How soon does it happen at your house? That moment when the rush of jubilant summertime freedom with its accompanying flurry of activity gradually gives way to boredom?
One of our most memorable homeschooling summers was the one where we, at that boredom point, joined with another family and completed a unit study. It happened to be an Olympic year so we “studied” the Olympics – history, events, important people, etc. – but we also staged our own Olympic events and discovered a new family-favorite movie, The First Olympics.
Summer is the perfect time to do something totally opposite to your normal method of homeschooling – especially if most of your school year is traditional. There are prepared options such as Five in a Row, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers, Private Eye, or the Amanda Bennett Unit Studies (i.e. Digital Photography or Flight). But you can also do a “study” on about any subject that strikes your fancy – any sport (think baseball or swimming), any summer activity (think camping, gardening, canning/preserving), any historical period or event (think Titanic), any science topic (think weather), any particular interest (think superhero movies) and so on.
If you choose a prepared study, just follow the plan that’s presented. Be prepared to streamline so your activities don’t outlive your time period. If you want to come up you’re your own idea, gather your participants together for a short brainstorming session to generate a list of suggested topics. Choose one. Do a bit of research – just enough to come up with some activities or books to read or local places to visit or movies to watch or people to talk to. Make a loosely organized (remember this is summer) list of what to do when and get started. It really can be that simple. Better yet, if you have a young adult in the house, you might be able to delegate the whole process. And I heartily recommend bringing another family or two into the mix.
Since the whole point is to have fun, keep things simple. Remember this doesn’t need to be a highly academic event. And, it doesn’t need to breathtakingly thorough either. Just go with the flow, enjoy yourselves, have a good time of fellowship with your family and friends, and maybe your children will tuck away one or two important memories to be pulled out and enjoyed another year.