Homeschooling in the Summer

I know some homeschoolers who take a more relaxed approach and homeschool on a low-key basis all year round. I prefer to stick to a pretty regular schedule. It is what works best for my family. My children need routine to function. Playing each day by ear would be a disaster. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. Every family can do what works best for them.

During the summer, I still have them do reading and math. We do the summer reading program through our library so they a bit more of an incentive to read (they love to be read to – reading themselves is not big on their list of things to do). This year, for math I have them playing computer games to practice their math facts. It is fun, but they still complain – something about how summer shouldn’t involve any school work.

Yet, the other day, I took them to Big Y (a local grocery store) for pizza for supper. They spent a good half-hour after we were done eating grabbing different blocks of cheese, bringing them to our table, and comparing which one was a better deal. This involved comparing unit prices and sometimes weights. We also weighed cabbages to see how much it would actually cost for a cabbage at 79 cents a pound. We also compared the prices of different bags of carrots to see whether it was better to get the one pound bag or the two pound bag. This was all real-life math, and much more relevant than any worksheet or math game. So, while I still think it is important to have them practice their math facts and do their reading, when spur of the moment learning happens like it was then, when they are interested and engaged, I just kind of go with it and enjoy it. That is homeschooling at its best and the kids don’t even realize it is happening!

Originally published in 2010.

Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her fifteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary". She blogs at