We started our homeschooling journey a long time ago (I can’t believe it’s been 20 years!) and even from the beginning I knew that following a school schedule wasn’t the right choice for us. And isn’t it grand how homeschoolers have the freedom to make their time work for them?
It took us a while to find our rhythm but we finally settled into a year round schooling. There are so many benefits to homeschooling year round, here are just a few:
Why should I consider homeschooling year round?
No brain drain! Studies show that when students take an extended break they lose a lot of knowledge. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you relax any muscle for an extended period of time it’s going to atrophy a little. Which brings me to…
More frequent breaks! Do you remember counting down the days until Thanksgiving break, then Christmas break, then spring break? Me too! We need breaks. While long breaks aren’t always advantageous (see above), short breaks are good for growing bodies and souls. When you homeschool all year long instead of getting one 12 week break, you can take 12 one week breaks or 6 2-week breaks or heck, you can take 3 4-week breaks.
Better transition to the real world Whether school actually prepares kids for the real world is debatable, but having a 9 month on 3 month off schedule certainly doesn’t do the kids any favors. In the real world you work 5 days a week for 52 weeks, with occasional days and weeks off. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll get several weeks off. It’s a bit of a shock after coming out of a system that gives you extended break periods.
More freedom! Is an out-of-town guest stopping by for a week? Does you kid need a couple of unexpected days off? Is something really awesome happening in the next town over? Visit! Take the time! GO! There is no greater crime than missing out on the awesome stuff because you’re a slave to your schedule! When you homeschool year round you have 365 days to meet your state’s requirements. Go, live. Have fun! That grammar lesson will still be here when you come back.
More compatible with real life! I already mentioned that a year round schedule eases the transition into the real world, but the flexibility it offers is great for everyone in the family. My teen got a 14-week intern position and because we homeschool year round I’m not worried about pausing his studies several days a week for those weeks.
It is a perfect, customized schedule to meet your family’s needs! You can literally make a year round schedule work any way you want. 6 weeks on and 1 week off? 6 months on then 3 weeks off? School 4 days a week with 3 days off? Run your week Tuesday through Sunday? Play it all by ear? Whatever you need, you got it!
Have you tried a year round homeschooling? What do you love and dislike about it?
Meg Grooms is a decades-long secular homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle, currently calling Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.