Did you pray?
I intentionally left this question last. I want it to be the last point you read because it’s the most important. I’d like to say the first thing I do is pray. It should be. The truth is, I sometimes make impulsive decisions. Before deciding to cancel summer break, stop and pray. Pray for wisdom over each individual child.
Too often we evaluate our children by a worldly view of academic success. Yet the most important growth is never on the lesson plan. Homeschooling is all about living as a family, and therefore teaching and training our children should be our lifestyle. Regardless if you add schoolwork to your summer schedule, take time to rest and enjoy your kids. If you decide to set the schoolbooks aside, I guarantee you will still experience teaching opportunities.
Teresa is a wife and busy homeschooling mom. With a passion for writing, she shares the adventures and lessons of her faith, family and homeschool.