Year-round homeschooling. Does thinking about homeschooling all year terrify you a little bit? Well, it shouldn’t. It should give you the comfort of having a little more breathing room in your homeschool schedule!
Really, there is no need to stick to the rigid schedule of traditional school. Isn’t that one of the perks of homeschooling?
You may have to meet your state requirement of school days, but YOU get to say when those days are.
So why don’t you consider year-round homeschooling? I promise that it doesn’t mean schooling 365 days a year.
What does Year-Round Homeschooling look like?
Year-round homeschooling is simply spreading your curriculum over the entire year, and not blocking off the traditional 10 – 12-week summer break.
A few variations of the year-round homeschooling schedule:
- “Sabbath Schedule” – Six Week of School followed by 1 week off
- 3 or 4 Day School week
- School by your weather – Plan school days for the time of year that is not ideal. Plan your longer breaks for when you have your ideal weather for family activities.
There are so many variations of year-round homeschooling. When you open all the months of your calendar up, the opportunity to take time off to meet your family’s needs is freeing.
When I initially started planning our school year, I knew that for my sanity I would need regular breaks. During my initial planning process, I soon realized that year-round schooling was ideal for frequent breaks and avoiding the “summer brain drain.”
Just like every adult doesn’t work an 8 to 5 job, why should every child school Monday – Friday, 8 am – 3 pm, August-May?
We all have different needs, so customize your school schedule to meet them. Check out all the major perks of year-round homeschooling.
Time and Flexibility
Think about it. Doesn’t the thought of allowing yourself 52 weeks to complete a curriculum sound better than 36 weeks?
The opportunity to weave in “mental health” days, field trips, birthdays, family visits and vacations into an additional 16 weeks throughout the year is freeing. This was the appeal for our family. My husband works year round, so we wanted our schedule to flow more with his.
If your family likes to go camping in the spring or fall, plan your larger breaks when the weather is at its best. Do you have distant family that visits your home for an extended period? Plan your break to accommodate your family visit.
Our school year runs from July to June, to align with our state registration process. We have structured lessons five days a week for six weeks straight and then take a one week break. Holidays are salt and peppered into our schedule, as well as a 3-week break in December and a 3-4 week break in June.
This schedule has really worked out for us since it consistently allows us a break to relax and catch up on the to-do list.
Other year-round variations to consider are:
- A four day school week
- A five day school week during traditional school months and 2 – 3-day schooling during the summer months
- Other alternating school/break intervals (4 weeks on 1 week off)
When you open your school calendar up for the entire year, flexibility naturally weaves itself into your schedule. I mean, you are in charge so why not allow yourself a little breathing time.
Research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a habit. The typical school summer break is almost 12 weeks. By taking such a long break, your kids easily fall out of the habit of completing their school work.
I know, we want our kids to be kids and have memories of summer fun. Or maybe that is just me. Trust me, they can still have them! When the structured school works takes only three hours or less, they get the rest of the day to make those summer memories.
I know first hand that my kids easily get into the daily routine of building Legos, riding their bikes and making questionable experiments in their bathroom sink. Getting them back into the routine of school after our 3-week Christmas break was hard enough. I can’t imagine 6, 8, or 12 weeks!
One of our homeschool goals is to have a love of learning and to keep them in the habit of ongoing learning. It was important to me that they knew that WE ALL need breaks. So our 6 weeks on and 1 week off schedule provides the consistency of daily school work and always knowing that a short break is not far ahead of us.
Homeschool has been a lifestyle decision for us. So why would we pause that lifestyle for long periods of time?
Can you believe that it is more expensive for a family travel during traditional school breaks? Shocking news, I know.
Seriously though, you are homeschooling and you make your schedule. Take advantage of the 52-week availability by planning those family vacations or extended learning trips during the off-season!
In 2017, we had the opportunity to travel to see the total solar eclipse and tack on a few extra days at Great Wolf Lodge with awesome off-season rates. I am so thankful that our flexible school schedule allowed us to make great memories and save some cash!
Looking for more traveling tips? Check out How to Travel Cheap as a Family.
Avoid Homeschool Burnout
Year-round homeschooling has been a blessing to us. I want homeschooling to be a long-term choice for our family, so the last thing I need is for me or my kiddos to get burned out early on.
Homeschool burnout is a real thing. All you have to do is google “homeschool burnout” and you will find a variety of moms’ stories and experiences.
Acknowledge that you need time to run errands, take care of that pesky to-do list that keeps getting longer, or simply take a day to curl up and read a good book.
Take your time and consider what works for you, your spouse, and your kids. Reevaluate as time goes on. You don’t have to fit into a box of what other people think your school should look like.
Talk to Me
What are you struggling with in getting your homeschool calendar done? Why don’t you think year-round homeschooling with work for you?
Looking for more homeschool help, check out these helpful articles:
- Homeschool Expenses: Our First Year
- How to Start Homeschooling Checklist
- Must-Have Homeschool Supplies
- 8 Must Watch Homeschooling TED Talks
- New to Homeschool: Making Sense of Homeschooling Styles
- How to Fail & Succeed as a Single Income Family
- Khan Academy for Homeschoolers: Free Math Curriculum
If you are looking for something to help you get started homeschooling, I have created at 10-Day Email Homeschool Bootcamp course to get your homeschool started from scratch.
I wish I could have had someone holding my hand and walking me through setting up my homeschool, so I am offering this Bootcamp to you for FREE! Simply subscribe to my email list and over the next ten days, I will walk you through everything you need to be confident in your homeschool.
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