Homeschool

The Benefits of Homeschooling Year Round (with FREE Printable Calendars!)

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. 

clock with 4 seasons

Benefits of Homeschooling Year Round

Less Stress

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.

More Time

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!

Flexibility

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.

Extra-Curricular Activities

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.’

Consistency

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.

Block Scheduling

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.

Vacations

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.

Real Life

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!

10 Great Reasons to Try Year Round Homeschooling

Want to Prevent Burnout? Try Year Round Homeschooling!

10 Reasons Why Year Round Homeschooling Is a Great Idea

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!

Year-at-a-Glance Calendars

January – December 2020

January – December 2021

January – December 2022

January – December 2023

January – December School Year (Monthly Calendars)

January – December 2021

January – December 2022

January – December 2023

July – June School Year (Monthly Calendars)

July 2020 – June 2021

July 2021 – June 2022

July 2022 – June 2023

September – August School Year (Monthly Calendars)

September 2020 – August 2021

September 2021 – August 2022

September 2022 – August 2023

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?

About the author

Sarah

Sarah is the JOYful wife of Jorge, the JOYful mother of 7 blessings, and a JOYful servant to the Most High God. She has been JOYfully homeschooling since 2007, using an eclectic approach. Sarah left her working-mom-of-2 mentality and plans at the door when the Lord came knocking on it in 2002. Now, as a born-again, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of many, she couldnโ€™t imagine life any other way! Sarah has a heart for moms, and uses her blog, My Joy-Filled Life, to minister to and encourage other mothers. You will find her writing and sharing about the joys of big family living, her faith, homeschooling, homemaking, and whatever the Lord lays on her heart. In her free time (whatโ€™s that?), Sarah enjoys baking (but not the clean-up), dabbling in photography, and running.

76 Comments

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  • My kids are still young, so although I consider us “year-round homeschoolers” I really just do school every day…I don’t plan when we’ll take off. Some days it just doesn’t happen! But I’m not too stressed about it because my son is only 6!

  • I’m planning on homeschooling year round, but lighter during the summer and a few times out of the year. This calender is great! Thank you!

  • To be honest, not so long ago I thought year-round schoolers were crazy! But the longer I homeschool, the more I see the appeal of more frequent breaks and being able to take a more relaxed approach throughout the year. I LOVE my summers, so I’m not ready to make the change just yet, but I can’t totally rule it out for the future. I understand much better now why it works so well for so many families.

  • We are in our second year of homeschooling and we are doing year around. We start in September and end the last day of July and take the month of August off so I can plan for the next year. We love it! It allows for pleanty of time off without getting behind and we usually work 4 day weeks with co-op on Friday.

  • Thank you so much! I am about to begin our first year of homeschooling (ages 10, 9, and 1) and I think year around is the best approach for our first year. The calendar is great, I had been scribbling on scratch paper but this is to tidy and efficient, many thanks!
    Emily

  • We are not officially year-round home-schoolers (yet) but we don’t completely stop in the summer…we just do less “official” school (read less worksheets). We do lots of educational activities and trips while the weather is nice, and most of the time, my 7-year old doesn’t even think of it as school–though she does realize she is learning.

  • We are also year round homeschoolers… although our schedule is much lighter in the summer. My boys continue to read every day, I read out loud to them, and we do a little bit of math every week. One thing we like to do over the summer is elective classes that we don’t have time for during the school year. Gives us a chance to do something different but continue the learning.

    Love your calendar, BTW. Computers sure do make it easier to complete our homeschool planning! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi, THANKS SO MUCH!! I have beed reading and learning so much about home schooling and I think this would be the best option for myself and kids. My daughter will be 6 in August 2014 and I removed her from school this month. Is there any “specific” curriculum we need to follow? Thank you so much again for the year planner will definitely make things easier

    • Hi Amina,

      There isn’t any specific curriculum you need to use. But there may be requirements in your state as far as what subjects you need to teach. Check with HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) to find out about the homeschool-related laws in your state. You can find them at hslda.org. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love this idea. I have a disabled parent that I assist and we have struggled with an answer to how to get in school and help my mom. I like what you said about real life not having breaks usually planned in school schedules. I think this method also shows your kids that learning never really ends. I am so grateful you explained your journey. It gives me some more information and and little more confidence to try year round learning.

