Benefits of Homeschooling Year-Round
What homeschool mom doesn’t need less stress? I don’t have to worry about cramming all of our learning into a 36-week schedule when homeschooling year round. Instead, you can have 52 weeks to work with. Then you don’t have to worry about falling behind if you take a few days (or even a week) off. It feels good to be able to take a day off from time to time, whether it’s because you’re sick, going on a field trip, arranging a play date, or just because you feel like it, without feeling guilty about it.
You can explore interesting topics more thoroughly when you have more time. If you find a topic you’re passionate about, you can explore it more deeply and take the time to really understand it. The advantage of being able to choose our curriculum is that you and your children can enjoy homeschooling.
Homeschooling all year round lets you spend more time with a learner who is having difficulty. If a child is struggling with a concept or skill, you can take the extra time to help them master it, without feeling rushed. This is another huge advantage!
Homeschooling year round offers so much flexibility. You could easily have a 4-day school week instead of a 5-day one, without having to make those days excessively long.
You can also choose to have more frequent, shorter breaks instead of one or two longer breaks. You may find that your children prefer shorter breaks more often than a longer break over the summer. Students remember more of what they have learned when there is a break, so less review time is needed.
Homeschooling year round also provides you with the opportunity to enroll your children in extracurricular activities, such as sports and music lessons, without taking away from their time for schoolwork.
A lot of kids have trouble readjusting to having a lengthy vacation and not being on a set schedule. You follow a more consistent schedule when you homeschool all year round. This makes it possible for you to have a good break and get back into your school routine quickly.
Year-round homeschoolers are able to school using a block/modular approach. You may prefer to have more in-depth classes when studying topics like science, history, art, or literature, rather than just having a few class periods each week. If you prefer to focus on one central topic and repeat that same topic every day this schedule works well. The science curriculum may be completed in as little as three months, after which you could dedicate a week to an art project, followed by a couple weeks of literature study; thereafter, devote a few months to history before undertaking another art project. Each day, math and language arts are completed during the year.
If you want to homeschool using a block schedule, year-round homeschooling is a good option.
Off schedule holidays can allow you to vacation as a family during the offseason to get cheaper rates and avoid crowds. And you can take more time off for Christmas vacation. This gives your family enough time to enjoy the Christmas season, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not just a school. Homeschoolers learn and grow all year, not just for 180 days or 8-10 months out of the year. We never stop learning, investigating, and trying new things.
You may think kids should take such long vacations from school because they won’t be able to do so when they have jobs.
Real life is happening all around us all the time, and homeschooling year-round means that you can enjoy it and learn from it as it happens.
How many weeks do you homeschool?
One of the first questions people ask when they start homeschooling is how long the homeschooling year is. Conventional schools vary, but are typically 36 planned weeks. Some states regulate how often homeschoolers must take attendance, and that number is usually 180, which would equal 36 weeks.
The average curriculum for all subjects and methods contain 30-36 weekly lessons per year.
One way to homeschool “year round” is to track the days you log lessons and count it as a school year when you reach 180 days.
That’s not the way you school year round, however, for two reasons:
- Try to use real, whole books for our curriculum as much as possible, and those are not broken down into weekly units. So, you have to do the scheduling and planning.
- You can take days off according to how you felt and not be left scrambling in the summer to make up days lost due to self-indulgence.
If plan your homeschool schedule in a way that we always have a break from school coming up soon, you can buckle down and focus, get your work done in the time allotted, and not feel like school is unending drudgery.
If you have a 36-week school year, then you have a lot of flexibility.
- 52 weeks in a year, minus 36 school weeks, leaves 16 vacation weeks to plan.
- 36 divides into 6, 6-week terms neatly, which also allows you to hit the halfway point at the end of the year if you have 3 terms before and after Christmas break.
- 6 weeks for summer vacation is still plenty to have a real rest, and leaves you with 10 weeks of break.
- 5 weeks off for Christmas is generous and allows you to celebrate and enjoy the season and do other things halfway through the year. You still have 5 weeks of vacation left.
- With 5 weeks of vacation left, You have enough to have 1 between the remaining 6-week terms that don’t already have a summer or Christmas break.
A year-round homeschool schedule means that you do not follow the traditional school calendar and instead take shorter breaks throughout the year. You may still take an extended break, but it will be shorter than the summer break. This vacation time schedule makes more sense for a family that wants to have a full and well-rounded life.
The Benefits of Schooling Year-Round
- Common problems like February burnout happen less often and less intensely, because you get regular breaks and don’t stretch your endurance to the breaking point. There is always the light of a break week shining near at hand.
- Moreover, your breaks don’t stretch on and on in one big summer-long mess of chaos and lack of routine. You don’t have to spend a bunch of time reviewing to catch up at the beginning of the year, because the information and skills stay fresh and in use.
- With breaks regularly scheduled throughout the year, you can take advantage of off-season vacations and empty parks.
- You can concentrate your breaks around when the weather is good, rather than having a summer break where everyone is inside most of the afternoon hanging over the air conditioning.
A year-round homeschool schedule lets you take your time and enjoy life more throughout the year.
How to Make a Year-Round Homeschool Schedule
Many people’s year-round schedule begins in January, so Christmas break is the end of the year break for them. This makes sense for many families because there are extended breaks at Christmas and in the summer.
This is why it’s great to get it all done before the kids break for summer. You can do all your school planning and buying done before the kids break for summer so you don’t have to do it during Christmas.
School Terms for Year-Round Homeschooling
One homeschool mom like to name her terms.
- Summer Term
- Late Summer Term
- Autumn Term
- Winter Term
- Early Spring Term
- Late Spring Term
This leaves you with 36 weeks of school and 16 weeks for breaks. Maybe schedule one-week breaks between each term to preserve your sanity, and always try to ensure that terms end during the longer breaks like Christmas and Easter. Take a break from Thanksgiving to New Year, and another break in the summer from mid-May to June. The break between terms can sometimes land on Easter, other times it is arranged to match the school district’s spring break, and other times there is no holiday break but you can wing it.
This system makes it easier to keep up with things around the house and gives you time run errands, plan field trips, doctors’ visits, etc.
Mapping Out the Year
You can start your school year whenever you want! Some year-round homeschoolers like to start the new school year in January, and continue schooling through November or December. Some people choose to have a month off in December, which means their school year would finish at the end of November or beginning of December. Alternatively, you could start your school year in July and end it in June. This is a less traditional schedule even though it still includes schooling year round. Some families like to start the year in September when public and private schools start and end the year in August.
It makes sense to start by looking at the days you can potentially take off from schooling when planning your school year. This plan is meant to be flexible, so if you need to take a day or week off, you can just add it in later in the year.