Year Round Homeschooling or various forms of homeschooling throughout the calendar year are gaining traction and becoming increasingly mainstream homeschooling. Yet, still there are some that have concerns about homeschooling year round.
What is homeschooling year round?
Simply put, homeschooling year round is when homeschoolers decide not to take an extended summer break, but smaller breaks throughout the school year. Homeschooling year round looks different for every homeschool family, but it consistently eliminates the long summer break.
Why Homeschool Year Round?
This is an easy answer. There is just more. More time to accomplish those things that you feel will better enrich your children, more learning, more consistent achievement since there are no extended breaks, more opportunities, and hopefully less stress!
Is Homeschooling Year Round Stressful?
Some are cautious about joining year round homeschoolers because they feel they won’t have enough vacation days to keep their sanity. This is definitely not true. With year round homeschooling you can schedule your “breaks” at any time, there is just not an extended 3 month summer break. So, have we caught your interest? Let’s look at the nitty gritty of how homeschooling year round can transform a homeschool.
Set your schedule. Most year round homeschoolers will take the calendar and begin by marking off all holidays/vacation days that are important to their family. Once you’ve determined all the vacation days that you’d like to schedule that leaves you with your school days. As long as there are at least 180 (most states require this number) you’re good to go.
Avoid the fall review. Now that you have a year round schedule in place you no longer need a few weeks at the beginning of each school term to catch up and review. Avoid the “brain drain” because your students just keep on rising!
Strengths learning. This is another benefit of year round homeschooling. Since you conceivably have a bit more time to address non-traditional areas of learning that your children may be interested in, you can encourage them to pursue their passions/interests more fully.
Try block scheduling. This goes hand in hand with strengths learning. Block scheduling allows you to “study out” topics and subjects that your students are more interested in. If they love science you could block schedule science and work through it all everyday until you’ve exhausted your topic. It can be a lot of fun to totally immerse yourself in a study!
Flexibility. With year round homeschooling the schedule opens up and instead of a 5 day week, you can drop down to a 4 day work week. You can also take more frequent breaks and days as you need them without worry that you’ll get behind.
Explore the extra curricular. With a more spread out schedule you’ll feel less stress to get it all done in 36 weeks. Take a day to get involved with co-op or join a homeschool basketball team. Enjoy your time!
Concentrate on weak areas as they arise. You can set aside a period of time to focus on the areas that are difficult without worrying that your student will get behind. No stress.
Relax. You’ve got a full year to accomplish your goals. Most importantly enjoy the moments that you have with your students. It’s high school and those days will be over before you know it!
The benefits of encouraging learning throughout the year are numerous. In fact, we love this informative infographic that SecularHomeschool.com created. It really spells it out!
I’m in! How do I Get Started?
Getting started begins with mapping out your yearly schedule. As we mentioned above, determine what “off” days you’d like to include and just cross them off the calendar. Don’t worry – if you’ve forgotten some it won’t be a big deal to add them later.
Set your goals. Determine what you and your high schooler are aiming for this year. Then schedule those achievement goals over the calendar days you have alotted for schooling.
Stay flexible. This type of scheduling really opens things up for less stress and more learning! Here’s a great article on Year Round Homeschool Schedules that gives great ideas on the different ways to go about setting up your year round schedule.
Our Year Round Example
We homeschool 4 days a week.
Each day we hit the core subjects – math, language, spelling, science (these will differ with each family)
2 or 3 days a week we explore history, art, literature, foreign language, geography
You don’t have to do everything every day. Rotate your schedule or block schedule by doing a math intensive one week and then a science intensive the next week.
In the summer we scale back to a grammar workbook, using SpellingCity.com, and taking part in summer reading challenges! However, this is once we’ve finished up our regular yearly goals, and after we’ve addressed any gaps or weak areas in our achievement throughout the year.
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]