Three Summer Survival Tips From a Homeschool Mom

2. Keep your lips zipped! 

No doubt you have grand plans for summertime. Well, keep it to yourself! You know what will ruin the harmony of a lovely day? Your children asking for the umpteenth time, “when are we going ________?!” If being home with my girls year round has taught me anything it’s that it’s best to spring stuff last minute, otherwise I never hear the end of it. I feel sorry for public school teachers having to send home permission slips in advance! When we do a field trip or fun day out I learned I can’t even tell them about it the day before. And Heaven help you if you have to cancel. There’s no way out if you’re just not feeling the fun park on a Friday. Nope, you’ve sealed the deal in blood by giving advance notice. So just don’t. Trust me. Keep it a surprise as long as you can for sanity sake. Or you can tell them about the Disney trip now and hear every day until July, “but Mom, that’s gonna take forever!”

3. Don’t pull out the big guns all at once! 

I get it. You’re excited for time off with the kiddos. Waterpark, picnic, pool, and the beach! Then what? You would be surprised how quickly children can tire of the everyday mundane. While parents love nothing more than a day doing nothing, kids, not so much. You’ll be tempted to have all your fun activities right away, but if you don’t want to be breaking up fights every five minutes the last two weeks of July then you might want to space out the fun.

And then there’s this little tidbit. You may feel like it’s your job to come up with stuff to entertain them and places to go. You’re not! You’re not an activity director; you’re the parent. [Your] job is to lead, guide, and love, but not be their imagination. That’s totally up to them. Give them the freedom to do so. If you’re always creating things for them to do then they won’t be able to self-entertain. When I was a little kid I was an only child, and I didn’t ever stay in a neighborhood long enough to make friends. I didn’t even have any toys at one point in my childhood, around age five. I had a tape recorder, but no bedroom of my own. So I’d lock myself into the bathroom and record made-up songs. While I don’t expect my girls to live in a motel without their dolls like I did, I do expect them to use their imagination and have fun without a full agenda of activities that cost us money. If you can teach your children to have fun without constantly going and doing then you’ll all have a great Summer break. A real break.

I hope that everyone can enjoy their children being home this Summer, that you won’t be ready to pull your hair out before it’s over, and that you can cherish the time with your kids. While homeschooling is challenging and having my children around all the time is tiring, I also can’t imagine any other way. They’re only in my home and care for so long, and my goal is to savor and enjoy it as much as possible. I pray the same for you. Best wishes!


This article originally appeared at, published with permission.

Brie Gowen
Brie is a thirty-something (sliding ever closer to forty-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler, or playing princess with her four year old she enjoys cooking, reading, and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She'd love for you to check out her blog at

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