Our homeschool is undergoing a lot of change. This is the first year we’ve homeschooled more than one child (we added two children). This is the first year that we started in July. And this is the first year we’re trying a year-round schedule.
Until recently, I had never considered homeschooling year-round. But in the spring, somewhere in the long stretch between Christmas break and Easter, I found myself feeling burned out. Neither I nor my third grader was really interested in doing school, but I didn’t feel free to take a break because I was determined to be done by the beginning of May.
When I expressed my frustrations to another homeschool mom, she encouraged me to consider a year-round, four-day-a-week homeschool schedule. We decided to give it a try this year for the following reasons.
1. Year-round gives added flexibility.
Flexibility is one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling, but I’ve found it hard to be “flexible” when trying to follow a traditional school year schedule. In the four-day-a-week model, we get a day off every week—a day for field-trips, play dates, music lessons, doctor’s visits, grocery shopping, or other appointments. Most weeks, our day off will be Monday, but we have the flexibility to move that day if needed.
2. It keeps kids in the routine of learning.
My kids, like many others, do best when they are in a routine. A three-month-long summer vacation has always been challenging. The kids get bored—usually within a few days. And they usually lose some academic ground. On a four-day schedule, I will homeschool for forty-five weeks this year. It’s doubtful that we’ll have a break longer than four weeks, and I see that as a good thing.
3. It lessens the stress on any given day.
If you have homeschooled for any length of time, you know that some days don’t go as planned. I had one of those days just last week—the DVD player my second-grader uses for Distance Learning broke. Was I worried about getting behind? No. I knew that we had a free day each week that we can use for make-up work if needed. Having that “cushion” helps everyone’s stress level.
So far, I’m liking our new homeschool schedule. Will I still like it next June when a lot of our friends are done with school for the summer? We’ll see. I’m curious to know if any of you have tried a year-round homeschooling schedule. What did you like or not like about it? Leave me a comment to let me know.