When we began homeschooling 6 years ago, schooling year-round wasn’t even on my radar. I planned on schooling right along with the public school calendar. I hadn’t even heard of schooling year round; and if I had, I’m sure my thoughts would have been something like, ‘Some homeschoolers really do that?’
It’s so true that when you are a homeschooler, homeschooling becomes a lifestyle. After a few years of homeschooling, I realized that schooling by the public school calendar just wasn’t working for us. With ‘real’ life happening all around us – things like moving, babies being born, job changes, sicknesses, vacations, and holidays – it was time to make a change. I needed more time to get our schooling done for the year. And so we decided to start schooling year-round.
Here are some of the benefits I have discovered from year-round homeschooling over the past couple of years:
1. We have more time to get our schooling in. Instead of the traditional 36-week school year, we now have 52 weeks (don’t worry, we do take breaks; I’m not crazy)!
2. I don’t have the stress of trying to cram in everything we want to do each year.
3. We are able to take our time and immerse ourselves in the subjects and topics that we would like to explore further.
4. We can take a day off here and there (due to sickness, a field trip, an impromptu play date, or just because we feel like it) without feeling like we are going to get behind.
5. We can join a co-op and not feel like it’s taking up some of our learning time at home. In the past, when we were following a 36-week schedule, it was hard for us to be a part of our church’s co-op and get all of our other schooling done at home too.
6. We take more time off for Christmas! Before schooling year-round, I didn’t feel like we had the time to really enjoy the Christmas season or to fully focus on the real reason we celebrate it – our Lord Jesus Christ.
7. We are able to school using a block/modular approach. When we study things like science, history, art, or literature, I like to be able to fully study them and not just visit the subject 1, 2, or 3 times a week. We like to focus on one main subject and do that subject everyday. We may finish our science curriculum in 3 months and then do an art project for a week, then a literature study for a couple weeks, then do a few months of history, then another art project. Math and language arts are done everyday, all year.
8. Schooling year-round allows for more time to be spent with a struggling learner. If one of the kids is having difficulty with a certain math concept or is struggling with reading, we can take the extra time to master the skill and not feel hurried.
9. We can vacation in the off-season, making vacations cheaper and less crowded.
10. You don’t experience any summer learning loss (ideally), which means less time needed to review concepts when school starts, which means more time for other things.
Here is how I make our schedule for the year (as far as what days we will do school):
1. I start with a school calendar from Calendar Labs. I choose one that has all 12 months on one page.
To read about other homeschoolers that school year-round, check out these links:
Why We’re Switching to a Flexible Year-Around Homeschool Schedule from Domestic Serenity
A Year-Round Homeschool Schedule from Simply Convivial
10 Questions About Year-Round Homeschooling from Educating Laytons
Year-Round Homeschooling from So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler
Homeschooling Year-Round from Homeschool Share
Why Our Family Has Chosen to School Year Round from The Homeschool Classroom