Year round homeschool. Is it right for you?

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What is year round homeschooling? 

 

Year Round Homeschooling

There has been a debate in the public school district (at least in my state) that has now gone on for years about whether or not they should implement schooling year round.  This question sure stirs up some controversy among public school parents. The funny things is that homeschoolers have been ahead of the times on this and have been schooling their children year round for years.

I’m not here to convince you that this school schedule is the only way or that it will even work for you. Schooling all year does not work for some. I just want to inform you of what year round homeschooling can be.

I repeat this often on my blog and all for good reason. I feel quite strongly about it. What I am referring to is Embracing Your Own Uniqueness in your homeschool journey. Finding what works for you and not comparing your homeschool to any one else. Just merely take ideas from others and mold them to fit your families needs. Please promise me you will do this. If you compare or try to make someone else’s style work for you when it’s not a good fit for you or your family, you are destine to fail. Failure is not an option here!

 

I want to start off by adding in a few questions (or statements) that I have been asked in the past when I have revealed that we homeschool year round.

  1. Don’t you think that’s too much school?
  2. It’s not good to school non-stop with no breaks.
  3. Wow, when do you let them be kids?
  4. How do you know when one school year ends and the next begins?
    {I’ll answer these questions at the end of the post}

Year Round Homeschooling

What year round homeschool looks like:

A Flexible Schedule

You have the liberty to be flexible in your schedule. Where we live the law states we are required to log 180 days for school. You have 365 days to fit in 180 days. Are you doing the math? That’s 185 days left. This is totally doable. This isn’t to say that you have to stop homeschooling or stop counting your days at 180 school days. We often go over and those days are counted. The 180 days recorded are the minimum we have to log.  This affords you the flexibility to embrace life’s moments when they happen and not fear you won’t be able to get school in.

Plan for the Unexpected

This sort of falls into the above Flexible Schedule. If you need to suddenly pause your homeschool because of unexpected “life happenings” you are able to do so. Maybe you have that dreaded sick bug go through your house. With a flexible schedule you can simply pick up where you left off and without the stress of worrying when you are going to make up the days missed.

{*side note: this flexible schedule also allows for the unexpected out of town visits from family and friends. if this happens to you, then you will love the flexibility you’ll have. **unless we are the only ones that find out we have family coming at the last minute.}

Vacations

Oooh’, this is a fun one! You are at the liberty to take a vacation when places aren’t so crowded because most everyone else is still in school. Too, you can enjoy outings when the weather is nicer and enjoy off peak prices.

*Where we live it’s considered a vacation destination state. Places get too crowded to enjoy in the summer months. Not too mention the weather outside is a scorcher. Too hot to do much outside that doesn’t include water. I’m not trying to sound like Negative Nellie here, just stating the facts!

Chunk Planning

Some homeschoolers plan their entire school year out—to the day. This can be a bit dangerous unless you are the most disciplined family on the planet. Yes, it does work for some but I would bet that if you poled homeschoolers, most of them would tell you they don’t get everything done everyday and they don’t get every lesson planned done by the end of the year. This is just true, hard core life as a homeschooler. We try but it just doesn’t happen. The best part about this is that it’s ok.

*I plan in chunks. Meaning that I try to only plan a few weeks at a time. I usually know what I want to accomplish by the end of the year. (through a Scope & Sequence) However, I don’t fill it all in for the entire year. Inevitably LIFE HAPPENS! We have been homeschooling for about 7 years now, and I have NEVER finished everything I set out to do for the year.
**Allow me to take a minute and share with you an example of getting off course academically. Check out How Tiny Amphibians Changed Our Academic Course post. Now, this was not one of those “emergency life happens” times but a change nonetheless.
You must be somewhat flexible for when the unexpected happens. Emergency Life Happens or Just General Life Happens.

embraceuniqueness

Time for Music and Art

There is always so much discussion and worry amongst homeschoolers about not having the time during the normal homeschool day to add in subjects such as Art and Music. The summer months are a perfect time for this. You can cut down on some of your more tradition homeschool activities or even all of them and study Art and Music for a few months.

