Yes. My kids still have plenty of time to hang out with friends and play at the park, pool and anywhere else we might want to go that day.
Most people think that because we homeschool through the summer, my kids are missing out on so much of the summer fun. What they don’t understand is that my kids are still having a great summer. When I say we homeschool through the summer, I am not saying we do the same workload as we do during the year, but we do get some things done each week.
For our family, schedules and structure makes a world of difference in our day. Having a routine for the day, helps avoid meltdowns (although we still have them sometimes). When everyone knows what is expected we all can work together to get things accomplished.
Our days go a bit like this:
5:30am – I wake up
6:15am – I take a walk with a friend
Between 6:00 and 8:00am – kids wake up but stay in their room until 8:00 for breakfast
Between 8:00 – 9:45am – breakfast and free time
10:00 – 11:00am – swim team practice
11:30am – lunch and morning basket time (this will sometimes spill over into the noon hour)
12:00 – Sugar Plum goes down for a nap and the big kids do school work while Sugar Plum naps
2:00pm – afternoon activities (gymnastics, pool, park, etc.)
6:00pm – dinner
6:45pm – free time
Between 7:30 and 8:00pm – kids quiet time in their rooms (this fluctuates with the activities of the day)
8:30pm – lights out (this also fluctuates with the activities)
So as you can see, there is still a lot of free time each day.
For now, we try to get a weeks worth of work done in 2 weeks instead of one, so I spread their work out and let them pick what they want to do each day, the only things that must be done are math and reading. After that they have the choice on when and what they do from their planner.
As for the morning basket, I have our bible readings, prayer time, a few read-a-louds, geography, etiquette, Pilgrims Progress, Parables from Nature, poetry, music, artist study, Shakespeare, tall tales, and a few other things. Basically all the things do as a group. We don’t read everything, every day, Bible, prayer, poetry, geography and etiquette are the every day items, but we read a bit from a few other selections each day. I rotate through my schedule for the week so the readings are done for that week.
Another perk of homeschool through the summer is that we are able to take off a few weeks whenever they are convenient. We have taken many impromptu vacations in the past few years during the off-peak times because we had the flexibility in our schedule.
So while homeschooling through the summer may not work for everyone, it works well for our family and as long as it’s working, we will stick with it.