I am a nerd. There, I said it. For as long as I can remember, I have always been enamored with the thought of learning. Here’s the clincher: I’m also a public school graduate. Unfortunately, school today is far removed from the school of yesterday. The institution that planted the seeds of lifelong learning for me has become a place of endless drills, bullying, and political correctness. I never realized that until I had children of my own enrolled in school.
NOTE: At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a link to an article with free printable year-at-a-glance calendars and monthly calendars for year round homeschool planning. You’ll also find more information about how to homeschool year round.
Where am I going with this, you might ask? When I decided after much thought and consideration to pull my children out of school and homeschool them, I still had those thought remnants which told me that public school routines are the best routines. So, I went to a secondhand store, bought some school desks, bought a textbook for each subject, and stuck with the school calendar. Looking back on those days, I must have been a nightmare of a homeschool mom. My kids had to raise their hands if they needed help or had a question, and if for some reason they didn’t complete all of their work, we would make it up on Saturdays instead of changing the next week’s lesson plans. Yeah, I was that bad.
Eventually, of course, this whole routine became tiresome for everybody, and thankfully I discovered the beauty of unit studies. What a change that was! I felt like I could breathe again, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Things started to go by so much more smoothly–until it happened. I was starting to experience what I now know was burnout. I wasn’t excited about our lessons anymore; I wasn’t getting anything done around the house; I just didn’t want to do it anymore. The months seemed to drag on and on, and summer vacation seemed far away. That’s when I knew things had to change.
I had previously read about year round homeschooling and scoffed at it at first (because public schools don’t do THAT!), but after some thought and prayer, I slowly came around to the idea. This year is our fifth year homeschooling and our first year of year round schooling. We started in mid-July and are doing a 6 weeks on, 1 week off schedule, with a 6 week break in the winter and a 6-8 week break in the summer.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE! This is our best and most productive year of school ever. Knowing that we will have a break every few weeks makes everything so much more invigorating, and after our breaks, it’s as if new life has been brought into our homeschool.
Things change all the time. Our homeschool is transitioning all the time (We’ve actually been doing a much more eclectic approach lately.), and things may change again. Without a doubt, though, I can tell you that this is the best thing we ever did!
If you’re experiencing burnout that doesn’t seem to go away, my advice to you is DON’T GIVE UP! The beauty of homeschooling is that you can make it into anything you want or need it to be! That’s what my family has done, and we’re all the more blessed for it!
If you’d like to download our FREE printable year-at-a-glance or monthly calendars for year round homeschool planning or if you’d like more information about the benefits of homeschooling year round, click HERE: The Benefits of Year Round Homeschooling.
Shelly Sangrey is a homeschooling, Christ-following Mom of eleven great kids and wife to her sweetheart of 21 years, Shawn. This is her fifth year homeschooling, and she has seven children officially being homeschooled this year. Shelly blogs at There’s No Place Like Home.