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plan your summer break

Want to be rested and ready? Plan your summer break!

  |   Organization, Parenting/Homeschooling in General, Planning   |   6 Comments

There’s nothing worse than that sick feeling you get when summer flies by and you have nothing to show for it. Plan your summer break!

It’s almost time to start school again, and you’ve done nothing you thought you would.

Don’t just let it happen.  If you want to feel rested and ready for school again at the end of your summer, plan your summer break now.

If you homeschool, I know what you think about when you hear “summer break.”

You just hear the word “break!” 

 

via GIPHY

Of course, you do.

And you need a break! Homeschooling takes everything you have. And then some. But you know how you feel when summer is suddenly over, it’s time to start school, and you’re not ready?

Not-even-in-the-ballpark ready?

I’ll tell you. You feel lousy.

You start to panic. You’re not confident… and it shows. You start school anyway, and your kids give you a hard time.

When you’re not confident, kids can be like sharks who smell blood in the water.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take a break and still get the right things done so starting back to school isn’t so hard. If you plan your summer break, you’ll have time to relax, but you also will have time to:

  • take care of your health
  • give your kids a refresher in obedience
  • get a little more organized
  • put systems in place to eliminate summer learning loss in your kids

 

plan your summer break

 

Plan your summer break!

Planning these things into your summer break will make your step lighter. You’ll feel good about not wasting three months on… what, exactly?

And it’ll help you start school feeling more confident, organized and…prepared.

Are you ready to get started?

Following is a short round-up of posts with tips about summer planning — and make sure you don’t miss the ones about summer learning loss, broken down by elementary, middle school, and high school.

So sip your favorite summer beverage while taking a few minutes for yourself to read. Let yourself get a little jazzed about planning your summer.

When school time rolls around again, you’ll be happy you did. You’ll be relaxed, ready and excited about starting back.

 

 

Plan to use some of the summer break to take care of yourself.

Don’t tell me about self-care. I don’t have time for self-care.
Is that what you’re thinking?

But why does the airline tell you to put your kid’s mask on after you put yours on?

Because you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people.

 

Even if you don’t think you have time to take care of yourself, tell yourself you are doing it to be a role model for your kids.  Don’t you want them to learn to take care of themselves? Of course, you do.
Read on to find out how just a few simple changes can make you feel a lot better.
And if you are getting hives at the idea of self-care? Think baby steps.

 

plan your summer break - protect your health
plan your summer

Plan to give your kids an obedience-refresher over the summer break.

Did a lack of obedience slow your homeschooling down last year?  Or make you a little crazy?

How about a refresher in basic habit training. This post covers the basic how-tos as well as providing a list of habits you can cultivate that will make school go better next year.

And all the years to follow, for that matter.

 

basic habit training

 

So now that you have a few new healthy habits in place and you’re brushing up on habit training with your kids, it’s time to get organized!

 

Plan your summer break with time for getting organized.

It helps to know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been, right?
I know it seems like a lot more fun to think about your next semester instead of looking at the last one.
But to get organized, you really have to start by taking a look at your last year or semester of homeschool.
Did you finish (or finish enough of) what you wanted to finish by the time you stopped school?

 

If you didn’t, it might help to look at the reasons why you didn’t finish. You can’t fix it if you don’t identify it.
(To be fair, you still might not be able to fix it, even after you identify it.) But there are probably a number of things you can fix that would make schoolwork better next year.

Here’s an easy way to consider why you didn’t get as much done as you wanted.  You can follow the semester assessment outlined in this post to help you figure out what’s getting in your way.

You can do the whole thing,  or just start at the 2nd half, beginning with “Step 3 – If you are behind….”

Follow these steps to figure out what’s holding you back. And then take a look at suggestions for making it better.
And write down what you learn. Then brainstorm what you can do about it. (See the post for some ideas.)

 

Plan to get your tangible and virtual spaces more organized.

Okay, say you’ve finished the second half of the assessment above. You’ve figured out some of the obstacles that slowed you down and kept you from getting as much done last year as you’d have liked.
Did you identify “not being organized” as one of your obstacles?  Time to take a look at your spaces. Particularly your school spaces.  Getting organized and following some better habits might be just what you need.
 Check out items #5 and #6 from this post to give you hand.

 

plan your summer break - 6 strategies
And if you have older children, homeschooling high school might be on the horizon. If so, you have another area of organization to think about.

 

 

Got a rising 9th grader? Time to make a big-picture plan for high school.

If you have a rising 9th grader and don’t yet have a big-picture plan for high school, now’s the time.  Don’t just plan year by year, and then suddenly realize in 11th grade that you don’t have time to get all the required high school courses in!

Believe me, when the unexpected happens, you’ll be glad you have a plan to follow. Read the post below to see what unexpected thing happened to me during those years. If I hadn’t had a plan…

This post will teach you how to easily make a big-picture plan for high school. It’ll just take an hour or two (to make the plan, not read the post ?).  Sure, you’ll tweak it along the way. And fill in some details.

But you’ll have all your high school requirements mapped out so you don’t miss anything.  And you’ll have a roadmap to follow.

Having a plan will make you feel oh, so much better about homeschooling high school. Aren’t you more relaxed just thinking about it?

 

plan for homeschooling high school

 

The previous blog post mentioned how important it is to keep your kids thinking during the summer. And the consequences of not doing it!

For how to do that, read the next three posts about summer learning loss.

 

 

Plan your summer break with time for keeping your kid’s academic skills alive.

 

There are some shocking facts about how much academic prowess can be lost during the summer… and about how that loss can be cumulative, especially during a few critical years.  (See the middle school and high school posts, to find out which years those are!)

Research shows that there are substantial losses in math, but also in writing and reading skills over the summer, unless your kids engage in some type of academics.

Just a little planning in this area might make your next semester look A LOT different than it would without it, especially during those most critical summers.

The next three posts about summer learning loss are broken down by elementary, middle school and high school.

 

Plan your summer break to eliminate summer learning loss.

For Elementary School

summer learning loss

 

For Middle School

plan your summer break - middle school learning loss

 

For High School

plan your summer break to avoid high school learning loss

 

Well, are you inspired to do some planning?

If you’re overwhelmed as it is, start somewhere.

Just start with one thing you can do each week in one or more areas. After all, if you’ve been a mother a few years you know that kids do better with some kind of structure.

So, where are you going to start your summer planning?

 

Tell me in the comments or email me at dana@tuacp.com!

plan your summer break - dana

 

 

6 Comments
  • Kirsten | Jun 11, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Dana, You have some great suggestions here! I particularly love your comment “you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people.” Whether a teacher or homeschooler working with children is exhausting, even though it is a vocation for many. We all need a break!

    • Dana | Jun 11, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you for your kind comments, Kirsten. Teaching certainly can be tiring, in any capacity. I’m not sure about teachers, but I know moms and we tend to put ourselves last! Thanks for visiting.

  • Heidi | Jun 10, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    This hits home with me! There is nothing worse than summer break ending and realizing you did’t get anything done that you wanted to and you’re mentally not ready to start again. You have some fantastic ideas!

    • Dana | Jun 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks, Heidi. I’ve been guilty of wasting summers as well. But I got a lot better about it after reading more about summer learning loss! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Patti P | Jun 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

    What great ideas! I love the idea of self-care, planning, and getting organized. Breaks should be a time to refresh, but also prevent the inevitable backsliding that can come by doing nothing constructive during the summer.

    • Dana | Jun 10, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you, Patti, so glad you liked my post. It’s always tempting just to relax and let things happen, but there is too much ground lost to do that. Especially with that academic summer slide.

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