  • Thanks for sharing! Especially the calendar. I have found my son just can’t take off the summers he forgets concepts and then we have to review. He also has a hard time getting back in a routine. He usually complains a lot when we start back up even though he likes school once we start! If we take small breaks he has a much better attitude and there is almost no complaining!

  • Hi,

    I have 5 children of which 4 I homeschool. I teach K, 1,2,3 grades. I love it. I have been using the regular homeschooling calendar, but definitely considering using the year round method as it would give me more leeway. I like the idea of continuous learning throughout the year I feel the kids minds forget a lot throughout summer vacation and its harder for them to jump back into the mix if things when school starts up again.

  • Thanks so much for this post! I am just getting ready to begin our homeschooling journey (pulling my son from public school – he is in Transitional Kindergarten,) and we are going to begin in January. I have been pondering how to organize not only our daily schedule, but how to organize our school year, and have been thinking we’ll do it year-round for many of the reasons you listed! I think we might be able to do more field trips & “fun learning” in the summer.

  • Thank you for this and the fantastic explanation. I’ve been leaning towards year round schooling and this is a great example and helpful thought process. Just printed, now time to bust out the highlighter!

  • This is great! I love your reasons for doing this, it seems so similar to what my thoughts have been. I love the comments too, they add even more great reasons to do all-year school. We have had our kids in an amazing Christian private school but the more I look at the cost vs what their receiving I simply realize I can give them all that for about 10% of the cost and have the extra income to do the things that a regular school schedule and all that tuition $ wouldn’t allow us to. I want to travel with them! We’re currently making the final decisions about whether to homeschool this year or wait one more year but this info makes a great case for starting now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’ve been looking into Year-Round for awhile now and think this year we’re just gunna keep on through summer and see how we like it! I’m pretty excited about it!
    I’ve also never heard of ‘block scheduling’ but LOVE the idea!!! I would have done so much better in certain subjects when I was in school were we able to focus on certain subjects like that! (**COUGHbiologyCOUGH**) Def going to be doing some research into it, thanks for the idea!!

  • I have been thinking about doing the homeschool year around. This year I started my 2nd child and lets just say it was a little challenging . I have one 10yr old and 5yr old. I’ve never even thought the thought of homeschooling year around until this past year with the 2nd child. lol. I have prayed and prayed about school with him and this is one of my thoughts is to homeschool year around to give some breaks. So I goggled and ran across your website. 1st of all thank you for the free pintables . they are awesome and give me somewhere to figure my year out with. I do have a question, I was looking over the calendar and trying to figure days etc. Do you count the Friday as a day off or do you count that into your 180 days of school since your probably doing something to teach your kids as you stated above we teach them daily.. Just curious..

  • I need a little clarification on your block schedule ideas. You said you liked to focus on one main subject and do that subject every day, but you also said you do math and LA every day, all year. I’m trying to plan the grand finish to my daughter’s high school “career”, and am very interested in the block schedule, but am not sure I quite understand how to do it. She has remaining English 11 and 12 (Amer. and Brit. Lit), Alg. 2 and Precal, 2 more sciences, Govt/Econ, Spanish 1&2, and an elective or 2 after we finish a 6-week “summer term” we will be starting soon to finish Human Anatomy and Physiology, as well as PE, Bible and another elective. Can you give me some idea how you would do this?

  • Thank you Sarah for the free printable school year calendars. Thanks for sharing about home schooling year round. I have thought of doing it year round just wasn’t sure how to do it. Thanks for the information. I too am a mother to 7 kids.

  • Thank you so much for sharing with us. I like the idea of the Blocking/Modular approach. I’m schooling year around from Jan. to Jan but I would like to switch to July to June or Sept to Aug. I feel stuck and don’t know how to switc with my Abeka curriculum. Having trouble releasing the systematic structured way of teaching, but need to make learning more enjoyable and less stressful.

