Do you homeschool year round? We do, and we love it! Years ago when I first started homeschooling, year-round homeschooling wasn’t something I even considered. To be honest, I didn’t even realize it was something people actually did. In fact, when I first heard about it, I thought it sounded crazy. Who does that? And why would they want to?
A few years into our homeschooling journey, something had to change, and homeschooling all year sounded like it might be a good fit for our family. With several moves and several babies over the course of 3 or 4 years, I needed something that allowed for more flexibility while providing efficiency as well. So I decided to give it a try!
NOTE: After you read this article, scroll to the bottom to find links to FREE printable calendars you can use to plan your year-round homeschool schedule.
Benefits of Homeschooling Year-Round
What homeschool mom doesn’t need less stress? When homeschooling year round, I don’t have to worry about cramming all of our learning into a 36-week schedule. Instead, I have 52 weeks to work with. This allows us to take days (or even weeks) off when we need to without worrying that we’ll fall behind. We love being able to take a day off here and there due to sickness, a field trip, an impromptu play date, or just because we feel like it without feeling guilty.
Having more time allows us to take ‘rabbit trails’ more often without the guilt and allows us to immerse ourselves in topics that really interest us. If we come across a subject we love, we have the flexibility to dive deeper into that subject and take some time to really explore it. This is a huge advantage because it’s one of the things that allows my children and me to truly love homeschooling!
Homeschooling year round also allows for more time to be spent with a struggling learner. If one of the kids is having difficulty with a certain math concept or is struggling with reading, we can take the extra time to master the skill without feeling hurried. This is another huge advantage!
Homeschooling year round offers so much flexibility. Instead of a 5-day school week, we can easily cut back to a 4-day school week without having to overfill those 4 days.
We can also spread out our breaks and take small breaks more often instead of one or two longer breaks. I’ve found that my children enjoy shorter breaks more often rather than a longer break over the summer. They retain more of what they’ve learned too, so we spend less time doing review after the break.
We can join a co-op and not feel like it’s taking up some of our learning time at home. In the past, when we were following a 36-week schedule, it was hard for us to be a part of our church’s co-op and get all of our other schooling done at home too.
With year-round homeschooling we are able to let our children explore extra activities, like sports and music lessons, without feeling like we are taking away from ‘school time.’
Many children have a hard time adjusting to taking a long break and being off schedule. With year-round homeschooling, we keep a consistent schedule for more of the year. This allows us to enjoy our break time and quickly re-adjust to our school routine too.
We are able to school using a block/modular approach. When we study things like science, history, art, or literature, I like to be able to fully study them and not just visit the subject 1, 2, or 3 times a week. We like to focus on one main subject and do that subject every day. We may finish our science curriculum in 3 months and then do an art project for a week, then a literature study for a couple weeks, then do a few months of history, then another art project. Math and language arts are done every day, all year.
Of course you can choose to do a more traditional schedule where you do each subject each day or each week, but if you want to explore using a block schedule, year-round homeschooling lends itself well to that option.
We can take family vacations in the off-season–which means cheaper rates and fewer crowds. And we take more time off for Christmas vacation. Before schooling year-round, I didn’t feel like we had the time to really enjoy the Christmas season or to fully focus on the real reason we celebrate it – our Lord Jesus Christ.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle, so it is our life all year, not just 180 days or 8-10 months out of the year. We are constantly learning, constantly exploring, and constantly trying new things.
When my kids are in the ‘real world,’ they won’t be taking 2- to 3-month long vacations from their jobs, so why would they do it for school?
‘Real life’ is happening all around us – things like moving, babies being born, job changes, sicknesses, vacations, and holidays – homeschooling year-round allows us to live life, enjoy it, and learn from it as well.
Mapping Out the Year
You can choose to start your school year any time you want! Some year-round homeschoolers like to start the new school year in January and work through November or December. (Some take December off, so they end the school year in late November or early December.) You may want to start your school year in July and end the year in June. This is a more traditional schedule even though it still includes schooling year round. Some families choose to begin the new year in September along with the public and private schools and end the year in August.
No matter when you choose to begin and end your school year, you’ll probably want to start by mapping out the days you can potentially take off from schooling. (But keep in mind that this schedule is flexible! If you take off an unexpected week because of sickness or a day here and there for a special activity or opportunity that comes up, all you have to do is add in a day or a week that you had planned to take off later in the year. This plan is meant to be flexible and to change as needed!)
Here is how I map out my school year. I’m required by my state to do 180 days of school each year. That means I can take off about 80 week days each year. So I begin choosing our days off by highlighting everyone’s birthdays on my calendar since we take birthdays off. Then I highlight holidays that we take off. Next I highlight vacations we have planned and days that we have family in town to visit. (Grandma and Grandpa live across the country.) Finally, I space out a few more breaks within our year. For this school year, I allotted for roughly 50 days off from school, leaving 30 extra days to use when needed for sick days or days when we just need a break.
Before you take a look at the free printable calendars below, here are some other articles about year round homeschooling that you make find helpful!
Below are free printable calendars for school years from 2020 through 2023!
Click each link to download your own free printable calendar for the school year that’s listed.
If you’d like to use one of our year-at-a-glance calendars instead of (or in addition to) the regular monthly calendars below, we have those available too!
January – December School Year (Monthly Calendars)
July – June School Year (Monthly Calendars)
September – August School Year (Monthly Calendars)
Homeschooling year round may not be the best fit for every family. And some families may find that it works for them for a time, but then they may switch to a different schedule that better fits their season of life. If homeschooling year round is something your family is considering, hopefully you will find the benefits that I mentioned above helpful to your decision-making process.
Does your family homeschool year-round? Are you considering it? Why?
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