Six Strategies to Make Your Summer Break Work for You

6 strategies to make your summer break work for you

Just before the light appeared above the horizon, she got out of bed, tossed a cup of oatmeal in the pan of boiling water, and while it bubbled away, thought through her day. She worked at staying ahead on the laundry and clothes repairs. A daily walk helped her stay strong and gave her the energy to tackle her many tasks. Wise and kind words to her children and family tumbled easily off her tongue. 

Do you recognize this woman?

She is clothed with strength and dignity; so she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue…her children arise and call her blessed…

I bet you recognize her now.  Yep, she’s the Noble Wife of Proverbs 31.

If you are like me, you feel like you don’t quite measure up to her.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from her example.

One part of her description that particularly speaks to me is that “she can laugh at the days to come.”

Why can she laugh? Because she is diligent and prepared, she isn’t worried or overwhelmed. She uses her time wisely and thinks and plans ahead, instead of just living in “reaction mode,” as I naturally tend to do.

She has a plan and she works it!

So, I have a question for you.

What do you think “the Noble Wife” would do with her summer if she was homeschooling momma like you?

She would assess what she and her family needed, identify her priorities, and make plans to address them.

And then… the hard part. She would follow through.

(Not perfectly, mind you. Because none of us is perfect, not even her.)

So, if the Proverbs 31 Mom was a homeschool mom, she might make plans to follow these six summer strategies, written to make your homeschooling break work for you instead of just letting summer “happen.”

Six Strategies to Make Your Summer Break Work For You.

make your summer break work for you

1. Make your summer break work for you by making self-care a priority.

Admit it: taking care of YOU is the last thing on your list, right? 

After you finish school for the semester/year, I’m giving you permission to kick back and take a well-earned break!

Read that historical mystery you’ve had on your to-be-read list for about a year. Paint your nails. Get a haircut. Go to lunch with someone you don’t get to see nearly often enough.

Do something FOR YOU that you enjoy and haven’t done in a long time.

Let’s talk about time in the Word

I know how hard it is to have quiet times. Times to read your Bible, meditate, and soak in God’s Word. Time to journal, time to praise God in prayer, confess your sins, intercede for others, and bring your personal concerns to Him.

During the homeschool year, you might feel as though you are “rushing” this process, and checking it off your list but not having a truly transformational time with Jesus that you long for.

Perhaps you can choose to spend a little longer on this during the summer. It doesn’t matter when you have it. Mine works better in the morning because my mind is clear of the day’s todos when I first get up, so I focus best then.

Having this time before your days starts truly prepares you for the day ahead. (Especially if you put on the full armor while you’re at it – Ephesians 6.)

How are your health habits?

Summer is the perfect time to focus more not only on your spiritual habits, but also on your health habits.

I know furing the time you homeschool it’s like drinking out of a fire hydrant. You’re focusing so much on your kids that you don’t have much time (or energy) left to care for yourself.

How many times has your breakfast consisted of someone’s left-over oatmeal?

How many times have you stayed up waaay too late, just to have a few QUIET minutes to yourself?

Speaking of staying up late, how much sleep are you getting? I’m told that adults generally need from seven to nine hours of sleep a night. And, that if you sleep less than seven hours a night, you are losing brain cells.

Of course, you’re exempt if you have small kids. (Not really, but I know you don’t have much control over that!)

I don’t have any brain cells I can afford to lose, so I work at getting seven hours most of the time.

If you threw your exercise program out of the window some time ago, get it going again! You don’t have to join a gym and go five days a week. “They” say that pretty much everyone should move their body about thirty minutes, five days a week, with strength training in there a couple of times.

Can’t do it that often? That’s okay. Just be mindful that it’s important, and add in movement a few times a week to start.

That can be walking around your neighborhood, swimming, playing tag with the kids in the backyard, or even watching some Danny Go YouTube episodes and doing the moves with your kids.

And if you’re constantly toting around a 25 pound toddler, I’m sure that counts!

Even though all you feel like doing is lying on the beach with a great book, moving will make those times when you DO truly relax even sweeter.

And while we are on the subject of self-care, it might be time to take a look at your eating habits. Are you drinking enough water? (1/2 your weight in ounces)  Are fruits and veggies part of your daily routine?  Are you getting enough protein? Cutting down on sugar is always a good thing, too…

Summer is a great time to put some new healthy habits in place.

As always, one thing at a time!

2. Make your summer break work for you by starting early preparing for your next homeschooling year.

Before you get TOO relaxed this summer, take a little time to assess your last homeschool semester or year.  How did things go?

  • Did you love your math program and want to stay with it?
  • Was your history program boring and too hard to teach from?
  • Did you incorporate enough of the “fun” stuff, like projects, art, and music?
  • Do you have enough nature study, field trips, and hands on learning?
  • Did you spend too much time in the car this last year?
  • Do you want to include more literature in your homeschool?

Take a hard look at this last year so that you have an idea of what needs to change for next year. Don’t forget to ask for feedback from your kids on these things. And start investigating!

Take some time to look at a few companies that appeal to you and get to know them by reading their “About” pages and subscribing to their blog posts.


