Many years ago I read ‘advice’ (and I use that term loosely) about how to homeschool written by a well known organization guru. This person had never homeschooled or even worked with homeschoolers. Her only reference point seemed to be the public school system, which was reflected in her rigid plans about the ‘best’ way to homeschool. Oh boy did I roll my eyes. She missed a huge purpose behind homeschooling- flexibility! We get to make our schedules work best for our families regardless of what others do. That’s why so many families choose year-round homeschooling.
Why Year-Round Homeschooling Is Great
Each family chooses their homeschool schedule based on their unique needs. Year-round homeschooling could offer your family a few fantastic benefits to improve your lives.
Last year we ended up with a week where we had appointments scheduled for 4 out of 5 days. I decided that it would be much better to take our break that week instead of two weeks later when it was scheduled. It lead to a whole lot less stress for us. When you homeschool year round you have short, frequent breaks scheduled throughout the year. You can easily shift those breaks around to take time off as you. need to.
Before I was a homeschooler I was a classroom teacher. We spent the first few weeks of each year establishing routines, setting boundaries, and reviewing information from the previous year. Every. Single. Year. Why? Kids got out of the ‘school habits’ they had developed and forgot a chunk of what they had learned over those long summer breaks. Homeschooling requires routines and habits, too. When you homeschool on a year-round schedule you don’t have huge breaks to lose those routines and habits.
Have you ever felt like your calendar was controlling you? Or like if you don’t take a break NOW you’re going to be featured on that show Snapped or register your kids for the closest public school? We’ve all been there before. The beauty of year-round homeschooling is you get to take frequent breaks. Life is a lot more relaxed and peaceful when you know your next break is always just around the corner!
How to Homeschool Year-Round
There are as many ways to homeschool as there are families who homeschool! Even within year-round homeschooling there are many ways for you to do it so that it works well for your family.
Pick a Calendar
You have many choices when it comes to year-round homeschooling. Some families choose a more ‘continuous’ model. Continuous would be where there is no ‘first’ or ‘last’ day of the year, no larger breaks during the year, etc. Families just continue to do their thing every school day, taking days or weeks off here and there. There are also ‘modified’ year-round schedules. This is what we do as a family. We have regularly schedule shorter breaks of 1-2 weeks. We take those about every 6 weeks. Then twice a year (over Christmas and summer) we take a more extended break of several weeks.
The beauty of homeschooling is that we can be flexible. We aren’t beholden to some state or district educational calendar. You get to adjust on the fly and make your schedule work for you. Did you have a family emergency? Switch to a break and adjust your calendar to match. If your kids are in a groove and you really don’t want to stop for a break, just keep on trucking along and move your break back a bit. Just stay flexible so you can do what you need rather than doing things just because the calendar says so.
Make it Special
Find a way to commemorate growth or the changing seasons in your child’s life. Even if you don’t have a ‘first’ or ‘last’ day of school, you can still do this. Have a party when your child finishes the work for a course or completes a workbook. Go out to do something special after reaching a goal you’ve set. Choose a way to celebrate in a way that works for your family.
Give Year-Round Homeschooling A Try
Homeschooling means flexibility. It means you have the choice to do what works best for you. If a traditional schedule is what works best for your family, that’s great! If you’re looking for something a little different, give year-round homeschooling a try!