5 Ways to keep learning in the summer without formally schooling

We are a homeschooling family that takes a summer break. I need a break from planning and the kids need a break for play. We don’t do any formal school work during the summer, but here are some things we do to learn.

1. Read

We signed the kids up for the library reading program this summer. There is a chart to fill out for every 15 minutes that they read. They receive prizes at 1, 8, 16, 30, 45, and 60 hours or reading. Our goal is to get to 30 hours of reading. If they read more that would be great too. I require my kids to read at least 1 hour a day during the summer. My daughter reads to herself and chooses any chapter book that interests her. My son, who just finished kindergarten reads a level 1 or 2 book to me. I have also been trying to read aloud each day as well. We are currently finishing up The Indian in the Cupboard.

2. Library Programs

We have an awesome library in our town that offers fun and educational activities throughout the summer. So far this summer my kids have attended “fun club” each Monday and they have played math games, built their own circuits and played new physical education games outside. They also went to a ventriloquist/magician which they loved! This inspired my daughter to check out many magic trick books from the library. They also went to a space program where they learned about gravity and astronauts. They then designed an egg carrier and participated in an egg drop. Unfortunately, both of their eggs broke, but they learned a lot!

3. Parks

We have taken advantage of our local parks and trails this summer as well. My kids are getting plenty of physical education! We have been on a couple nature walks, where we study the things we see and visit waterfalls. We also go to a children’s discover garden where they offer cooking programs that we will be participating in this summer. We will be going to the program where they make their own pickles. Also, in this garden, there is a water play area, sand area, maze, and paths to enjoy all of the beautiful plants and flowers.

4. Museums

We have a membership to the local children’s museum in our area. We try to go once or twice a month. They just opened a new butterfly exhibit where the children go through a maze and learn how caterpillars transform into butterflies. Even though we have been to this museum a ton of times, my kids can spend hours there every time. We will probably check out some of the other museums in our area as well this summer.

5. Outside Play

Never underestimate the power of play! Summer is the perfect time for the kids to play outside. My kids play in the pool, sprinkler, ride their bikes, play with sidewalk chalk, make their own bubbles and explore! My kids made their own lemonade stand the other day, which was a huge learning experience. They set up the table, made the sign, made flyers to pass out to the neighbors, and made the lemonade themselves. When they were done they counted up and divided the money they earned. My kids had the best time doing this!

We are staying busy this summer! We may not be doing anything formal, but we are still learning a lot! What are you doing this summer? Do you homeschool year round, or do you take a break like us? Let me know in the comments! 


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