Less of a Chance For Squishy Brain

When you only take short breaks off, you and your children are less likely to get what I call Squishy Brain. This is when you take long breaks from homeschool (enter…summer break) and your kids forget half of what they learned over the last homeschool year. This is when no one, and I mean No One, including you Mom, can seem to get back into the daily grind of homeschooling in a timely fashion.

By taking a week or so off more often everyone is much less likely to acquire that Squishy Brain I refer to. The wonderful thing about you being the planner of your year, you can figure out when and how often to take breaks.

Breaks, Often

Homeschooling is tough! It’s hard work and not always Rainbows & Sunshine. When you are considering your homeschool journey or even just starting off you might envision blissful days of learning and teaching. I mean really, how awesome is it to get to stay home with your children all day and capture every milestone?  Well, along with those blissful milestones come the tantrums (I’m not talking about the kids here Mom!) because nothing is going right. You feel as if you can’t possibly teach that same lesson for the 5th straight day because little Susie just doesn’t “get it!”
This is when you might need to just take a break. For everyone’s sake. You will generally plan out your breaks but sometimes you may need to improvise. You simply swap your week(s) already planned for the unexpected week(s).

Let’s not forget that sometimes these breaks can still be counted as school days. For instance, you can choose to take a week and go on a few field trips instead of your traditional homeschool schedule. This is still counted as school days and should most definitely be counted. Even if they occur on the weekends.

{*My house stays more organized (huh?) when I’m able to stay on top of things. If there are home improvements to be done, we can do them throughout the year instead of in the summer heat.}

These are just some of the benefits to schooling year round. I’m sure there are other reasons out there that fit other families needs. This is the joy and freedom we have in homeschooling.

I want to answer the questions I mentioned at the top of this post.

  1. Don’t you think that’s too much school?
    (a) No. We don’t do anymore school than the next homeschool family. It’s just a bit more spread out.
  2. It’s not good to school non-stop with no breaks.
    (a) We take plenty of breaks. The misconception is that we have our heads crammed in books constantly and that truthfully isn’t the reality at all. We break up our school year in chunks and take breaks when needed. Taking full advantage of our homeschool freedom.
  3. Wow, when do you let them be kids?
    (a) Our kids actually have more freedom than one could imagine. They are free to move about this world, taking advantage of life when it happens. Not waiting or planning for it to happen. See A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler for a perfect example. We grabbed ahold of that moment and never looked back!
  4. How do you know when one school year ends and the next begins?
    (a) We have a start and stop date just as anyone else would have. Our end of the year date is usually sometime in June and we resume either towards the end of June or in July. It’s really not complicated.

Do you think that year round homeschool would work for you?

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Happy Homeschooling!

Blessings,
Brandy

 

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7 Comments


  1. We do year round homeschooling too and love it! All of our vacations (that are spread through the year) are educational focused. This past year we went to the mountains and learned about them, then later we took a week long road trip across our state. The kids learned about camping, rock formations, historical monuments, and more just from stopping to check things out, talk to the locals, oh and how about becoming a Jr. Paleontologist at the Mammoth Site! They even got to interview real paleontologists (and surprised them with their current knowledge on the topic since my oldest wants to be one and has been studying the topic on her own for the past 2 years). Great post, but you’re right, it’s not for everyone, and takes the right approach.
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  2. Sometimes I wish I had homeschooled my sons. Especially when they were in middle school. It sounds like a lot of work but the way you lay it out tells me that it could be very rewarding. Not just for the student but also for the parent/teacher.

    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Wow! Your vacations sound like a blast. Sounds like there is loads of fun and learning going on. I love that your daughter was able to fuel her interest. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. Come back anytime!

    Blessings,
    Brandy


  4. Hi there, JRosemarie!
    You are exactly right. Homeschooling does take a bit of work and sacrifice but the rewards are many. I’m sure your children got a fine education regardless. You are sweet to say those kind words. Thank you!
    Blessings,
    Brandy


  5. Amy, the flexibility is amazing. We love it. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask me. I will do my best to answer them. I still have “squishy brain” but it’s not for that reason. HaHaHa!

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