Sunday, July 12, 2020

How I'm Homeschooling This Summer For Under 20$

Dear Reader,

Yup, you've read that right - I'm doing homeschooling this summer with my boys (also known as "partial homeschooling" in some circles), and I'm doing it for less than 20$.  Now of course, if I was doing it year round, I might invest in some curriculum books, but thanks to the internet and computers and devices, you really don't have to break the bank to teach your child (and hey, you can do this ecoconsciously, too!).  Read on to see what we are doing this summer (well our goals at least - sometimes we have to be flexible about it haha) and resources I'm using in this budget friendly beginner's guide.
But first, pin this image for future references:
bohemian catholic homeschooling summer school homeschool budget friendly under 20$ how to guide

The very first thing I do is write out a timeline, and some over all goals - usually one "new thing" that I anticipate they'll be diving into fulltime when they go back to school in the fall.  Last summer, we did overviews on clocks, and money.  This isn't so much about "testing" their progress.  This is a time of introductions, and learning, knowing they'll be doing the deep dive in the following months.  Now that my boys will be entering 1st and 2nd grade in the fall, I'm looking ahead to a "big goal" for them.  This summer we will be diving into cursive writing :)

Our general schedule for homeschooling will look like this (read below to see how I'm using Google Slides as my teacher planner - and check in next week to see it more "filled" out with links, resources, etc.)

bohemian catholic google slide calendar overview homeschooling summer school

And here's a bit more detail on what each section means (and cost breakdown):

Morning Checkin - 5 minutes - we go over a laminated sheet for each of them, where they write their name, read the clock, look at the sky outside for weather, and we go over the "big" things we are learning about, and I ask them if they have anything special they'd like to do.  Total cost: 0$ (because we already have the printout laminated from last year)

A workbook page - 10 minutes - I bought two workbooks from the dollar store for their upcoming grade level (so one I can see where they are are education wise, and things they could use help in).  If they do one sheet a day, it'll last us the entire 8 week stretch.  These books are great that they cover multiple subjects on one page.  But I also invested in two workbooks specifically designed for that transition period between grades, at Walmart, for 6.97$ each.  Total cost: 16$

Break - 15 minutes - my oldest has some SPD issues, specially propio reception and I wouldn't be surprised if down the road he might get a diagnosis of ADHD (it runs in the family as well).  Between his needs, and knowing that kids do better academically when their bodies get physical activity (LINK & LINK), I'm putting into two breaks.  Each will be 15 minutes.  They can either have a choice time activity of their choosing or I can lead them in physical activity (like stretches, etc.)  Total cost: 0$

Unit Study - 20 minutes - here comes my favorite part!  I love research, and learning, and being creative and my kids get a kick out of them, too.  I've used them plenty in the past (share a collage), and then we do a page or two a day - we usually do one special subject focus (like science, or a craft project).  But no matter what, each day, they read, write and do math in relation to it.  Sometimes we watch a video, sometimes there's a presentation, or a special book, there's plenty of variety (scroll down to see what we will be learning about this summer).  Total cost: 3$ (in anticipated cost of ink).

Second break - 15 minutes - depending on what they did for their free choice activity, I will likely encourage a sensory focused break/playtime, and often, a hands on craft in relation to the unit study.  Total cost: 0$ (using supplies already in the home)

Religion and Cursive Writing - 15 minutes - One letter a day of cursive writing, and then a Bible verse to discuss as well as Bible storytime, and a printout (they have two weeks of virtual VBS this summer, but outside of that, we will be using the Rock Your Way Homeschool Bible Verse printouts from 1plus1plus1equals1 LINK).  We specifically plan on printing the banners and stringing them in the room.  Total cost: 0$

As you can see we like to keep it under an hour (not including the breaks) of "pure" education time - i.e. focused on sheets, and papers in front of them.  However the above schedule does not include reading times, educational videos/apps, crafts, games, or field trips (I consider all that extra, but not necessarily one on one directed education).
Now that you've seen our schedule, here's the timeline of what we will be learning:
at a glance calendar overview summer school unit study themes theme bohemian catholic homeschool homeschooling

If it does not show up properly, this is is what it says:

Week One - The American Colonies (and Revolution)
Week Two - Nocturnal Animals
Week Three - Ancient Greece
Week Four -
Week Five -
Ancient Egypt
Week Six -
Ocean Animals
Week Seven - Medieval Times
Week Eight - Our Solar System

I'm hoping to write up another post (or probably several) of what we did, and the resources we used each month.  But here's a great start for some general info/worksheets:

+ free homeschool deals [ LINK ]
+ [ LINK ]
+ [ LINK ]
+ khan academy [ LINK ]

(don't forget pinterest - I've found over 80% of my unit study resources by simply typing the theme name with the words "unit study" after it!)

And there you have it!  I'll be sure to come back at the end of the summer and link up the updates to the post here. 

As for how else I'm saving money and being ecoconcious?  On top of using internet sources for myself to read from (versus printouts), and using our local library (ours offers curbside pick up during these trying times), and laminating pages we'll be using frequently (daily checkins and cursive practice) - I made myself a digital teacher planner in Google Slides!  I've never done it before, and yet it's easier than I anticipated.  I can even add in the links I'm using, and make extra slides for daily notes.  I'm looking forward to sharing a bit more about it by the end of August, for those who are thinking of teaching in the Fall :)

I hope that if anything, this post can help alleviate some fears of "where do I even begin?"  (If not, read my previous post about "Homeschooling During a Pandemic").  And remember that homeschooling is hard, even under the best of circumstances (and right now, during a pandemic it's even crazier!), and there is no shame if making your own lesson plans feel overwhelming.  Get the curriculum books, get the tutors, educate your children in a way that works for your entire family!  And swing by in two weeks when I give an update on how July went ;)

Much love

Stock Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska via

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