Summer is almost here and everyone is getting restless. Whether you homeschool all year long or break for the summer, work-from-home moms might find it especially challenging to keep kids busy when it’s time to close up their regular homeschool curriculum. These summer homeschool ideas for working moms focus on independent work to keep your children occupied while you attend to business.
This post is part of my Help for Homeschool Mompreneurs Series of 10 posts full of
valuable resources and tips for working homeschool moms.
Summer Homeschool Ideas for Working Moms
Choosing the best summer homeschool ideas depends on your children’s ages. And it also depends on their ability to work independently.
Some of the ideas included in this list require prep work (or at least research) on your part. Trust me when I say it is worth it to plan ahead for your working homeschool mom schedule. That way, you’ll have at least a few pockets of time during the week to handle work tasks that need your undivided attention.
Aim to keep your kids independently busy for 30-minute blocks. Most of my children could sit for this length of time by about the age of four.
As your children get older, their attention span lengthens. And life gets a bit easier for all of us!
Think back over the school year. What caught your child's interest? Let your child pick a topic and study it using resources they'll enjoy - YouTube, Books, hands-on crafts, etc. For example, my girls love foraging so I created an entire bundle of foraging activities to keep them busy.
Join a Homeschool Co-op
If you live in an area with other homeschoolers, look into joining a homeschool co-op. Some of them run summer activities and your children may get to spend a day outside the home enjoying the company of other homeschoolers.
Online Learning with Outschool
If you haven't yet heard about the online learning platform Outschool (affiliate link), I highly encourage you to check it out. My girls have taken many classes in all sorts of subjects, and especially enjoyed the online book clubs! And by the way, you'll get $20 off your first class using my referral link (many of the classes are in the $9 - 15 range.)
Music in Our Homeschool Arts Membership
My friend Gina Mayo over at Music in Our Homeschool offers some pretty amazing resources for families interested in music and arts. Check out her summer offerings as well as her year-round resources for homeschooling families.
Summer Camp at Home
If going to day camp isn't an option, one of my favorite summer homeschool ideas for working moms is a "camp at home" experience.
A simple google search will turn up tons of themed day-camp ideas such as space camp, shark camp, or homestead in your homeschool camp.
My kids loved it when I announced our weekly summer camp with our letter board. They also took turns choosing summer letter board quotes as part of our summer camp weekly activities!
Run Their Own Business
Summer is a good season for budding entrepreneurs to try running their own businesses. Lemonade stands, dog-walking and lawn work keeps older kids busy while you work and teaches them important entrepreneurial lessons too.
Do your children love to eat? If so, give them summer food projects to work on while you're dealing with your work from home responsibilities.
Young children can use a dull knife to prepare crackers/bread with healthy spreads. They can also wash fruit and vegetables and arrange pretty snack platters.
Older children can sign up for cooking with kids lessons to learn the basics.
Gardening indoors or outdoors is a fantastic way to keep kids busy while parents work. Make a note of the easiest vegetables for kids to grow, grab a few great gardening books and your supplies. Then let them dig and plant to their heart's content.
Think Outside Boxes
This outdoor subscription box service for families is AMAZING. A few years back we received a year's worth of boxes and STILL return to them to work on the activities and use the gear. Learn more about Think Outside Boxes (affiliate code) and use my code THINK10 to save.
Hire Your Child
Another of my favorite summer homeschool ideas for working moms is to hire a child. Your children see you working in your business as part of their regular day. As soon as they're old enough to do simple tasks, show them how. Or write out the process. My children help in a variety of tasks for our businesses, including creating pins, coming up with blog post ideas, writing, tech, etc.
While older kids can try their hand at building with wood, hammer and nails, even young children can get in on the fun. Give them a specific task using blocks, Duplo or Lego. For example, my kids once spent 30 minutes building "walls" of Duplo down in the living room while I was on a Zoom call in my office.
Try a New At-Home Sport
Dancing or yoga indoors, golf or baseball practice in the backyard. Depending on your children's ages and interests, at-home sports help keep them active and could even turn into a full family activity when your work day is done. Older kids might even create workout routines using your home fitness equipment such as hand weights, bands, rowing machines, or Pelatons.
Learn Computer Coding
Okay, I"ll admit, I was skeptical of this one at first. Yet four of our seven children spend time "gaming" with both educational and non-educational games and I've seen their math skills, logic and reasoning skills benefit. If your children love Minecraft or Roblox, for example, look into Outschool classes (see above for link) for classes available for children five and up.
This is an activity so simple even my preschoolers enjoyed it! Which birds live in your neck of the woods? Maybe they're stuck indoors for a rainy day. Or maybe the kids can sit in your backyard for 30 minutes. Give them binoculars, a bird field guide, a sketchbook to draw the bird and they'll give you the time you need to get one critical work task done.
My children generally start keyboarding lessons between the ages of seven and nine, although one of them did plead to begin when he was five.
This is another of my favorite summer homeschool ideas for working moms because it can occupy under 30 minutes of time, and the children learn a very useful skill. (Follow this up with a physical indoor or outdoor activity to use up some energy though.)
You'll find many free keyboarding lessons and games for kids online.
Indoor Scavenger Hunts
If your children can't go outdoors on their own, spend some time finding age-appropriate indoor scavenger hunt printables. Search online for age-specific hunts - (look for image-based hunts for your preschoolers or pre-readers.).
Outdoor Scavenger Hunts
Outdoor scavenger hunts work well for older children who can roam the neighborhood on their own. Or even for children with access to a large backyard. Summer outdoor scavenger hunts come in all sorts of themes -bugs, trees, leaves, shrubs, etc.
Catalog/Textbook Scavenger Hunts
Here's another of my summer homeschool ideas for working moms who need to keep their kids occupied.
One of my girls' favorite scavenger hunts is our seed catalog hunt. They pour over those seed catalogs looking for purple carrots and other new and unusual vegetables and fruit.
Use the same idea to create a textbook or catalog-based scavenger hunt based on your children's favorite subject. Set a timer for 15 or 30 minutes and they're off!
Along the lines of keeping kids busy with exploring their own interests through subject-specific unit studies, give them the opportunity to watch a movie or documentary on a topic they love. Then ask them to review it.
Their movie review could be a written review, or even a video recording.
Before choosing the documentary, give them an outline of what to keep an eye out for and what to consider.
(This works well with short science shows as well - The Magic School Bus and Kratt's Kreatures. My littles would watch one episode, then draw or write about what they learned. This gave me 30 minutes of solid writing time.)
Audiobooks with Hands-On Activities
Do your children love to hear you read to them? If so, consider adding some fun audiobooks to your summer homeschool ideas for working moms toolkit.
We can sign out digital audiobooks from our local library using the Libby app and my smartphone.
The kids listen to the audiobook while keeping their hands busy with their favorite activities such as puzzles, lego kits, and coloring books.
What are your favorite summer activities for homeschoolers? Let me know in the comment below!