Year Round Homeschool Schedule: Summer Routines

How do you homeschool in the summer? That’s probably the number one question I get when I tell people about our year-round homeschool. If I’m talking to other homesteading families, they really don’t know why I would even want to! Spring and summer are so busy on a homestead!

But whether you’re homesteading or living it up in the city, I will show you how you can structure your days so homeschooling in the summer IS possible.

If you want to be successful at year round homeschooling, this post can be helpful to dismiss some of that fear, answer those summer homeschooling questions and help shift your mindset so you can be successful!

I also have some great summer homeschool curriculum ideas at the end. Scroll down if that’s what you’re here for. I appreciate you so much!

child in swing

Tips for a Successful Summer Routine

Keep Some Structure

Summer is not the time to throw all of your schedules, routines, and structure out the window.

I know, if you look around, most families do this. There is something freeing about throwing caution to the wind and living a life of freedom and joy!

I can tell you from experience, however, that joy will not come from days that are free-for-alls, especially if you have young children. All children thrive on structure and that need will never go away for them. Even teenagers need it.

If you want these days to be full of fun summer memories, you’ll need some structure. Do not compare your homeschool, or your life, to others. Just because another family looks like they are having the time of their lives with no summer routines, doesn’t mean that’s actually true.

Put the blinders on and focus on YOUR family, YOUR kids, and what YOU want to accomplish. It’s a hard thing to do, but necessary.

Want more homeschool scheduling help?

Establish New Routines for the School Year

If there is anything you want to add to your schedule or routine for the upcoming fall school time, start training your kids for that during the summer.

There is less pressure in the summer, moods are higher, motivation is stronger and kids are typically a bit more compliant and cooperative. If you’re having a baby and you want your preschooler to have a reading time, start that now, even if you’re not due until the fall.

If your husband’s work hours are changing, if you’re work schedule is changing or you’re starting a new job, figure out what your children will need to be able to do and start adding that in now. If your 12 yr old will need to have an independent work time so you can work, establish that in the summer.

Even if you only add in one schedule change, it will help greatly when you need it to. Children need some time to adapt, as we all do, so set them up for success by helping them learn new habits they will need for the future.

Teach Your Kids to Make Meals

Even young children can make a simple meal.

As a society, we tend to underestimate what our kids are capable of, at all ages. Children as young as 6 can make a sandwich, pour a bowl of cereal or put together a plate of food if you have different food already prepped.

Summer is the perfect time to teach your children some of these life skills. It will also help you tremendously to be able to delegate some of those tasks!

If your child is old enough, they can be responsible for making lunch for the family, a skill that will only help them further when they enter into adulthood. I start teaching this to my children at about 10 or 11 years old.

Keep it Simple

While I’ve been talking about schedules and routines so far, I do know that they can also kill the magic of summer. We don’t want to do that!

I understand that staying up late and catching fireflies is almost a requirement of childhood. There are also vacations, gardening, swimming pools, and other extras that fill our summers quickly.

I do not want to diminish those wonderful, summer memories with intrusive schedules. However, if you keep a simple structure or routine, you can have all of this and happy kids that are still getting their naps in!

There is a balance and you can find a happy medium where your whole family can thrive. Even when we went to Disney World with 4 young children (my youngest was 9 weeks old!), we still took naps and went to bed on time, most nights.

But when we were together, my kids were happy, not fussy and we have wonderful memories of that time. That is what I want for you. Keeping a simple routine will not be difficult and will benefit your family in so many ways!

An example of this could be:

Wake Up, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed

School

Naptime, Read Outloud, Garden, Chores

Lunch Time

Naptime, Quiet Time or do planned summer activity

Snack Time

Read out loud, supper prep, TV/Screen time, play

Supper

Chores, baths, outside, screen time

Read to your kids before bed

Bedtime

This is an overall general schedule for all types of families. Some slots have multiple activities because this is meant to be flexible. You can do all or one or none of the listed activities.

For example, if you don’t have a napping child, then all of the nap activities will be ignored and you’ll do a read aloud, or garden or go do something fun, which are the other things listed in the same “time slot” I am trying to give several suggestions and I hope that’s not confusing. There are specific schedules down below.

baby in small pool

Plan Activities and Field Trips

Take some time to sit down and plan out some activities, field trips, pool times, even some crafts or similar ideas to do at home.

Having a plan ensures you will not only stick with it but will carry you through on the days when kids are fighting, you’re tired, the baby is teething and you can’t think.

Let your structure do the thinking for you. I wrote an entire post about outdoor homeschool activities that you can use as a starting point.

Some great ideas are:

  • swimming pool, beach, lake
  • outside water play with sponges and buckets
  • visit a museum or art gallery
  • the children’s museum
  • the zoo
  • visit a farm
  • find out when your local 4H is having their county fair and go see the animals
  • go to the library

Want more summer homeschool projects?

I also have a Field Trip Printable. You can print or download it to your child’s iPad and use it on the go!

Homeschool Summer Schedules

I have many TikToks on the difference between schedules and routines, why I prefer routines and how to implement them. Go check it out!

