How to Homeschool in Summer
Top-10 List: Using Unlimited Access Online Classes for Summer Learning
No matter where your children go to school in the fall and spring, summer classes are a great way to help your student be strong in academics and learning. Whether you want your children to get a Catholic perspective on certain subjects, receive remedial help in an area, take an upper-level course not available at a school, or you simply want your student to stay strong and even get ahead – then online courses are a great way to make it happen.
Homeschool Connections offers two types of courses covering a wide span of subjects. Today, let’s talk about the recorded, independent learning courses that you can take at your own pace and on your own schedule.
(And if you prefer live, interactive classes for summer here is your registration page: Homeschool Connections Registration.)
There are many different ways you can use the recorded classes through Unlimited Access to keep learning alive and fun over the summer. Here are ten ideas to get you started …
10. Take school with you.
Your student can take classes from hotel rooms, Grandma’s house, the library, the car on the road, and even the beach (though we don’t recommend taking your laptop anywhere near sand!). All you need for recorded classes is a power source, Internet, and a computer. Ear buds or a headset also give you privacy.
9. Plug the computer into the television.
Using the TV to stream a course is a really fun way to learn together as a family. Pick a subject that everyone is interested in learning, like The Hobbit, World War II, or American Sign Language (there are over 400 courses to choose from!). Make some popcorn and watch together. If you don’t have a “smart TV”, an HDMI cable and a newer TV are the two requirements to make TV viewing together work (and Mac users will need a converter). Recently, my teen added Chromecast to our laptop, and that’s what we use to view the courses on the TV.
8. Pick a time that works best for you.
What’s great about online courses is that they’re available 24/7. You could watch classes first thing in the morning, so the rest of the day can be spent outdoors. If you prefer, watch classes during lunch or just before bed in the evening. Whatever viewing time is most helpful and easiest for your students to keep up with learning throughout the summer, you can make it happen.
7. Audit a course.
Watch a lecture each day and forgo the homework. For example, instead of taking 12 weeks for World History: 12 Inventions that Changed the World, watch the lectures over 12 days. When auditing, pick a subject that’s easy for your student and adds value to the “regular” school year.
6. Buckle down on tough subjects.
Need help with algebra? Struggled with science last year? If so, buckle down and get to work with an online course to make the learning happen. Set aside time each and every day (Sundays off!) and stick to the schedule. Complete all of the homework before moving to the next recorded lecture. And if you want extra help from a professional instructor who can guide and grade your student’s work, then feel free to sign up for the optional grading support (Instructor Access). Because summer can be more relaxed, you might decide it’s worth it to have the one-on-one online teacher be the one help keep your student’s learning strong and on track.
5. Catch up on subjects for September.
Planning on taking Latin II next year but not quite ready? Has an illness or something else kept your student from finishing Latin I this year? Whether you simply need a refresher or want to make up for lost time, there are a number of “boot camps” available in recording (math, Latin, and more), so feel free to check them out and see if they’re a good fit for your teen.
4. Ask your student, “What do you love?”
Does your student get geeked about books? If so, then choose a literature course on a book they love. Reread Romeo and Juliet as you watch Professor Pearce’s lectures over a couple of weeks. Or check out The Scarlet Letter, or Jane Eyre, or Dracula. You can choose from over 50 literature courses. Does your student love science? Fiction writing? Drama? All these courses and more are a great way to keep learning fresh this summer.
3. Summer is a great time to hone your writing skills.
Writing is a key skill for success in all other school subjects. Focusing on writing skills over the summer helps your student in upcoming courses in history, literature, and more. The writing courses in the Aquinas Writing Advantage program here range from basic, foundational courses up to advanced, college-preparatory courses. A complete array of fiction writing courses like Plot and Structure, Description and Setting, and The Hero’s Journey not only help your student in literature and literary analysis, but they also help your student’s critical thinking and love of writing. When fall arrives, learning in writing courses adds strength to all of your student’s work.
And two more courses that help your teen succeed in core subjects are How to Be an Excellent Student and How to Use Microsoft Word.
2. Keep a schedule and keep it simple.
How many times have we all laid out grand plans – only to forget about the plans as time rolls by and the excitement wears off? To keep on track, write out a reasonable schedule on a whiteboard for all to see, or print it and post it on the fridge or on the wall in high-traffic areas. Program your computer or phone to remind you each day. Doing something tangible to keep you on schedule is a great way to relax and let the learning happen on time.
And remember: Scheduled learning doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. Pick just one or two subjects. For example, maybe you weren’t able to make time for philosophy in the fall and spring, but you know it would help your teen (and it sounds interesting). Focus just on philosophy courses this summer. Find your teen’s highest need or desire, and stay focused on that learning track.
1. Take courses that raise your heart to God.
All of our courses are taught through the lens of faith and the Catholic Church. If you’d like to get the Catholic perspective in history or literature, this is the place. We also offer a wide range of theology and philosophy courses that help students experience God’s teaching. Whether it’s a part of your family’s regular daily devotion time or it’s part of a new weekly focus time to refresh your hearts together, the online courses that raise your heart can positively impact you and your teen for many years to come.
Bonus: Unlimited Access means just that!
When you do sign up, you get Unlimited Access to over 400 courses – and it’s only $30 for everything, for the entire family. It’s true! You can’t beat the price ($30 per month!!!) and you can’t beat the convenience (anytime, anywhere, all 400+ courses). Middle school, high school, and adult students can easily learn year round with this independent learning program. It can be as easy or as full as you want to make it… and it’s simple and affordable. Best of all, it’s YOUR program – to make and use as you want it.