Why We Homeschool Year-Round

Homeschool Year Round

When I was in the 7th grade, I was on the academic team (yes, I was one of those). During one particular tournament I was on the long response team writing a persuasive essay. We didn’t get the question until test time, but I remember being thrilled with the topic–year round schooling. We had to argue for or against it. Easy peasy, I thought. I had heard about this year-round schooling thing and I was completely against it. Who were these crazy people trying to take away the summer break of kids everywhere?

But then I started writing. And as much as I wanted to be against this idea of year-round schooling overall, every single specific argument that popped into my head was betraying me.

In the end, I placed with my essay… in favor of year-round schooling.

Outdated traditions

When “summer break” first began in schools, it was not for Florida vacations and little league. There were many reasons for the break, from health concerns because of the run-down buildings, to the agrarian society that needed children home in the summer.

Those reasons no longer apply.

I recently read a post from a fellow homeschool mom and she talked about the reason she does not homeschool year round. Her biggest reason was this, “Our children deserve a break.”

I had to chuckle a bit, because that’s one of the main reasons I do homeschool year round!

Our kids need a break

Our kids need a break from school. I agree with that! Granted, we do school a bit differently, but I still agree with this. Which is why I think 9 months is too long to go without a break!

Year-round homeschooling allows us to get the most out of our breaks.

  • Our breaks are intentional. They aren’t tied to a school calendar that says we should go to school for 9 months at a time and then get a 3 month break. We can take our breaks as we need them and when we need them, and because of this our breaks can also be more flexible.
  • We enjoy school. Because we have breaks throughout the year, we don’t get tired of school. The days don’t become a drudgery for me or my boys. I am not fighting with them come May because they are so tired of school. Breaks throughout the year allow us all to stay excited and ready for school.
  • We enjoy our breaks. As I kid, I remember getting bored by the end of the summer. When everyday is a break, it’s less fun. We look forward to the weekend each week because of the work on the 5 days in between. If everyday was a weekend, it would lose it’s luster a bit. Frequent breaks throughout the year allow us to enjoy those breaks more.

You can see how I go about planning our year here.

Regression

Kids need to be thinking and learning often. Three months without instruction leads to regression. Studies show that standardized tests in September are always lower than when kids end the year in May.

With a special needs child, this is even more important. Three months with no instruction, structure, or routine would not be good for him.

Homeschooling

The key word here is, “homeschooling.” If my boys were in public school, I may feel differently. But since we are homeschooling, we have the privilege of tailoring our homeschool and calendar to what works best for our family. And for us, year round schooling works the best.

Other Articles & Resources

Well Planned Day Planner

This is one of the many reasons that I LOVE the well-planned day planner! It provides planning for a full year and not just a typical school year. Get your planner here.

Comments

  1. LaCosta says

    Could you give an example of the schedule you follow? I am intrigued by the idea of year round school but not sure where to start. I don’t want to break up our schedule so much that I feel we are constantly struggling to get back into routine. For example, do you do 2 months of school, then a two week break?

    • Crystal Brothers says

      LaCosta, honestly we are very laid back about it. There are a few times throughout the year that I take stock of our calendar to make sure we are on track to get our required days of instruction. Otherwise, we take off at will and do school at will, and it just tends to work itself out. Homeschooling year round gives us the luxury of taking off for family illness, family emergencies, spontaneous vacations and field trips, etc. But again, we are very laidback and nearly “unschoolers.” So that relaxed schedule may not work for everyone. I have seen others who do follow a 6 weeks on and 1 week off type schedule, or take an extra day off each week, etc. The important thing is that it works for your family–and that is the beauty of homeschooling, it can be very tailored to your family.

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more! We’ve found that schooling year round gives much needed structure (when we are in an environment that doesn’t allow for our children’s safe exploration of life around them), keeps them mentally sharp and encourages an attitude that learning is for a lifetime!

    Our schedule (for the past 12 years or so) has been from end of Aug to beginning of June: 3 weeks on, 1 week off. In June and July we do every other week and we take 3 weeks off in Aug and 3 weeks at Christmas. It has worked really well until our children got into the upper grades of high school. Once they got jobs, and went on missions trips during the summer months, and took classes at the community college, we were not able to keep up with the schedule and had to revert back to the 9 month academic year.

    I’m so glad this schedule is working well for your family!

  3. says

    I never knew the reasons behind summer break. It just … was. But I agree that shorter days with more concentrated efforts, and less extended breaks makes perfect sense! Your planners look lovely!

  4. nourishingmyscholar says

    I completely agree! We homeschool/unschool year round too! I love how you talked about the historical reasons for summer break :-)

  5. Anonymous says

    While I agree that we school year round, I do plan a 2 month summer break light and basic. I found after several years of schooling year round with a full curriculum that my children were never getting bored enough to create something from the recycling bin, go explore our woods on their own, think of some random off topic that interested them…. etc. By schooling hard year round, I felt we were not giving them a chance to truly digest and process what they had learned and then to think of some next step of learning to test a theory or research an obscure person mentioned briefly in our studies. Anyway, just some thoughts and my two cents…

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thanks for sharing. We school a bit differently than many. Our schooling is, by nature, much more laidback. My boys spend plenty of time creating and exploring. In fact, they are out in the fields with our puppy as I type ;) I’m also not a bit afraid to follow rabbit trails occasionally, so we do extra exploring as a part of our school so often.

      At the end of the day, though, that is one of the best things about homeschooling–you can tailor it perfectly to your family and your children :)

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