Summer Scheduling Tips

As I’ve said, summer is no different than any other time of the year. If you want your home to run smoothly, you will need to make a schedule, routine, or some type of structure.

Having said that, summer IS a bit different, in that our culture is set up to revolve around the public school year of 9 months on, 3 months off during the summer. It’s easier to work within that, so having a separate summer routine will benefit your family in so many ways.

Keep in mind that even if you are feeling motivated and want to go all day and have all the fun, your children still need naps, they still need to go to bed at a reasonable time and they still need quiet time.

I’m sure you are aware of this but it’s so easy to get caught up in the long hours of daylight, the beautiful temperatures (at least in Nebraska) and the myriad of activities to do. I know I have over compensated for all of this and packed our days so full my kids were begging me to slow down.

Don’t make the same mistake I did!

Another thing to keep in mind is to always have a backup plan.

The weather can be unpredictable, babies or toddlers can be unpredictable (teenagers are no different, either!) and life, in general, can throw us curve balls.

It’s a good idea to have a backup plan for your scheduled activity. Even something simple as having another book in mind for your read aloud time in case the library doesn’t have the book you wanted is a good way to stay organized and ahead of the curve balls.

If the pool is closed for maintenance, what are you going to do? These are some questions to think through and having a backup plan can save a lot of stress.

girl reading on beach

Examples of Summer Homeschool Schedules

These schedules are for those of you who would like to continue doing school during the summer.

I have several schedules below for all seasons of life: nursing babies, toddlers, working moms, and more.

If you do not want to do homeschool during the summer, just plug in your favorite activity during the school time slot.

I also did not include times because I think it’s better to have routines than schedules, so I just estimated how long each activity will take, instead of assigning a time.

If you would like a time slot, feel free to add in time slots according to your schedule.

With a baby/toddler

1 hour: Wake Up, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed

1 hour: Eat breakfast and nurse baby, get children up

15 min to 1 hour: School

2 hours: Naptime for baby

During naptime-quiet time, read out loud, garden, chores, work

or planned summer activity/field trip

1 hour: Lunchtime

2 hours: Naptime for baby/toddler

During Naptime–craft, quiet time, outside or screen time

30 min: Snack time, nurse baby

30 min-1 hour: Read out loud, supper prep, TV/screen time, play

1 hour: Supper

1 hour: Chores, baths, back outside, screen time

15-30 min: Read to your kids before bed

Bedtime

My opinion on the baby schedule is that it’s hard to do anything with babies and toddlers in the afternoon. They are tired, not at their best, and it can make everything more difficult.

Having said that, I put school in the morning for the older children, because they’re also at their best in the mornings, typically. (If you have an older child who is better in the afternoons, feel free to adjust the schedule accordingly).

I put a higher priority on school than fun activities, so I placed school in the morning when it’s easier for you to get it done, the children are more cooperative and the babies/toddlers in your family are also at their best.

If you’re at the pool or doing something less mentally strenuous in the afternoon, it’s easier to deal with meltdowns then, if they happen.

Big Family

1 hour: Wake Up, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed

1 hour: Eat breakfast, older children can make it, if needed

1-2 hours: School, rotate older children playing with younger children, group similar ages together

2 hours: Naptime for baby or quiet time, read out loud to your children, garden, chores, work

1 hour: Lunch

2 hours: play outside, field trip, pool, craft or other activity here.

30 min: Snack time

30 min-1 hour: supper prep, TV/screen time, play outside/inside

1 hour: Supper

1 hour: Chores, baths, screen time

15-30 min: Read to your kids before bed

girls in field

One or Two Children

30 min: Wake Up, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed

1 hour: Eat breakfast

1-2 hours: School

2 hours: read out loud to your children, garden, chores, work or field trip/activity

1 hour: Lunch

2 hours: play outside, field trip, pool, craft or other activity here. Alternatively, can do chores, gardening if didn’t do them above.

30 min: Snack time

30 min-1 hour: supper prep, TV/screen time, play outside/inside unstructured

1 hour: Supper

1 hour: Chores, baths, screen time

15-30 min: Read to your kids before bed

Working Homeschool Moms

1 hour: Wake Up before your kids and get ready for the day

1 hour: Eat breakfast

1-2 hours: School and/or work. If you are working from home and keep regular business hours, your older children can school independently. If you have younger children, you may need a nanny or babysitter.

2 hours: Break time. Check in with school, make sure on task. Let your kids be done, even if you have to keep working. They can do chores here, watch a movie or play outside.

1 hour: Lunch

2 hours: play outside, field trip, pool, craft or other activity here. Do you have a homeschool mom who is not working that can take the kids in the afternoon? If you are not keeping regular business hours, do a fun activity with your kids here.

30 min: Snack time

30 min-1 hour: supper prep, TV/screen time, play outside/inside

1 hour: Supper

1 hour: Chores, baths, screen time

15-30 min: Read to your kids before bed

I will admit, I have only started working recently. I’m starting my business, so my hours are still pretty flexible. I am in a working homeschool moms group and came up with this schedule according to what I tend to see in there. I am assuming you are working from home for a company and do not have very flexible hours. If this schedule is not realistic, please send me an email and amberstephens@livelifehomeschool.com and let me know how to better serve this group of moms. You can also leave a comment below.

