There is a great debate in the homeschool community. Moms have debated for years whether or not to continue homeschooling during the summer or just let the kids play. Personally, I can see both sides. On one hand, you want to give the child a break. Let them be a kid and not have to worry about reading, writing, and arithmetic. On the other hand, moms worry about the dreaded "summer slide". Personally, I tend to blend the two into my homeschool keeping with the philosophy of "everything in moderation".
Learning becomes a lot more informal in our homeschool during the summer. I do not feel obligated to engage her in work every day because let's face it, summertime is just as much of a break for me, as it is for Ladybug. In fact, I have made it a goal this summer to focus on encouraging her to play on her own. Ladybug is an only child and we love to be together. We love playing cards together, Zelda on Nintendo together, and go swimming together, just to name a few. But there comes a point when you have to let your child become bored, so they come up with things to do using their imagination instead of relying on you, as their built-in play mate, to engage them. This summer, leaving her on her own for an hour or two everyday has led to a surprising love of Legos! Ladybug will sit there and play with them for hours!
The other half of the blended summer school are actual drills and formal learning. I let her choose each year what she wants to study. This summer she chose rocks. I have also begun to prep her for the memorization of things like The Preamble to our Constitution and capitals of each state. This isn't a sit down activity though, this is done in passing. "By the way, Ladybug, did you know the capital of Alaska was Juneau? What did we say the capital of Alabama was last week?" Eventually, she will get to all 50 states. You can't get much more informal than that! For the Preamble, I am doing it line by line with her. One week it's "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union." The next week we add the next line and she says both together. By the end of the summer, she will have the entire Preamble down, which is something I was never required to learn in public school growing up.
I also like to incorporate her fidget spinner. She has one that will spin for at least 4 minutes (I've timed it!). I gave her a multiplication worksheet with 100 problems on it and challenged her to complete as many as she could within the spinner's spin time. She always finds that fun to do and it doesn't seem like work for her, because she's competing against the spinner in her mind.
But there have been a couple of weeks this summer, where I felt like doing nothing....AND THAT'S OK! Say it with me, Mom, "Doing nothing for a week at a time during the summer will not make her fall behind!" It's true! And isn't that the beauty of homeschooling our kids? No competition, learning at their pace, and bonding with our kids in ways that would be impossible had we sent them to school for 6 hours or more a day. Doing what we want to do as our family sees fit. So whether you choose to take the summer off, continue to homeschool full-time, or choose somewhere in between, just know that you're doing it right, because it's YOUR homeschool and no one else's.