Summer learning has always been a time where I can relax and change up our homeschool a bit. I’ve learned that summer is also a great time to try out new things to see what might work once we head back to school in the fall.
My son and I sat down together last week to begin to plan for the new school year. We typically have this preliminary conversation about mid-summer. It’s a very basic dialog to help me begin to prepare for the new school year.
Interest-Led Homeschool Planning
Because we take an almost exclusively interest-led approach in our homeschool, I need to know what my son is interested in learning before I begin to consider curriculum options. When he began high school last year, the conversation shifted to also include high school requirements for graduation.
This is an overview of the questions I ask in our planning meeting.
What are the high school requirements for this year?
In our state, the requirements are:
- Language Arts 10
- Integrated Math 10
- Physical Science
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
I review these with him first, in order to help guide our conversation.
What are you interested in learning This year?
When I asked my son what he was most interested in learning this year, he and I were then able to develop this list of priorities:
- Music Technology – mixing, recording, etc.
- Chemistry (to meet the physical science requirement)
- Literature Study via Audiobooks
- Vocabulary, Spelling, and Writing (Now that he is older, he understands the value in practicing this, even though it is something that is difficult for him.)
- World Cultures and Geography (We have been focused on history this summer with his history major older brother home from college. He said he is done with history for a bit.)
- Rock Climbing
- Possibly French
How do you want to learn about these various topics?
One of the best things about homeschooling an older learner is that he is becoming more and more aware of how he learns best. He asked that we focus on online learning as much as possible this year.
While I am not sure exactly what this will look like, online learning will form the basis of my curriculum search and ultimate choices for the fall.
How Summer Learning Helps Us Prepare For The New School Year
I am not waiting to act on the information from our discussion. In fact, I find that the last part of summer is actually a perfect time to try out some new learning options and see what will work for us come back to school.
The only hitch is that because I don’t have our curriculum totally firmed up, I don’t want to spend a ton of money. It’s why Homeschool Buyers Club has been so fantastic for us this summer.
Free Homeschool Curriculum Resources To Try This Summer
Homeschool Buyers Club has an entire list of free options for learning this summer (and beyond). Seriously, totally free with a variety of options for all ages and subjects.
After taking a look at the list, we’ve already added a few of these free resources to our summer learning, Now, I plan to take advantage of these free trials in preparation for fall.
The best news is there are several options that fit in with his interests and requests for fall. Here are the courses we will be trying for free in the last six weeks of summer:
- Intro to Chemistry with Fascinating Education
- KGA Guitar Academy
- Vocabulary Quest
- Brilliant.org for Math and Science Problem Solving
Homeschool Buyers Club also has a wealth of free options available for younger students as well, including Reading Eggs and Doodle Math (two of our earlier favorites!).
Free Gifts For Your Summer Learning
In addition to the massive list of free curriculum options, Homeschool Buyers Club is also offering 3 Free Gifts for homeschool families this summer.
(I know, free on top of free? It sounds too good to be true, but I am here to tell you it isn’t!)
Be sure to pick up your own free resources HERE and make the most of summer learning in your homeschool.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.