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.
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.
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.
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.