5 Steps to Prep for Homeschool High School & Avoid “Summer Slide”
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People often ask us if we homeschool year round. Our answer is usually – “well, sort of.”
We don’t continue our complete schedule of coursework through the summer. Instead, we use the summer months to try new things and prepare for the next school year.
Preparing to Homeschool High School
In the fall my oldest son will begin high school. We have been busy trying to decipher all of the requirements and logistics that go along with planning this next phase of his homeschool journey.
He is starting to think about his goals for high school and beyond. We have identified most of the curriculum he will use next year, including a combination of at home study, in-person and online classes. We are using the summer months to help him explore his areas of interest and brush up on some skills he will need as he begins to homeschool high school.
5 Summer Homeschool Activities
Here are 5 things my son will do this summer to prep for homeschool high school and move his education forward:
Improve Writing Skills
My son has always struggled with writing due to his dysgraphia. He is currently using the Essay Rock Star Expository Writing Course and (thankfully) LOVES it! I was a little worried about all of the writing he would be required to do in high school but I believe by working through this program over the summer he will be well on his way to developing the strong skills he needs.
Essay Rock Star is a great “short course” to help kids prepare for high school level writing assignments and is perfect for summer — it only takes a few weeks to complete AND your student can earn high school credit.
You can read more about the Essay Rock Start course in my post at The Curriculum Choice
Explore Career Interests
After doing some initial research into career options my son wants to learn about jobs in the fields of government and law enforcement. A friend told us about a volunteer opportunity in our county called Teen Court which sounds very interesting. He has applied to participate in a summer Teen Academy offered through our local Sheriff’s Department to better understand how law enforcement agencies operate.
Begin High School Elective Courses
We typically take a break from traditional school subjects during the summer and in years past we have used this time to complete unit studies. Over the past couple of months we have begun two high school elective courses as a way to ease ourselves into the style and structure of this type of class.
We look forward to continuing both the North Star Geography course and JumpCourse online Psychology course through the summer and into the fall semester. My children really enjoy these courses and THEY have asked if we can continue them through the summer.
Travel & Research for US History Class
Both of my children will be taking a homeschool group United States History course next year. After discussing our options for summer travel we decided to make trips to Washington DC and New York to see firsthand some of the places they will be studying.
We recently returned from our Washington DC trip where we visited the Capitol, National Mall, Smithsonian, and Arlington National Cemetery. Later this summer we will spend a few days in New York City to visit the Statue of Liberty and 9/11 Memorial.
Create a Schedule & Record keeping System
I like to make lists and use a daily/monthly planner to keep myself organized. My kids did NOT inherit my planning and organization gene! For the past few years we have used a dry erase board to post our weekly activities and goals.
Thanks to the inspiration of Tricia Hodges’ Weekly Homeschool Planning Meeting tips we have purchased our Student Planners and started to map out our plans for next year. As we move through the summer everyone will continue to add to our Family and Student Planners and settle into a routine for a weekly planning meeting.
It is going to be a busy summer, but we are looking forward to using this time to prepare for the next phase of our family’s homeschool journey!
We also take a summer break and change the routine. My preschoolers will continue to work on phonics, coloring, and counting. My teens have various large projects planned. One son plans to write another novel, another son plans to make a hovercraft, and my daughter is talking of sewing a quilt. My 11 year old plans to relax and read in the sun all summer.
Unit studies in the summer is a wonderful idea! I’ll have to try it myself in the future. This summer I’m planning the next school year. It’s the first, and last, year I’ll be schooling all 6 of my children. My youngest is finally old enough to join school projects and my oldest is a senior. My goal is to finally get to all the involved projects we’ve been avoiding.
Hi Sara, It sounds like your family has a lot of interesting activities planned for the summer! I know my guys would love an update on the hovercraft project, please let us know how that comes together!
Those are some great ideas for summer activities! My daughter will be working on a couple CLEP exams that don’t fit into the normal school year, and are a bit more fun. While she’s not required to keep a normal schedule, I can’t just let her veg in front of the TV for the summer either. 🙂
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