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Switching to a Year Round School Schedule


Our homeschool is switching to a year round school schedule. There are so many benefits! #homeschooling http://thedeliberatemom.com

When I started homeschooling my daughter, I figured I would follow the school calendar. I liked the idea that my daughter’s school holidays would be at the same time as her peers. I also liked the idea that we would have our summers off to rest, relax, and enjoy the sunshine.

However, after a couple of months into the school year I wondered… what if the traditional school schedule wasn’t optimal for her? After reflecting on our achievements and progress, I realized that the traditional school year wasn’t a good fit for my daughter. At the end of October she fell into her familiar pattern of exhaustion and resistance to learning. Despite how fun I was making things, she seemed just “done”. I too was starting to feel sluggish.

Then it occurred to me… why are we following the traditional school calendar? Why not switch to a year round school schedule? One of the benefits of homeschooling is that I can provide a learning environment that’s specific to my child. Why get hung up on the traditional school schedule?

As I began to assess the possibilities I got excited. There are so many benefits to switching to a year round school schedule! Here are a few of them.

Come read why this family is switching to year-round #homeschooling! Click To Tweet

Breaks

My daughter needs breaks from school. With a year-round schedule, she can have 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off, repeated throughout the year, with a 3 week break when she switches grades.

Planning

With a 6 week on and 2 week off schedule, I could use the 2 week transition to prepare for a new unit. I find that the weekends are too short for prepping curriculum. The two-week period would allow more than enough time to plan for the next learning unit.

Nature studies

Our long winters make it challenging to do nature studies within the conventional school year. With year-round homeschooling, we can do many nature studies during the spring, summer, and fall (approximately 6 months of exploration time rather than 4 months).

Year round schooling - opportunities to do more nature studies. #homeschooling http://thedeliberatemom.com

Time to reflect & evaluate

I am, by nature, a very reflective person. I find that the traditional school schedule doesn’t allow enough time for me to reflect and evaluate. The two-week break will provide ample time for me to assess and document our learning process.

Vacation time

Currently our budget doesn’t allow us to do much travelling but we would like to do so in the future. With year-round homeschooling, we can travel off-season while all the rest of the kids are in school.

Off-season travel is often more affordable too!

Built-in buffer time

Life happens. Children get sick and emergencies occur. I like that year-round homeschooling provides a “buffer zone” for life’s events. If we have to take a week off due to illness, there isn’t a pressure to make up that week by padding the days in the subsequent week. We can simply declare that sick week as week one of our two-week break.

Continuous learning

Last summer, even though we took the summer off, I still had learning opportunities for my daughter because I worried about her forgetting the material she had learned. With year-round homeschooling, I need not be concerned about long breaks in learning.

As a homeschooling mom, I teach every day, whether we’re exploring a new concept or making dinner together; my daughter is learning from me. Thus, I expect the transition to year-round homeschooling to be an easy one.

I’m excited for this change. We just have to push through the rest of the year and we’ll be making the switch in May. I can’t wait!

What are your thoughts on year-round homeschooling? Do you do it? Would you consider it?

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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care. 

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