Some homeschoolers like to school year round, taking a break every quarter or longer breaks throughout the year. Others follow a schedule similar to the public school starting in Aug/Sept and ending in May/June. We follow a year long schedule that is similar to our local public school starting in August and ending in early May working 4 days a week, and also do school in the summer as well.
Most of the curricula we use is set up to finished over the course of a 9 month school year. When we finish with those we move on to summer school. For us, summer school mostly consists of working on various review products over the course of the summer. The big difference is we are not doing this in addition to all of our regular school work and the pace is slower. We also change our schedule to be outdoors in the morning and do not start working until 12:30 in the afternoon. We also spend less time on our school work and are finished every day by 2 at the latest. Some of the things we have been working on this summer includes: Veritas Press Self Paced History, Experience History Through Music, Moving Beyond the Page, Go Science DVDs, We Choose Virtues, Homeschool Piano, Analytical Grammar, Mathletics, Lightning Literature Grade 1, and Old Western Culture: The Greeks. We also have a few more that will be upcoming. It sounds like a lot, but a few of them we will just use for the review period, take a break and start them up again later on. Others like the Science DVDs are great for rainy days, and some like Moving Beyond the Page only takes about 3 weeks to complete.
For those who may not have things like product reviews to do in the summer, there are many things you can do with your children that will still give you a break from your regular schedule and not allow them to become bored or forget what they have learned.
Unit Studies can be great for summer school. Pick a subject your child is interested in and create or find a study to go along with it. We love the Moving Beyond the Page Units and they are very flexible. You can get a unit completed in three weeks by working everyday or stretch it out as long as you like. Lapbooks are also a lot of fun and easy to do. A Journey Through Learning (aff link) has some great lapbooks some that can even be completed in a day if you want to!
Just reading books is a great way to keep busy and learn throughout the summer. Visit the library and choose several different types of books. You can choose some fiction, some nonfiction, some to be read aloud, and some they can read on their own. You can always add in a hands on activity or two to go along with what you are reading or find a coordinating lapbook or unit study if you want to dive deeper. Every library no matter how big or small is a wonderful educational tool, and its free :)
During the school year, you may feel like you do not always fit in enough art, music, or other electives. How about doing a summer study on composers, artists, or starting a new language?
Areas that your child(ren) struggle in may be best to continue working on in the summer as well. It doesn't have to be intense or take up a lot of time. We like to do some kind of math all summer long, but we do not continue in our math books. Apps on the iPad, computer games, and hands on manipulatives are great ways to work on math concepts as well as real life problem solving like cooking in the kitchen and grocery shopping. Handwriting is another thing we can work on in a matter on minutes everyday using an app on the iPad.
Field trips are fun any time, but summer is a great time to take advantage of them especially if you do not feel like you have time during the year. The same goes with eductaional programs that may be available in your area. Visit a museum or the zoo. Sign up for a camp at at state park. There are so many fun, educational, hands on opportunities available. Just don't choose too many and get burned out!
Children never stop learning! They are like little sponges soaking everything up around them. Whether you choose to school year round, take the whole summer off, or do some summer school, I promise they are still learning most of the time when you are not even looking :)