Year-Round Homeschooling Benefits and Schedules
At some point during the homeschool year, you may notice that your September through June schedule isn’t working. The flexibility, spontaneity, and relaxed pace you and your kids loved about homeschooling doesn’t feel the same anymore. Year-round homeschooling may help you out of your slump and the traditional school year calendar mindset. It can provide additional freedom, improve learning retention, reduce stress, and help you create a fresh educational approach.
Benefits of Year-Round Homeschooling
Year-round homeschooling has become a go-to strategy for many parents and kids who have experienced burnout. It’s also a great change for kids who are becoming antsy or losing focus too easily. If this sounds all too familiar, why not give it a try? After all, homeschooling empowers you to experiment and find the best schooling approach for your children. You may be surprised at all of the benefits that year-round homeschooling affords compared to a traditional school year schedule.
- A flexible schedule: Many states require parents to homeschool approximately 180 days a year. That means you have the flexibility to set up a schedule that works best for your family, without the limits and parameters of a typical September through June schedule. If homeschooling three days a week during the summer and five days during the week in the winter sounds like a plan, go ahead! It’s your choice. Read on for tips on creating a year-long homeschool schedule.
- Less stress: A traditional 180-day schedule usually requires some cramming, which can cause anxiety and panic for some students. Year-round schooling can ease those stress factors by providing you with more flexibility. Your children will have the luxury to further explore the topics that they enjoy and concentrate on expanding their educational horizons.
- Set summer goals: With a year-round homeschool schedule, setting separate summer goals offers additional learning opportunities. For instance, some parents coordinate goals around subjects and activities that their children enjoy. If your child loves swimming, focus your goals on mastering new techniques or strokes, paying close attention to directions and details, comprehending new vocabulary words (freestyle, butterfly), and improving safety skills. This builds confidence, promotes deeper learning, and strengthens foundational skills.
- More field trips: Talking about topics that your children enjoy, how about setting off on an adventure that focuses on marine biology, animal care, science, space, technology, or any other topics your kids love? Year-round homeschooling means you can take advantage of lighter crowds and savings by traveling during the off-season, usually when most children are in school.
- No summer slide: Year-round homeschooling eliminates the dreaded summer slide and the seemingly endless review process that begins each new year. Your children remain educationally active and, as a result, dramatically advance their learning retention. Kids are positive and on pace as they continue their various studies (even if you relax their schedule), and gradually transition from one grade level to the next.
- Increased break times: Take a few weeks off in the fall, or maybe a week in the spring or winter. You have the freedom with year-round homeschooling. Increase daily breaks, travel more, or try roadschooling while visiting different sites or states.
How to Create a Year-Round Homeschool Schedule
Year-round homeschooling means more flexibility to customize a schedule that works for your whole family. This freedom allows you to work around any extracurricular activities your children are involved in, work schedules of one or both parents, vacation time, and more. Let’s review some tips to help you create a schedule:
- Research other schedules: Not all year-round homeschool schedules are the same. Some families homeschool four days a week, others take the weather into account. For example, very hot summers or cold winters could mean more in-house schooling. Speak with other homeschoolers and do further research. Be patient as you explore what works for you.
- Transitioning to a year-round schedule: Review your previous schedule and highlight the months when you and your kids most enjoyed schooling. Plan on homeschooling more during that time. Select a curriculum that offers easy access, is portable, and available 24/7.
- Talk with your children: Let your kids play a key role in their schooling. Have bi-weekly meetings and discuss their thoughts on the family’s year-round homeschool schedule. If you’re trying too hard during the first few weeks, they’ll let you know. If that’s the case, or if other issues arise, make adjustments and fix your schedule accordingly.
Once you’ve researched the year-round homeschool option and fully understand its benefits and flexibility, give it a try. You could start over the summer, in the fall, or whenever it’s best for your family. If you find that it doesn’t work, that’s okay. A year-round homeschool schedule is not for everyone, but it could be the winning recipe for your family’s unique needs and goals.