Getting the Most Out of Your Summer Homeschool

by | May 11, 2016 | Teaching Tips | 5 comments

Getting the MOst OUt of Your Summer Homeschool

Did you see it?  I finally overcame my fears and posted a video on Facebook LIVE! (See the video at the end of this post)

The topic of the video was on how to get the most out of your summer school time.

Now if you’re groaning at the thought of teaching your kids all summer, trust me, it is okay to take a break!  There have been plenty of summers when I just needed a break from teaching my kids. Honestly, my kids probably needed a break from me too.  My husband calls them mental health breaks.  Thanks honey!

This summer follows one of our best years of homeschooling yet.  This is in part because I am no longer attempting to teach kids with toddlers and babies underfoot. {huge sigh} It is also in large part because we joined a Classical Conversations homeschool co-op two years ago and that change has dramatically simplified my homeschooling!  You can read more about our experiences with Classical Conversations here => Classical Conversations and Dyslexia.

To School or Not to School

I think we’re all familiar with the idea of the summer slide and understand that kids will forget some of what they learned the previous school year if they don’t get some practice over the summer.  This is precisely why, if at all possible, we try to do some kind of instruction during the summer.

Often during those ‘mental health’ summers, we signed at least one child – usually the more profoundly dyslexic ones – for summer tutoring.  That helped relieve any guilt that I may have had for taking a break.

Our Summer School

Our summer school consists of catching up on regular curricula like reading and math – e v e r y  year.  I also like to add some fun stuff – maybe things that we didn’t have time to do during the regular school year or things I have always wanted to try.

Our fun summer school schedule primarily revolves around the idea of our daily ‘morning time’. After chores and breakfast, we gather around our dining room table for about 30 minutes together. To learn more about this homeschool-saving practice, visit my friend Pam’s website and check out her Morning Basket program.  Absolute life-changer!

Character Study

We start with a short character study.  Character training is a subject, right?  We’re using Clay Clarkson’s Our 24 Family Ways.  It’s a simple conversation-based biblical study of about every aspect of character you’d ever want to cover.

Poetry Memorization

Next, we work on our poetry memorization.  That’s right – poetry.  After learning about the linguistic and neurological benefits of memorizing poetry, I purchased the newly released Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).  So far my kids are loving this!

Poetry Memorization


Next up in our summer school morning time is a bit of Geography.  We’re taking the time to practice drawing the continents on a world map with the technique of Blob-Mapping.  Our younger kids are tracing the continent ‘blobs’ while our older two are trying to draw free hand on a blank map.


Read Aloud Time

After this, we are listening to audio books together.  I forgot to mention this during my Facebook Live talk.  The final morning time activity is to listen to an audio book together.  (I loaded up on good books during the Audible 50% off sale a few weeks ago.)  Our current listen is the Green Ember by S.D. Smith.

I’m also reading my littlest guys, The Life of Fred math books.  Very silly, but it makes math fun (for them).

We’re also using Five in a Row as our littlest guys’ read aloud framework.  Five in a Row is basically a literature guide that walks you through teaching various subjects as you read each recommended book 5 times in a row.  I talk more about it in my Facebook Live video (below).  We’ve been using this curriculum since ‘Day 1’ and a guarantee you, it won’t disappoint.

So that’s it for our summer fun school.

Summer Review School

Then, of course, there are the review subjects:

Our favorite Math curricula:

Math Facts Practice:

And the reading review:

Morning Time Resources

Pam Barnhill at Ed Snapshots has a ton of awesome resources on planning your morning time.  She calls her program Your Morning Basket and she even has a fun and informative podcast where she talks about tons of ideas for implementing morning time successfully.

Kendra Fletcher at Preschoolers and Peace has a Circle Time resource that is particularly good if you are homeschooling a large family including older kids.

How about you?  Are you doing school this summer?

PS:  Here’s the Facebook Live Video.  It’s short and sweet!  Be sure to follow the Homeschooling With Dyslexia Facebook page for more videos.



  1. Valeria Ramos

    Thanks, you have encorage me to keep going. I enjoy reading your blog and learning from it. I was just talking to my husband about planning our summer and keeping teaching our boys. Was very helpful the tips, specially about poetry memorization. Now I have a better idea of how can I schedule my mornings in a fun and productive way. I feel you are a long distance friend, that I can pick your brain once in while. 🙂
    Thanks very much for sharing your ideas with other mothers of dyslexic kids.
    Valeria Ramos , from Brazil

    • Marianne

      That is wonderful Valeria! You made my day. 🙂

  2. Kate

    Loved your video! Loved getting more details and also being able to see the curricula.

  3. Lisa kepa

    Hi my name is Lisa kepa and I live with n Perth Australia
    I have a daughter of 12 years who has fetal alhohol syndrome and just been diagnosed with dyslexia
    She can’t read write or spell but goes to a special ed school
    Could you tell me something or things that I could do with her please! Her memory is very small and is currently only about the age of a 5 years old!
    Thanks Lisa

    • Marianne

      Hi Lisa,
      I am not knowledgeable about fetal alcohol syndrome. Are there services available in Perth for kids with this diagnosis? There are here in the states.


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