  • Thanks for all the good info, and the great calendar! When you school year round, can you space your quarterly reports accordingly? Even if one falls into the school district’s time off? Just wondering how that part works. Thank you so much!

    • Donna, that might be a good question to ask HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association). They know the homeschool-related laws in all 50 states. Since the laws vary from one state to another, I don’t know the answer to your question, but they should be able to help you. ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.hslda.org/a/5387589

  • I am just starting year around home school for the 2016-2017 school year. I was wondering if you will be adding future calendars like the ones you have available? Love them!

  • I love your calendars. I wish they went August to July because that is how my state designates their year. I hope you keep making these or make a tutorial on how to make them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I also would like August to July. I love having this format for planning my year! Thanks for what you have already made, too.

  • Hey,
    I’ve been using this calendar for two years now, and I love it! I keep coming back when I need to print a new copy (like when I have to change the schedule because of MORE unforeseen circumstances!) I’m really hoping you make more of these! Not sure what I’ll use for 2017-2018 if you don’t! Thanks for this great printable! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Monica, thank you for your request! ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve been so busy we just haven’t had time to do this, but I’m going to put it on my to-do list and try my best to do this in the next couple of weeks.

  • Will it be announced when you make the calendar for the 2017-18 year? This coming school year will be our first try for year round homeschooling and I really need help planning. Lol.

    • Yes! We sure will! We will republish the article with the calendars and will mention it on on our social media accounts too. Thanks for asking! I’m planning to republish the article with the updated calendars one day next week–depending on exactly when the calendars are ready.

  • Thank you!
    Tiny glitch.
    Sept.-Aug. 17-18 link is connecting to Sept-Aug 18-19.
    I’m so excited about these calendars!

    • Oops! I thought I had checked to be sure they were all linked correctly! Thank you for letting me know. I’ll get this corrected ASAP. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • LOVE these calendars! We’re starting home school after this school year and really wanted a year round approach so we had more time t explore as we travel.
    As I’m figuring out a “schedule” may I ask, how many hours a day/week you have school? Im still pretty new to homeschooling but with ADHD/ADD kiddos, I know for sure an eclectic approach is best along with more break to keep them interested. Just haven’t figured out how to make it work yet lol

    • Gen, different families take different amounts of time to homeschool, so it’s important to give it a try and figure out what works best for your family. Your children may take more or less time on their school work depending on their ages, ability levels, attention spans, etc. When my children were younger (kindergarten and about 1st – 3rd grades), they did no more than 1 or 2 hours or so of work a day. (It may have taken more time than that if you include breaks here and there.) From 4th grades through about 6th grades, they did about 3 or 3.5 hours a day. From 7th grade through graduation, they may have spent anywhere from 3 or 4 hours to 5 or 6 hours a day on school work depending on how much they needed to get done in a day and how much reading they had to do. I know that’s pretty vague, but each family is different, so maybe that will give you an idea to go by.

  • The link for Sept 17-Aug 18 is still bringing up Sept 18-Aug 19. I’m a beginner homeschooler with a 5-year-old. Very excited to get started with him!!

    • Thank you for letting me know! I thought I had checked all of the links when I added them, but I must have missed that one. I hope to have the correct calendar made and added in a few days.

    • Sorry about that! I’m in the process of getting the correct calendar made and replacing the incorrect link. I hope to have it done in a few days. Sorry about that! I thought I had checked all of the links when I added them, but I must have missed that one.

  • This year we are trying year round homeschooling. I like the flexibility, especially since weโ€™ve been down with the flu twice. Itโ€™s nice to see that we arenโ€™t the only โ€œweirdโ€ family who goes year round.

  • This is our first year after pulling our girls out from PS. They are in 6th and 4th right now. My husband and I have discussed year round now that itโ€™s getting closer to summer. Weโ€™ve decided to do year round for the very reason of: adults donโ€™t get off all summer so it will be great! Their โ€œformal learning from booksโ€ is over by lunchtime and so in the summer we will still have a lot of day left for fun!

