What is the greatest benefit of homeschooling?
Well, there are many. But one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility.
Have you ever taken a family vacation in the off-season? If so, then you know exactly what I’m talking about!
Most homeschoolers create their own schedule.
I’m one of them. The only reason that I ever check the local public school calendar is to find out what days or weeks I should avoid the parks and museums. If school is on break, then you can know for certain that we are buckling down and getting a lot of school done. Then when school is back in session, it’s time for fun field trips again.
To help accommodate our travel plans, field trips, and visits from family I usually schooled year round. There were some subjects that we kept working on through the summer. And in other areas, we did some interest-led learning or I choose some different resources to add variety in to our learning.
However, I think this summer is going to be a summer with very little homeschooling.
Why? I think it’s mainly because I want a bit of a break. And also, we have so many activities crammed into a few short months that I have no idea how I’ll fit in much school.
Let me tell you a little bit about our shift from year-round homeschoolers to a family that is taking a more traditional summer break.
First let’s talk about the benefits of year-round schooling:
No learning loss
You can keep working on school subjects all through the summer. When August rolls around, your kids will still remember math facts and how to write a complete sentence.
By schooling through the summer, you maintain a consistent routine. It’s not nearly as hard to get back into the homeschool groove in the fall if you’ve never stopped schooling.
Keep boredom at bay
I don’t know about you, but if my kids have too much free time they tend to whine, complain, and bicker. By keeping part of their time occupied with learning, there is less time for boredom and complaining.
Move at your own pace
If you have a child who you believe to be “behind” in a subject, you can school through the summer to give them extra time to play catch up. And if you have a child who is moving straight ahead, you can keep the momentum going as you work through the summer.
If you’ve been schooling year round, you have more freedom to take additional and extended breaks. You can take off the entire month of December or have added time off for vacations during the school year.
There are many benefits to year-round schooling. I’ve been a year-round schooler in the past.
However, I’ve also learned that there is a lot that can be said for a long break.
In the past few years, I’ve scaled our summer school plans way back. Now we just continue learning through the summer with some simple extras. Once our regular curriculum is completed, I just add a few items to our summer lineup. Rarely, do I grab the next level of a curriculum and dive in right away.
Nope. I’ve started to follow a more traditional school calendar. Gasp!
Can you believe that I’m admitting that I do something similar to a public school?
Yes, I think we’re going to do very little over the summer other than swim, golf, and read.
Here’s why I’m giving us a summer break this year.
As my kids are getting older, they are involved in several extra curricular activities. This means that our summer days are full of swim and golf practice. Many of these activities follow the traditional school calendar so
- Changing Seasons
We actually live in a climate that has a cold winter. After living in south Texas for years, I preferred to be outside in December and hide from the July heat in my house. It made sense to school through the summer and have longer breaks when the weather was cooler. Now that we are stuck inside during cold winter months, I want to enjoy as much of the beautiful summer weather as possible.
- My Sanity
I think I’m ready to see the end of a curriculum and know that I get to take a break once we are finished with that level. I am looking forward to having some time off to read and maybe even take some afternoon naps. I know I’ll be ready to start fresh in the fall once I’ve had some down time.
I’ve found that as my kids get older, our homeschool schedule has changed quite a bit. We are more mindful of the public school calendar because of our many extracurricular activities. My homeschool days take longer, so I feel like I need longer periods of time off from our routine.
Is year-round homeschool right for you?
Consider the pros and cons carefully before you make your decision. While year-round homeschooling seems fairly popular in many homeschool circles, sometimes a summer break is much needed!
Tune in next week as I discuss how we are enjoying our summer break (and sneaking in a little bit of learning too)!
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