why we’re switching to a flexible year-around homeschool schedule

Our kiddos just recently closed the books, calling May 17th ‘our last day of school’.  We’re all anticipating more open and relaxed days ahead!

At least until we pick back up again end of June.

For years, our normal homeschool routine lasted late August until about mid-May with a variety of options for how the rest of the year went.  There’s always been reading and math upkeep, but overall, our summers have been more laid-back.

I’m changing that up for everyone, and I wish I had done it a little earlier!

Reasons for a Year-Around School Schedule

:

1.  We want more flexibility! 🙂  The emphasis is definitely on options; not feeling crunched between September and May to accomplish all our goals for the year.  I need and desire longer stretches of less routine…during the ‘school year’, not only the summer.

2.  To better support our children’s abilities and talents.  I’ve noticed extra time is needed during our days to offer more focus on a particular interest.

For one child, it’s committed devotion to music study:  lessons for 2 instruments, practice time, music composition, ear training, etc.  For another, it’s concentration on literature and writing, crafting and illustrating stories, which includes intentional art lessons and study.

I’d like to offer abundant time for these pursuits, with less competition from other necessary academics.

3.  To better support Mom!  A God-ordained shift for me in the past 6 months or so has been greater emphasis on writing and speaking opportunities.  I’ve been thrilled to join in the flow, but really looked at it all as a well, this is nice for now pursuit.

God has different ideas!  I want to join in His plans and stay sane in the process. 🙂  Flexible year-around schooling for everyone will offer more wiggle room in the schedule.  The plan is to live intentionally, not intensely.

4.  More room for activities and extra-curriculars.  This is especially true for my high schooler who enjoys many opportunities throughout the year!

While there are boundaries, we’re also happy to support her participation in musicals with local theaters,  speech and debate team, choir & vocal groups, time with friends, etc.  Her academic load by her own choice is full of language studies…so flexibility is key in juggling and managing other coursework.

5.  Consistency and continuity.  We all appreciate rhythm and routine!  While it’s never been about a strict schedule, the overall flow of the household benefits from some consistent structure.  Our summers won’t look exactly like the normal school year, but we’ll establish a new rhythm which includes everyone getting ‘back to the books’ earlier.

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I could list a few more, but these are the main reasons.

We’re still praying and thinking how it will all work out, but feeling confident of this new direction for the whole family!

 If you homeschool, what kind of routine do you follow?

 

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14 comments

We have a more flexible – kind of year round but not so much schedule. Oy – does that make sense to anyone except me? We ‘begin’ in July and take breaks throughout – like a LONG break at Christmas and another between April-June. But, it’s not every day that we take breaks. We are on an ‘official’ break right now…but we are having fun playing, reading aloud, learning about our new curriculum, finding new interests and dissecting a few things and serving others. I love your points about supporting Mom and needing consistency. It’s a daily opportunity to learn and grow – schedules are needed by children – but for learning, why do we feel the need to put that time in a ‘box’?

Hi Daniele!

We began homeschooling year-round early on in our journey! I discovered that when our new supplies arrived in June, the girls were very excited about getting into the new books, so I thought, “Why not?” We counted any days after July 1st toward the new school year, and often had more than twenty school days on the books before the local schools had opened their doors!

Homeschooling year-round allowed us to take advantage of the library’s Summer reading program, incorporating their fun activities into a Summer unit study. It let us take a fun First Week of September Back to Homeschool Vacation. It let us have “Christmas School” the entire month of December, so we could spend lots of time baking and crafting. And, it gave us lots of Sunshine Days in the late Spring, when we were reaching the “done with school” point.

If I could do it all over again… I’d do it all over again! 🙂

Absolutely Rebecca! – learning should never be put into a box or limited to a schedule!. We may need to intentionally schedule certain academics, but education is happening all. day. long. for our family…. every day of the year!

Yes Kim, I had a ‘why not?’ kind of ‘duh’ moment a few weeks ago. I already feel so much more relaxed about our schooling and the needs of the children, myself, the household, etc.

I think Mama will be so much happier! 🙂
Thanks for sharing.

We were just talking about this last night. I’ve been leaning this way but haven’t figured exactly what it might look like in our home.

ellen

We start july 1 and ‘do’ school thru may 31.
We have lots of single day breaks as well as a 4-5 day break every 6-8 weeks wherever it fits best in our studies. I like the way this emphasizes learning is all the time as well as mimicing ‘adult work’ life better.

LyndsD

We started a year round schedule this year but we are vamping it up for next year. This year we complete next week but will start the new year July 8th. We will do 6 weeks on, 1 week off, all of December, and all of June off. Then start again in July. There will be the week of thanksgiving and last week of May off too. If that made any sense. Heehee. I love your reasons!! It’s definitely needed and I’m looking forward to more flexibility and not feeling a “slave” to the calendar.

This is what we are doing too. My son is starting high school, but by his choice, we will do Math throughout summer. I have some educational movies lined up on Netflix and we have some intentional outings planned with friends twice a week, so we are not just spending endless days doing nothing (or nothing that amounts to anything).

I have always looked at life as a learning time anyway. I definitely don’t think it should only be M-F 8:30-3:30. It’s going on all the time.

Schooling year round allows us the freedom to take off when LIFE calls for being off (like when dad travels and we go with him). But, as you know, even traveling turns into learning, so technically, we’re never “OFF” 🙂

Have a great year!

Sounds like a wonderful routine/schedule!
We have taken a couple of weeks off our regular schooling routine, and will be getting back on track with a more relaxed summer schedule of schooling.
We’ll be taking a little time each day to work on mastering weak skills (math for some, handwriting for others) and some quiet reading time for each of us, with plenty of time for fun and pet projects.
Enjoy your summer and new routines!

I agree! One of the things I love about schooling year-round is that I don’t feel rushed. Learning is a lifestyle, rather than an obligation.

flexible year round homeschooling works well for us as well. 🙂

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