Veteran homeschoolers around the world share a well-kept secret that I’m going to let you in on—year-round homeschooling. I know this might sound challenging, but it can actually revitalize your homeschool.
First, let’s define year-round homeschooling. Basically, you do school from January through December, but instead of taking off during the summer months, you take regular, shorter breaks all throughout your school year. That’s where homeschooling and lifestyle blend together seamlessly for academic success.
Families choose to homeschool year-round for a variety of reasons, but here are some of the more common reasons and the ones that inspired me to give it a try. It just might be the blessing you’re seeking in your homeschool.
One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling year-round is the flexibility it gives you. Life happens. So, when you’re hit by emergencies or illnesses, the last thing you need to worry about is missing school days. You have ample time to make them up.
You also have the freedom to create a family-friendly schedule that best matches your lifestyle. Some homeschoolers do a four-day week and then have field-trip Fridays or opt for a long weekend instead. You can also take one week off every six weeks and take a longer three-week break for the holidays. It’s always reassuring to know there’s a break coming up soon, which helps lessen any frustrations or weariness that you and your children might be feeling. Or try mixing and matching your weeks on and off.
Another great perk is the ability to take vacations during the off-season. We always went to the beach for a week in late September, where we enjoyed the luxuries of no crowds, lower prices, and cooler temperatures.
The Benefits of Routine
Kids thrive on routine. Year-round homeschooling allows your family to follow the same routine all year long. When kids know what is expected of them, they’re more likely to have a positive, can-do attitude. They’re able to focus better on the task at hand whether that be schoolwork, completing a chore, or practicing a sport or musical instrument. They tend to manage their time much better.
With year-round homeschooling, there is no sleep-wake cycle transition period between the beginning of summer vacation and the first day of school, and then again between the last day of summer and back-to-school mode. Kids simply move easily from school day to school day no matter the season.
A regular routine is especially comforting for kids with special needs. And, if your kids were in a traditional school before and are now homeschoolers due to the upheaval of the pandemic, this is particularly helpful and stress-relieving.
By Karen Doll