Homesteading Homeschool Families

1 hour: Wake Up, Brush Teeth, Get Dressed

1-2 hours: Do animal chores and eat breakfast

3 hours: Garden, animals, chores inside and out. Preserving food, cleaning stalls, fixing fences. Morning is a good time to get outside work done because it’s cooler.

1 hour: Lunch

2 hours: School

30 min: Snack time

1-2 hours: Field trip, pool, craft or other activity here. Reward yourself and your kids for a morning of hard work!

2 hours: Animal chores and Supper

1 hour: Baths, screen time

15-30 min: Read to your kids before bed

Everyone has different ways of farming and living the farm life.

I know some people who don’t eat supper until 9 pm because they’re outside working until dark. I understand. We are not farmers, but homesteaders. We do not have as much work as a full time farmer.

If you are farming and that is your livelihood, this schedule may not fit your needs. You may not be able to do much for fun activities, but it is good to try to give everyone a break, even if it’s only one per week.

For the homesteading family, while it’s still hard work, the hours aren’t as long or as many for us. I have lived in the middle of farming families my entire life, and I see the hours they put in. While I don’t want to diminish the hard work we put in, it’s just not the same if it’s not a full time farming operation.

I also switched school to the afternoon, even though it goes against what I mentioned above about children being at their best in the morning.

I did this because outside work is so much easier in the morning, as it’s cooler, the animals are more cooperative and it’s easier on everyone’s mood.

While school in the afternoon may be difficult in terms of motivation, it’s not impossible and if your children can count on it every day, they will settle into a routine.

2 women shaving goats

Would you like some printables?

Meal Plan and Chores Bundle

Infusing Fun Into Your Homeschool

The Organized Homeschool Pack

Summer Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

Math

Christian Light Publications: is an excellent math curriculum that is very underrated.

Read my full review to see if it would work for your family.

The reason I like this for summer, is that the workbooks are quick and simple to get through. You can also target any math issues your child may be having.

For example, if your child is struggling with fractions and decimals, find the level that teaches that using their scope and sequence on their website and order only those books that teach that concept.

Each book is about $3, so it’s also very inexpensive.

Life Of Fred: this is another math curriculum that would be simple to implement during the summer. You can also use it to target areas your child is struggling with.

If you’re not familiar with Life Of Fred, it’s math taught through storytelling. So those kiddos who would rather read than do math equations love this type of math. I had one daughter who excelled because of this curriculum!

TPT: you could also find some resources on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. There are myriads of worksheets, hands-on activities, and other resources available for free or very inexpensive. And you’re supporting creators, so it’s a win for everyone!

Real life: I wrote about this in my outdoor classroom ideas post. You can easily implement those ideas during the summer. You wouldn’t even need a formal curriculum!

I also discuss how to homeschool high school. In that series, I talk about how to count real life for high school credit hours. If you have a middle or highschooler, implementing some of these ideas would be great for summer, as well!

Want to learn more about high school credit hours?

HSLDA is an excellent high school resource, as well.

Language Arts

Well Trained Mind: this writing course is excellent in so many ways! It is simple, quick, and written to the student to help hold them accountable.

Read my full curriculum review to see if it’s right for you.

I like this for summer, because it’s easy to start, it’s ok if you miss days due to vacation or just summer fun, and you can help struggling writers in a simple way.

Read Alouds: you can simply read to your child every day and use that for a full language arts program.

While you’re reading, if you come across a word your child doesn’t know, keep a list for vocabulary research. Your child can write the words in a notebook and look them up online or in a dictionary.

You can also use them for spelling words if appropriate, or pick out easier words from the read aloud to use for spelling.

There are many tips for hands-on spelling activities on Pinterest. By doing this, you’ve got reading, spelling, vocabulary in one!

And it’s all free!

How to Use Any Summer Activity in Your Homeschool

By discussing with your kids the activities you are doing, you can turn anything into a formal lesson.

Be careful to not do this with everything, or you will burn your kids out!

Field trips, a beach trip, the pool, a vacation are all learning opportunities. You can have your children fill out a field trip worksheet afterward and you’ll tackle handwriting, spelling grammar, and reading.

You can have your child count seashells they picked up from the beach, maybe organize them into categories. If they were really interested, they could look up their names and learn a little more about them. That will conquer reading, math, critical thinking and science.

You can do the same with rocks from the lake.

You could do a whole velocity lesson on water slides at the pool. Anything can be used for school and learning!

Want a free lesson plan printable? Use for any curriculum or to organize your own thoughts and ideas like I talked about above.

lesson plan worksheet

Again, thank you for being here! I appreciate your time and really want you to succeed in your homeschool.

I hope this was helpful!

Please let me know if there’s anything else you would like to see here.

Have a great summer!

Thank you for sharing my content with others. I appreciate your support!

sunflower
girl reading books on beach

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