Have you ever considered year round homeschooling? In this article, I’ll share my top 10 reasons for homeschooling year round. Even after 20 years of homeschooling, I’m realizing more and more the benefits of year round homeschooling!
For many of our early years of homeschooling, we homeschooled according to the traditional school year calendar. We simply didn’t think about homeschooling year round. My husband and I were both public school students, and then I taught school before having children, so I simply didn’t think about having any other kind of schedule.
And to be honest, our lives were a little more predictable and a little less crazy when all of my children were younger and were all homeschooling. Now that I’m a working mom, it’s harder to get everything done during the school year. We simply need to be able to take more time off when we’re busy and when we’re traveling. Although our travels are a huge part of our homeschooling, now that my youngest child is in high school (My older two have graduated.), there’s more “book work” that she needs to do at this level. To get it all done, we’ve found that year round homeschooling is definitely a big advantage! But there are other great reasons for homeschooling year round too.
1. Students stay in a routine all year.
For many students, it’s hard to have an extended amount of time off from school and then to get back to school after a long break. I wish I’d known when my children were all little that I didn’t have to take the entire summer off. It was always hard to get back to school with them each fall, and the big change in routine was hard–especially for my kids with autism and Asperger’s. Taking shorter amounts of time off now and then would have been much better! If you need to get into a better routine, read Why We Have a Homeschool Routine Instead of a Schedule.
2. We can take days off when the need (or desire) arises without feeling guilty!
When we homeschooled according to the public school calendar, I felt like we couldn’t miss days because we would fall behind and have trouble finishing before the school year ended. (I wish I’d known to relax about my kids “falling behind” when they were younger!!) With a year round schedule, we can take days off when the weather is nice, when my daughter has a babysitting job, when we’re traveling (although traveling counts as homeschooling since we participate in a lot of educational travel), or when we’re sick or someone needs our help. It’s so nice to be able to take guilt-free time off! If you feel like you are struggling with this too, you might want to read The Unhurried Homeschooling Mom.
3. We don’t waste weeks each fall reviewing what they learned the previous year.
When we homeschool all year, I don’t have to worry about my children forgetting what they learned the previous year. Because they are using and building on what they are learning all year long, they don’t forget it! When we do take an occasional break for a couple of weeks (during the holidays, for example), it’s not long enough for them to forget.
4. We have time to do the “fun stuff” that we couldn’t do before.
Have you ever felt like you wanted your children to have time to really dive deep into a subject and enjoy what they were learning, but you just didn’t have time? Year round homeschooling allows you the time you need to let your children do fun experiments, read books, practice their art or music skills, enjoy sports, participate in clubs and church activities, and even take time to visit friends or grandparents without worrying that they won’t finish all the work by the end of the school year. You simply won’t feel so rushed to get it all done so quickly. And we encourage you to find ways to make homeschool fun… we call it funschooling and have an entire category about how to implement fun into your homeschool.
5. We have time to volunteer!
Now days, many homeschoolers have opportunities for volunteer work either through their communities or churches. For several years as a teenager, my son (who has now graduated from our homeschool) volunteered once a week at the food pantry/soup kitchen at our church. It was a wonderful way for him to help others and feel valued and useful. It was a great experience for him, and it served the community in a way that was needed. My daughter (who is my youngest child and only remaining homeschooler) loves art and enjoys volunteering as a teacher’s assistant in local art classes for young children. She teaches one day a week and then is able to take her own art class the same afternoon. We also do volunteer work at the church and participate in mission trips. However, if you need to find some opportunities for your teens to volunteer, here is an article that will help you find some!
6. We have time to teach life skills.
I discovered that, by homeschooling year round, I have more time to teach my children the life skills they’ll need in the future. Instead of feeling like I have to do all the laundry (or the cooking, housework, yard work, etc.) because I’m in a hurry and need it done quickly, I can take the time to teach my children to do those jobs. I have time to show/model how to do it, watch them do it and make sure they’re doing it correctly, and then let them practice on their own and check their work. If it isn’t done correctly, there’s still time for more practice! Want some ideas for what life skills to teach? This article might help.
7. Our school days can be shorter.
I remember being at school all day and then having to come home and do homework in the evenings. It seemed like my school day lasted for so many hours! It’s wonderful that my daughter is able to get most of her work done before lunch. If she has a lot to do (since she’s in high school now), her work may extend into the afternoon, but she still has her late afternoons and evenings free for art or music or other pursuits. In fact, she’s teaching herself to play the ukulele this year, so it’s not unusual for her to spend several hours each afternoon or evening practicing and playing just because she enjoys it and has the time.
8. We can take lots of time for educational travel!
Yes, travel is educational and we do count travel days as school days. But at the high school level, a certain amount of book work still has to be done–especially for a child who plans to attend college. Homeschooling year round allows us to enjoy our travel days and not have to try to do book work when the situation doesn’t lend itself well to that. We can learn from where we’re going and what we’re doing and truly enjoy our travels. Then we can pick the books back up when it’s convenient without worrying about taking some days off. Does your family enjoy educational travel too? If so, be sure to visit our travel section to see what trips are currently planned! We would love to have you join us!
9. The children don’t get bored over the summer.
I remember my children used to get so bored after the first couple of weeks of summer! They really wanted and needed something to do, but they thought we were only supposed to have school during the traditional school year. Oh how I wish I’d known to homeschool year round! I think the entire year would have gone better. But if they do still get bored, we have you covered. Here are 25 summer boredom busters!
10. It promotes a lifestyle of learning.
Children who homeschool year round quickly realize that learning is something we do all year all the time. It’s not something we only do at certain times of the year or even in certain places. And they learn to recognize the fact that we are learning even in the non-traditional learning situations. For example, they realize that yard work, housework, and traveling are all learning activities even though they’re not necessarily part of the school day (though sometimes they are). We want our children to know that they can enjoy learning and that they should look for learning opportunities all around them all the time! And we have to learn to trust our children’s natural desire to learn. Here is a great article that will help.
Free Printable Year Round Homeschooling Calendars for You!
If you already homeschool year round or if you’d like to give it a try, we have some free printable calendars to help you! Just click this link. At the bottom of the article, you’ll find free printable calendars for those who homeschool from January through December, July to June, or September through August!
Is Year Round Homeschooling Right for Everyone?
No. One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is being able to adapt our schedules, curriculum, and expectations to fit each child and the family as a whole. Year round homeschooling may not be right for your family, and that’s ok. But for many families, it’s truly a blessing and it works very well. Whether you homeschool year round or not, we’d love to hear from you! If you are one of our moms who really just feels so burdened about homeschooling year round, this article might ease your mind.
Do you homeschool year round? Why or why not? Do you have great reasons for year round homeschooling to add to our list? Please share in the comments!