It’s almost the end of the school year and it’s so easy to be stressed.
Now, I don’t mean the type of stress from end of the year parties.
I mean the stress of moving our families from a full-time homeschool schedule to a summer schedule. (You know what I’m talking about, right?!)
You’d think it would be easy for us to make this transition! After all, can’t we just say “we’re done on this day” and put away the homeschool books and that’s it?
Maybe. Maybe not. But I’ve never found it to be that easy!
However, one word has set me free in this area:
I want to show you how homeschool rhythms can help you:
- gently transition out of schoolwork
- ease the stress as your family adjusts to a new summer schedule
- makes it easier to transition back to school in the fall
I wrote about the revolutionary power of rhythms (and how I had to learn to throw my homeschool schedule out the window) in my book Plan to Be Flexible: Designing a Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family.
For the past ten years, I’ve had to learn–the hard way–how a gentle rhythm in and out of a homeschool year really makes a world of difference in the transition between “school” and “non-school” times.
But how does it happen?
That’s what I want to share with you about.
3 Truths to Help Your Family Easily Transition to Summer
1) Slowly stop doing “school.”
I love how our homeschooling can parallel the beautifully natural flow between seasons.
During these last few weeks of May, I find us still schooling, but we have slowly begun the process of letting our typical school rhythm go because it’s the end of the school year.
These days are an unpredictable blend of, one day, traditional school learning (as we finish up our goals and projects); and the next day, a modified learning time full of outside exploration.
Just like the warm days of summer eventually come, our school days eventually flow into less and less structured learning and more time for play.
This is rhythm! And this is awesome!
This isn’t the abrupt “we’re-done-learning-and-you-can-return-to-your-regularly-scheduled-life-now” type of school.
Instead, it’s acknowledging that, like the seasons, the learning style is changing and we’re embracing it.
If we homeschoolers really do want our kids to have an exploratory-type school mindset, (instead of a “sit down because it’s school time” type), then this gradual transition at the end of the school year only makes sense.
Do you love this gentle, beautiful approach to learning? Then you’ll love Plan to Be Flexible!
Summer is a wonderful time to be encouraged and regain your stamina, and Plan to Be Flexible is full of real-life stories and wisdom that will help you discover how to best lead your family on this homeschool journey.
2) Embrace a new type of learning.
During the school year, it’s easy for us to get set in a “this is learning” and “this isn’t” mindset.
And yet, there is so much for our kids to learn that falls outside of “typical” learning!
Now I know you’re saying “Don’t we teach them about real life throughout the year?”
Yes, we give them chores and responsibility, true; and lots of opportunities to learn about the character quality of commitment.
But think about the possibilities that summer affords! Think of the real, in-depth learning experiences that are far more difficult throughout the year, on all kinds of “non-traditional learning” subjects:
- teaching kids to cook on their own in the kitchen
- showing them how to organize summer trips or plan large summer events
- having time for short term missions trips
- getting a jump start on learning a musical instrument
- sharing some “must read” books, individually and as a family
- exploring the world and visiting family on vacation
These are some of the things my husband and I have in store for our kids this summer! And there are so many more ideas out there!
Talk to your kids about what they’d like to learn about!
Plan to Be Flexible also shares how we can marry our kids’ individual interests with more traditional forms of learning.
By elaborating on the “rhythm-based homeschooling” concept, it gives parents a framework to gently guide kids on a fruitful learning journey.
But, honestly, I saved the most important tip for last.
To make this transition to summer as easy as possible (and to honestly, truly enjoy our summer ahead!) we must, must do this final thing.
3) Enjoy the margin and rest together.
Space: it isn’t just the final frontier (OK, bad Star Trek joke.)
Space (meaning “margin”) is the critical element found in the rhythm of a well-rested, replenished soul.
And summer provides extra opportunities for margin. Well…that is, if we let ourselves discover it.
Our natural bent is to keep going on that busy, full pace and to continue filling our days with more and more activities.
But this is key: We must let ourselves replenish instead of replacing.
Can I challenge you to make room–just like you’ll make room for all the summer fun–for margin?
Time just together (even if that time is spent not necessarily being “productive”) is valuable and so, so important.
Margin is an essential key to the soul rest our bodies crave during this long summer break.
It’s much easier to make room for margin when we can make it an part of of school year rhythm too. It suddenly becomes less scary, less hard to say a big fat NO to that one activity (even if it’s a good activity).
What if you could build flexibility and margin into your school rhythm?
That’s something you’ll read about in Plan to Be Flexible as I recount what happened during my first homeschool years (which were very structured and had zero margin) and how I learned how to develop that healthy learning rhythm my family needed.
Enjoy this transition out of the school year and have a wonderful summer break!
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