Summer Unschooling

Probably my favorite aspect of homeschooling is the flexibility we have to schedule school when it’s convenient for us. Some homeschoolers follow a year-round school schedule, taking off a few weeks here and there throughout the year. I consider myself a fairly laid-back homeschooler but I never could get away from the traditional American school year schedule. Typically, we start our school year the week of Labor Day and by Memorial Day we are done for the year.

In the summer we become unschoolers.

If you’re not familiar with the term “unschooling” it may not mean what you would think it does. At least, it doesn’t mean what I thought it did the first time I heard the term.

Unschooling is actually a type of homeschooling. Wikipedia says, “Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning.”

For my family that involves a lot of summer down time. Long days without scheduled activities.

Time to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

Open-ended play.

Informal, interest-led learning.

Audiobooks and craft projects.

Family camping and day trips.

Visits to the library and the lake.

And yes, days when the kids think they’re bored. (They really aren’t. But it’s good for them to think that.)

However, a little structure is not a bad thing. I’ve read a few blog posts recently with some great ideas for fostering relaxed summer learning:

I love Jamie’s idea of flying the flag when neighborhood children are welcome to come play.

Leah shares some great, relaxed summer learning ideas.

Kim has a fabulous idea for creating your own summer reading challenge.

What are your favorite summer learning activities?


  • Kristen

    Our teen would love if we finished by Memorial Day but he dragged his feet a lot this year (his first year) and had work he needed to complete. And since I review products, we are working on math and history with him a little each day.

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