I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Gentle Schooling for Summer 2016

Gentle Schooling Ideas for Summer homeschool

We're hitting "pause" on school for three whole months. But don't you worry. There will be no summer slide around here. Our brains will not turn to mush like last summer's abandoned ice cream cones.


We'll still be learning even when all the school books have been boxed up. Learning is a lifestyle. It's not something that ONLY happens on certain dates of the calendar between certain hours of the clock.

To us, summertime welcomes learning through leisure. The warmer days and light evening breezes usher in a chance to school more gently. More organically.

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Here's what summer school will look like for us.

Gentle Schooling ideas for summer homeschooling


Although our morning board will be packed away, we will still begin each day with personal devotions. Our Bible Study basket will remain in its rightful place next to the comfy chair in the living room and each of the kids will make his/her way to it first thing in the morning. Our summertime devotional materials will be as follows:
  • Me- After finishing up a slow-and-steady study of Galatians (per my 2016 Goals), I moved on to John. Each day through the summer, after reading and copying a short selection of verses into my devotional journal, I will use The Moody Bible Commentary along with the helpful notes in my Study Bible to journal my thoughts and my findings. I will continue to keep a prayer list and use my mother's prayer book to help me focus some of my prayer time on the specific needs of my children. 
  • Sweetie Pea- She just finished up a precepts book this spring. So through the summer, she will take a more leisurely approach to her morning devotions and just read through certain passages of her Adventure Bible until she gets a new discipleship book next fall. 
  • Blonde Warrior- He will read one story a day from his Picture Bible.
  • Greased Lightning- He will choose one story each day from one of our picture storybook Bibles including the new one he got this past Christmas, Early Readers Bible
  • The Dude- He will continue to "read" one story each day from his wordless See With Me Bible.

Gentle Schooling for Summer 2016

Daily Reading Time

In addition to our daily read aloud time (when I read a few picture books and one chapter book out loud to all the kids), my three oldest boys will continue to read a chapter of their "mom-assigned" book out loud to me each day. While my daughter does not have to read out loud, she will continue to read through books on her Middle School MUST READS list. They will all, also, participate in the library summer reading program to earn small prizes for leisure reading.

As is our summer-time custom, the kids will get to stay up past bedtime to read on occasion. The extra-long daylight makes it nearly impossible for them to fall asleep at the normal time anyway. So, the Hubs and I will re-institute our late night summertime reading rules.
  1. You have to be in bed at the normal time...8:00 at our house.
  2. You may read books, look at picture books (for those too young to read), or listen to audio books...for one hour.
  3. If you get out of bed for any reason other than an emergency, you forfeit your reading time and have to go right to bed.  
An extra late bedtime AND a whole hour of uninterrupted reading time!  A win-win for everyone.  

Nature Study

Since we practically live in the tundra and our world is covered in WHITE most of the time, it is sometimes difficult to do nature studies through the school year. So, we've always saved them for summer. After our annual brainstorming session, it was unanimously decided that we would study insects this summer. I purchased a few insect field guides and have made a short list of library books to check out in the coming weeks. But for the most part, I'll not be too heavily involved in the summer study. I never am. In the past, they have mostly consisted of observation, collection, and narration/illustration in nature notebooks. 

Math Review

While my kids won't be doing any formal math through the summer, they will occasionally be allowed to play a game on ABCYa.com or Arcademics.com or use the Mathmateer, Math Bingo, or Monkey Math app to review their basic math facts.

County Fair Exhibits

Come August, I'll be morphing into a crazed carnie at the county fair. If truth be told, it's the most wonderful time of the year. As usual, the kids will be entering projects, crafts, and-the-like to be judged by artisans around our community. And I? I'll be nursing a fried-food-on-a-stick belly ache. Can't wait!

Chore Mentorship

Summertime has always been the time when we stair-step our chores and learn them through mentorship with mastery in mind. This summer will be no exception. My daughter will learn how to deep clean the bathroom and everyone else will move up the chore steps.

Group Kickball

In an effort to NOT run a summer sports taxi service, I have signed my kids up for GROUP kickball this year. They all enjoy playing. However to be honest, it's not anyone's most favorite sport. But in keeping with our family core values, I don't want to waste our energies and efforts running from one ball field to another in order that all five of my kids can play an organized sport. And I don't want each.and.every evening to be hijacked by games and practices. We are not a sign-everyone-up-for-all-the-things-and-fill-every-moment-with-an-organized-activity kind of family. We just aren't. So, I went looking for a sport that they can all participate in together...and came up with kickball which meets twice a week just after lunch. They'll get sunshine. They'll get out-of-doors. They'll get exercise. They'll get togetherness. So kickball it is! 

Individual Interests

The slower days of summer will provide lots of opportunities for cultivating passions. When they're not learning all together, my kids will each be doing the following:

Sweetie Pea

Super Boy

  • Engineering camp- every morning for a week in June
  • art lessons with a retired art teacher- twice a month
  • Reading Horizons- one online tutorial a day for phonics review

Blonde Warrior

  • piano practice- every afternoon
  • antique car shows visits

Greased Lightning

  • gardening
  • bird watching and bird scaping our yard

So, that's how we plan on doing "school" this summer. Our days will be uncluttered and un-calculated.

They'll be gentle. They'll be GREAT!


  1. Could you go into more detail in another post about the chores your kids do at each age and how you go about training them?

    Also, how do you rest and refuel personally during the summer as a homeschool mama?

    Thanks for your great blog content!

    1. Those are both great suggestions for posts. Thanks. I'll see if I can work on those sometime soon.