5 Reasons to Homeschool Year-Round.

5 Reasons to homeschool year-round

This year we are finding our freedom as a homeschooling family and taking our conventional school schedule out of the box.  Last year we started out on a typical school schedule, mostly because it’s the only thing I’ve ever known: 9am to 3pm, holiday breaks, and summers off.  But, by the end of the year we adapted our schedule to an 8 weeks on, 1 week off format, and I’m so glad we did.  The truth is that school can look like whatever you want it to look like when you teach at home.  There are a lot of good reasons to hand craft your own school schedule but, for me, these are just a few of the factors that motivated me to opt for schooling year-round.

1)  It keeps me from burning out.  This year we will be doing a 6 weeks on, one week off rotation.  I noticed that somewhere around week 8, I begin to feel the tinges of burnout and end up in a vegetative state for 48 hours or so.  Come to find out, I function better with frequent short breaks.  It’s better for my mental health and well-being and keeps me fresh for the long haul. No matter when we begin, there is always a break in sight.  Doing school in shorter bursts is also great for the kids especially when it comes to tackling new content and challenging subjects.  They can take a break and come back to it with renewed energy to give it another go.   I found out this year that kids can burn out too, and sometimes they need a break just as bad as Mommy does.

2)  Flexibility.  I don’t have to worry about fitting in the minimum requirement of school days because with schooling year-round we have well surpassed the 180 days that most states require. In fact I am able to fit in almost 5 additional weeks to the traditional school-year calendar. That’s 41 weeks of learning.  It gives us plenty of time for tangents, trips, and an adapted pace for trouble areas if needed.  There is plenty of wiggle space for whatever “else” I need to work around or fit in.

3) It works well around holidays.  With all that extra school time we can take longer holiday breaks for Christmas and Easter without feeling guilty.  I love that we can forego a typical school schedule at Christmas time and spend our days with family, go to parties with friends, decorate trees, bake cookies, make hand-made presents, and allow time for travel.  Taking time off from the academics allows us to slow down and savor the joy of the season.  No mom should have to do it all at holiday time.  Schooling year-round allows me to flex one area of our lives to make space for another. Ebb and flow are actually healthy rhythms to create in a family and schooling year-round allows us to do that.

4)  Summer breaks are shorter so the kids don’t lose everything they just learned.  In most curriculum, especially in math, the first chapters are simply review of last year’s stuff.  With a shorter summer break,  I can just pick up right where we left off without time wasting review.  This year we will begin the second week of August and end in June.  We’ll have an extended summer break in July-August that is 6 weeks long.  Just long enough to feel like vacation and not long enough to feel like chaos without end.

5) Continuity.  Summer break without end can lean toward chaos very quickly.  If not chaos then, unending hours of video games and netflix are the only thing that seem to plug the hole.  With 6 weeks off in the summer we all get a much needed break from routine without losing it entirely for 3 months of our lives. I have found that my kids thrive on routine.  And though we may not include a full array of subjects in the summer months, an abbreviated version works well to keep everyone busy and the screen time in check.

This is what works for us, and for every family it’s different.  Which brings me to the question of the day, “What does your homeschool schedule look like?”  Do you homeschool year-round?  What works for you?  Feel free to chime in.

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Comments

  1. R Goff says

    We, too, homeschool year round. The difference is, we school 3-4 days a week, instead of 5. That gives me one day to catch up on housework, and a day for field trips, unexpected things, and life, if necessary. The frequent breaks help our littles “get their energy out” and they stay focused on schoolwork better knowing that they will have their time soon enough.

  2. says

    This will be our first year homeschooling and we chose to do a year round schedule as well. We are doing six weeks on, two weeks off with less time off for Christmas and Summer. I like the idea of year round for all of the reasons you listed, especially reasons four and five. I very much prefer the idea of learning being an all the time process instead of something that happens only between August and May. I’m not sure if two week breaks will be too long but we are open to change if that turns out to be the case.

  3. Still Growing says

    This year we are “accidentally” homeschooling year round. This is our third try/year homeschooling. The first looked just like public school… well except I was actually trying to fit all the required classes into one day. Needless to say, but I will anyway; we started school about 7-8 am and didn’t get finished until around 5-9 pm. Once we didn’t finish until after midnight. WE hated school! I got burnt out about midway through the year and wanted to send my five kids to the bus stop the next day. The kids were tired of me and I was tired of them. Therefore, last year we tried the UNSCHOOLING approach. lol It was beautiful at first. My kids were learning and the house was peaceful. Again about halfway through the year the kids kinda wanted to learn more about “video game testing” and less about history and such. The “lazy bug” had moved into our home and it was not a pretty thing to see. So this year I decided I was going to be “in-charge” of their learning instead of them. lol So I sat down one day and spent all night figuring out our school schedule. It was hard! lol I was trying to fit school around annual holiday trips we take out of state and also make it so they fall between the scholarship reports. (required in my state) I also knew we couldn’t have school on Fridays because my husband is home. He is a HUGE distraction to us. lol So I wound up with a four day week that starts on August 5th and ends halfway through July. One of the trips we take is the last week of June through the first week of July, so I had to make the last eight weeks of school a five day week. Now our school will end on June 27th. That gives us about 3 or 4 weeks to unwind and for me to prepare for the following school year. We’ll see how this year goes and more than likely it will be tweaked some more. But that is why I love homeschooling, if it doesn’t work we can change it. Not an easy thing to try to do with public schools. lol Anyway, I hope my crazy life has helped. Always remember, no matter what, there isn’t any perfect way to school. Just like in families, no one is perfect, but everyone must work together to find their place. Homeschooling is just another member of the family trying to find it’s place in your home. You wouldn’t revolve your family and home around only one of your children so you shouldn’t revolve them around homeschooling either. And just as each member grows and changes, so will homeschooling. Not perfect but perfect for your family. :)

  4. Tiffany says

    I love this idea! Last year was my first year homeschooling and I definitely felt some burn out in April/May! This summer has been mad/crazy because we are so off schedule! I have been craving the routine of homeschool since the end of June :) We are taking a little vacation and plan to start when we return in August – your idea of 6 weeks on, 1 week off sounds like a great plan. I think I may try it :)

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