How to Cope When Summer Break from Homeschool Devolves into Unstructured Chaos

If you're like me, during the spring, you start counting down the days to summer break. Won't it be lovely when the homeschool year is done and you can finally relax??

But the dream of summer break is never quite the same as the reality, is it?

Sure, you don't have to keep up with daily homeschool lessons and assignments. But without the regular structure and routine, behavior can unravel fast as sibling conflict ramps up!

What's a mom to do?

Outsourcing Summer Structure

Regular lessons keep the day structured, but a break from homeschool lessons gives mom a chance to rest, recharge, and plan for next year, you need a way to get a little of both!

In some communities, there are activities available out of the house, like Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a local church, or day camps at a park or local public school.

But what if location, cost, or travel time put these kinds of options out of reach, or if they only last for a week or two of summer break?

Digital learning can be a great way to keep kids' bodies busy and their brains active while you tackle summer projects and homeschool planning!

Digital Homeschool Deals to the Rescue!

The summer months can be a great time to take advantage of free trials and summer "clubs" that many online curriculum companies offer. For example, this summer, I enrolled my son Henry in the Summer Math challenge from Doodle Math.

He earns stars for math practice and progress and keeps up his math skills at the same time!

Homeschool Buyers Club has created a page with a huge collection of companies offering free trials, free accounts for the summer, free lessons, and free downloads.

Here are some highlights:

Free Math Practice

Free Reading Skills Activities

Other Free Learning Opportunities

What About Too Much Screen Time?

Maybe you're worried about your kids having too much screen time this summer.

Remember that all screen time is not created equal. The important distinction is not whether our kids are looking at a screen or a book, but whether they are active or passive - producers or consumers - in their screen time.

There's nothing wrong with passive screen time like watching cartoons. But active screen time engages the brain and keeps kids mentally on their toes!

Using these free homeschool resources are a great way to provide active learning and engaging opportunities for your kids so that you can have the break you need and they can have the structure and focus they need to spend their summer days well!

Mix It Up!

Even though we don't follow a strict schedule over the summer, I like to help my kids think in categories so they can add a variety of activities to their summer days.

  • Read something - it could be a book, a graphic novel, or even a toy or seed catalog!
  • Move your body - ride a bike, do some pull-ups on the bar in our doorway, or run through the sprinkler!
  • Help the family - ask mom for a chore you can do, like cleaning trash out of the van or moving the laundry along
  • Learn something - this is where those opportunities for homeschool deals and discounts come in quite handy!

More Free Homeschool Resources!

In addition to the free trials and free access to curriculum, the Homeschool Buyer's club is also giving away three free gifts with your purchase.

  • A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe Online
  • A Free Issue of EverBright Magazine
  • A Month of Unlimited Access to eSpire Online Library!

What do you do to help your kids relax AND stay occupied in healthy ways during summer break?


Lynna Sutherland is a homeschool mother of eight always-homeschooled kiddos ranging in age from high school to kindergarten. She loves to encourage parents in the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling and offer creative ways to manage a large family and a multi-age homeschool!

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