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Our homeschool year has come to a close, but as most homeschoolers can attest, you never actually stop teaching your kids. I get a lot of questions on Instagram asking how we handle Summer at our house, so I thought I would share! I chose to use a literature-based curriculum and we are heavily Charlotte Mason influenced, so you’ll see a lot of that reflected in our day-to-day life. Here’s what our Summer plan looks like.
Continuing Morning Time
We use a homeschool program called “Sonlight”, so gathering around for read-alouds isn’t anything new to us. We have had so many thought-provoking conversations that I knew I wanted to continue this time of day, even during our more relaxed season. If you’re new to this concept, it’s simple:
- Gather a few reading materials. We use a kid’s devotional, a book of poetry, and a read-aloud.
- Sit everyone down and read away!
- Don’t get discouraged when littles run away or bicker. Also, snacks work wonders in these situations.
That’s it! Seriously, it’s so easy. I always ask my kids what they want to learn more about so they have more say in what we do. I don’t spend a lot on books, either. I stock our shelves with whatever good books we can thrift or find on sale.
Caring for Animals
We are in the process of purchasing our first home. It feels like paradise to my husband and me, and it spawns many child-sized adventures. Our biggest adventure to date has been acquiring animals. So far, we have a pot-belly pig, our beloved dogs, and a flock of chickens. We’re all learning together how to raise them and become more self-sufficient. It’s been really cool to see my kids care for our feathered friends. Caring for animals has helped them get involved in the process of (eventually) having their own egg supply. This is a fun way to teach them responsibility.
One of the best parts of Summer vacation is how relaxed it is. This is why I chose, intentionally, to NOT fill our days with lessons and programs. We are still doing the basics- swimming lessons and our library’s reading program- but besides that we are keeping it minimal. This gives them plenty of room to create their own fun and it also gives me, the Mom, a much-needed chance to get our home in order. Which leads me to..
Decluttering the House
Yes, I know. This is not a very glamorous aspiration, but it is vital after a busy year of school. I have a pretty good system in place for maintaining the basics. Our main living spaces are tidy, but please, please don’t open our closets. Every Summer, I like to take time to slowly declutter our entire house. I start with Fall clothes and tackle toys, games, kitchen utensils, and the extremely cluttered school closet. By the time the next school season comes around, the house feels so much lighter.
Summer is where I put a lot of emphasis on creativity simply because we have more time to pursue it. My children absolutely thrive when they’re given art materials, so this is something I’m going to implement more in our school year too. In this season, we are focusing on watercolors. Emily Lex was so kind to gift my family with free art classes, and my tinies are adoring her! Her Watercolor for Kids class covers all the basics: color mixing, the best art supplies, and technique. After your littles get the basics down, they get a chance to paint ice cream cones, pets, sunbursts, and more.
The videos are engaging and informative, yet easy to understand. My 7 and 5-year-old were both able to paint their own interpretation of the sunburst lesson. The best part about these lessons is that they’re fun for adults to participate in too! Emily is on a mission to bring beauty to life in simple ways. She says, Beauty matters. It brings peace and joy to our souls and reminds us that we are loved and God is good. ” I couldn’t agree with her sentiment more.
Aside from classes, Emily offers gorgeous products for your home. My very favorite item she offers are these gorgeous Scripture cards. They even come with a shiny gold holder! I keep my card above my sink, and I switch them out daily.
When coming up with a refreshing Summer plan, don’t forget to nourish your own spirit as well! This year, I’m all about learning new skills. DIY, gardening, embroidery, and watercolor are all things I’m trying to add to my world. I’m not naturally gifted at drawing, so notebooks like this one from Emily Lex are a life-saver! They include step by step instructions and sketches so I can feel like Picasso, without having to bumble my way through trying to draw something.
If you want to try Emily’s products for yourself, she’s hosting a lovely giveaway for Truth for Today cards, an Anthropologie mug (SO cute!), a Starbucks gift card and more. Enter here!