The ladies on my homeschool listserve are discussing the benefits of schooling year round. I am a huge fan of schooling year-round, so I thought I’d share my thoughts with you here.
I don’t think I initially intended to homeschool year-round, we just sort of fell into it. I’m so glad we did because I love it. It is a perfect fit for our family.
I really enjoy being able to dictate our schedule with the degree of flexibility that comes from having the whole year at my disposal. I can schedule ample breaks for the birth of a child, first trimester yuckiness, family visiting, trips/vacations, or whatever else is important to our family at the time. Yet, even with many breaks sprinkled throughout the year, we still end up “doing school” more than the standard 36 weeks.
Most curriculum is designed to take about 36 weeks to complete. Because we typically have class more often than that, I can work in entire extra units apart from their regular school work. For example, last Advent we put away all of our regular books and spent the entire season studying salvation history by way of the Jesse Tree. We really enjoyed this little detour, and we had time to take it without pressure from that which we were putting on hold.
In addition to the scheduling benefits, schooling year-round really helps keep my boys’ behavior in check. They behave so much better on school days than they do on non-school days. I don’t schedule my days down to the minute, and life happens every day so in some ways every day is different, but, for the most part, school days all look a lot a like. The structure that comes on a school day really works well for my boys. Because of that, I really don’t want to have many weeks in a row of no school and more behavior problems, especially not on the hottest days of the year.
When we do take breaks, it’s usually not in the dead of summer, unless we’re traveling somewhere. For the most part, our longer breaks (at least the ones that don’t revolve around a birth or something like that) take place in the fall and the spring when we can get outside and enjoy life out doors. If we are able to take a family vacation, this is when we usually do it, which is fabulous because vacation spots are way cheaper in May and September than they are in June or July.
Flexibility, control, better behavior, cheaper family vacations. Yup. I <3 year-round schooling!