  • Who is behind this company? Is this someone who actually homeschools or homeschooled?
  • Do you agree with this company’s philosophy of homeschooling and their worldview?  (If your worldviews don’t match, realize that the curricula from this company will not align with your value system.)
  • Did they homeschool through high school? (If you’re planning on homeschooling through high school.) What are their graduated children doing now?
  • Do they offer samples of their curricula on their website?  Print these and read them. Does this type of learning fit you and your children? Take the time to ask questions if you have them!
  • What is their customer service like? Is the person on the other end of the email friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable? You can tell a LOT about a company by their customer service.

3. Make your summer break work for you by brushing up on training your kids to have good habits.

During my homeschooling days I got crazy tired with so many things going on that sometimes the last thing I wanted to do was stop and deal with an unruly child. 

Or make one clean up his bedroom instead of just doing it quickly myself. Do you “let things go” when you’re tired and there are other things you would rather or need to do? I can relate.

Guess what? We all do that sometimes!

If you use the summer to deal with poor attitudes, unkind words, selfishness, sloppiness, and the rest of those habits we struggle with during the school year, your next homeschool year will go so much more smoothly!

For school (and family life, for that matter) to work well, your kids have to be trained to listen attentively, be kind to their siblings, learn to serve the family, and keep track of their belongings.

Your homeschool will be MUCH more productive and effective if you brush up on these and other basic habits this summer.

Character training is ALWAYS time well spent and yields many dividends in the days, months and years ahead.

4. Make your summer break work for you by having your kids read, write, and do math over the summer.

For the longest time, I didn’t know that academic “summer learning loss” was a thing.

You wouldn’t believe how important this is to your elementary children, middle schoolers and high schoolers.  Did you know that summer learning loss is cumulative?  Or that the summers before and after middle school are about the most important ones of your children’s academic career?  Read the posts I’ve linked to above to learn what you can do to combat summer learning loss and plan accordingly.

Make your summer learning fun! 

Play learning games on the computer. Do some academic work outside, or at the pool, or the lake.  Use an hour in the morning to get some things done so everyone can look forward to the break after. Or, if you live in the South like we do, you are outside in the morning and save your inside work to do during the afternoon’s blistering heat.

And by the time it’s scorchingly hot all day, it’s time to start school again. We usually started back in late July, took about 6 weeks off during Christmas and New Year’s then finished in early spring, when everything was blooming and beautiful! (And of course, you’ll continue learning, just more informally.)

5. Make your summer break work for you by organizing your spaces.

  • Get your record-keeping done if your state requires it, and toss the extra papers you don’t need for your portfolios.
  • Go through those projects, take photos of them, and in the dead of night chuck the large ones you don’t have room for.
  • File what needs to be filed. (This is the hardest thing for me!)
  • Try all your markers and pens and toss what you need to, making a list of what needs to be repurchased.
  • Take a look at your curriculum (see #1) and sell what you don’t need or want to keep.
  • Get those library books back to the library before they are overdue – and while you’re there, sign your readers up for your library’s summer reading program.
  • Straighten up the areas and supplies you use to homeschool. Go through files, throw away what you don’t need, and give everything a good cleaning.

6. Make your summer break work for you by organizing your COMPUTER spaces.

Sometimes this is our last frontier! 

We can keep the floors swept and the bathrooms clean (most of the time), but our computers are such a mess we can’t even find that amazing article on Ancient Egypt we couldn’t wait to use, the e-book about how to design your own literature-based high school courses, or that link to the online game that teaches you the capitols of the states.

Let alone get to the bottom of our email inbox!

Set up folders in your computer for each child, each subject or unit you are teaching, and store the digital items in the place where you can find them when you need them. 

My preference is to use Dropbox for this purpose, so you can access your digital items from any of your devices and they are all automatically “backed up” because they are web-based. 

Another program I use for resources is Evernote.  In Evernote you set up virtual notebooks, and you have the advantage of creating multiple “tags” for your digital products to help you search for them.  For example, if you have our e-book, Design Your Own Literature-based High School Courses, you could put it in a “Curriculum” or “Curriculum Helps” notebook, then tag it “e-book,” “high school,”  “creating your own high school courses,” etc.

None of this is rocket science, and you may have better ways to do things.

But it helps me to be encouraged to do this stuff, so I throw it out there to help you.

So, how do you think the Proverbs 31 woman would approach her summer? How can you emulate her in how you handle yours?


  1. This was just what I needed! Summer is screaming by and I need to get back on track so we will be ready for school to start again in the fall and also have plans for some fun activities during the summer. I’ve just recently come across your blog and am looking forward to reading more! Thank you!

    1. Hey, Amber; thanks for your sweet comment! Summer is indeed SCREAMING by. lol! I always make the mistake thinking it’s going to go by slower (and be more relaxing) than it actually is. So glad you found me and please come back and visit often. 😀

  2. Great post! This is worth printing. I tried to print and it’s too big to fit on page. Is there a way to make a PDF version? Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you liked the post, Susan! Thanks for letting me know. I sent you an email this morning. 🙂

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