  • Thanks so much for the year at a glance printable! It’s exactly what I needed and didn’t know it! We also HS year round, so we can take off lots of days during the Christmas and ski season! Knowing we did some “formal-schooling” over the summer lets me feel more spontaneous and less stressed throughout the rest of the year, feeling less pressured and more present and happy with our many, many rabbit trails.

  • Thank you so much for the calendars! I use them every year to make planning a breeze as well as have a record for “attendance.”

  • Great information,this will be first year trying this method, the printable calendar will be very helpful thanks!

  • THANK-YOU!! You’ve made it very easy for me to wrap my head around year-round schooling!! We’re switching for the 2019-2020 school year. Just an fyi, the June 2020 calendar is off by 1 day & Memorial Day is the 25th…These calendars are so helpful!! No need to figure out my year by 9 week intervals & trying to schedule weeks off…Many blessing for everyone’s school year!!

    • You are very welcome! We’re so glad the calendars are helpful to you! Oops! I’ll try to get those dates corrected. Thank you for letting us know those dates need to be corrected.

  • Just wanted you to know that the July 2019-June 2020 calendar has a misprint at the end. You skipped a day starting June. I noticed it on Fathers day fell on a Monday. Its not a big deal, but I figured you might want to know.

  • Thanks for sharing calendar and homeschool methods. I’m just getting started home schooling my 6 year old daughter so I’m gathering all the information I can. You mentioned a 180-day school year, but is there a minimum requirement for home school in California? From what I’ve researched, if you’ve filed a private school affidavit (PSA), you are your own private school, and you can determine your school schedule (including the numbers of days in your school year) as long as school hours are between 8am and 4pm.

  • Hello, and THANK YOU so much for these amazing resources! I am planning our second year of homeschool for my 7 year old, and we used your July-June calendar for last year and it has helped me so much! I printed off the July – June 19-20 calendar and just went to start planning our schedule for this coming year, and realized that the June 2020 calendar is off by one day! You have it starting on a Tuesday and when the 1st of June is on a Monday in 2020. Maybe because 2020 is a leap year? I just wanted to bring it to your attention and say a huge thank you, again, for your work and support of other homeschool families. I don’t know where my family would be without the amazing people like you out there!

    • Oops!! Another mom pointed that out, and I keep forgetting to get that calendar updated! Thank you for reminding me again. And thank you for the sweet encouragement! Blessings on your family and your homeschool!

  • I can not tell you enough how much this blog has helped me. When I first began to homeschool, your calendars and explanation on how to homeschool year round has been a tremendous help.

  • Are you going to create a 2021 calendar? I’m in the planning phase and always use your July to June calendars. Thanks!

    • Hi Beth! I just added our calendars for this year and the next few years. I apologize for not having done that before sharing the article. I had them ready and completely forgot to add the updated calendars. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hello! I love and have used your July – June year-at-a-glance calendar for the past 3 years and I’m panicking because I don’t see it on here for 20-21 ๐Ÿ™ I see a monthly, but not the one page document that is SO helpful in mapping out my year… Will there be an updated Year-at-a-Glance happening this year? I know myself and several of my friends are really hoping for it!

    Thank you so much!

    • Meghan, I can add the year-at-a-glance calendars for you and whoever else likes them! It’ll probably take me a few days to get them ready and added, so check back early next week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for letting us know you love using them!!

      • Wendy, thank you so much! I can’t tell you how relieved I am! I have scoured the internet, and nothing comes close to the year-at-a-glance that you’ve created! We are in NY State, and we have a 180 day requirement, so, being able to count out our days on one page makes life so much easier than having to flip from month to month. I use it to map out our breaks (we do 4 weeks on, one week off) and longer vacations in December and June. It is a God-send!

        Thanks again, and I will let my friends know to check back soon!

        • You are so welcome! We’re working on getting more of the year-at-a-glance calendars ready now. ๐Ÿ™‚ In the mean time, you can use the one for January – December 2020 to get you started. The others will hopefully be added in a couple of weeks or sooner.

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