Want to Prevent Burnout? Try Year Round Homeschooling!
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.
It’s really interesting to go back and read this post because, since writing this, our homeschool has evolved even more into an interest-led learning method. As for year-round homeschooling? Still the best decision ever!
I’ve never really homeschooled using an interest-based plan, but I think it’s a great idea! My children have to have a lot of structure, and they prefer to know ahead of time what they’ll be studying and what the plan is. But we do often extend lessons that they are particularly enjoying. Thanks for your comment!
This is our first year of year-around schooling as well, and we love it. Next week is our break! WOOHOO! Like you, I’ve found that having that little window of down time helps me as much, if not more than the kids!
Amen! I’m looking forward to a 2 week break for Easter. Yay!
I hope you have a great time and enjoy your time off!
Joesette, you are so right! I think breaks are just as helpful to moms as to the students! I always tell my children that teaching them is as much work for me as learning is for them. Of course they don’t believe me, but it’s true. 😉
This year is my first year homeschooling and we have been doing the 6 weeks on 1 week off schedule. I think throughout the summer we are going to do a light 3-day a week schedule with lots of field trips and park days thrown in. My children so far love the schedule.
That’s a great idea for the summer!
That’s what we normally do over the summer too. We don’t keep the same schedule as we do during the school year–we do allow ourselves a little bit of a break–but we keep doing math and do a lot of reading. It helps the kiddos not to have such a hard time when the new school year begins in the fall since they’re not completely out of the habit of doing school. Thanks for your comment!
I’m Kris, I’m liking the idea of doing 6 weeks on 1 week off year around homeschooling. I’m planning now for next year and would like a planner or calendar to go by. I have been researching and looking at sites, but really found no help. If anyone could send me along something that would be of great help
We have an article where you’ll find some year-at-a-glance calendars and monthly calendars to use for planning. Just click HERE to read our article The Benefits of Homeschooling Year Round.
Shelly, I think this is such a great idea, and I wish I could do it. We live overseas and go on furlough every other summer, so that makes year round home school hard to schedule. But I think it sounds so productive. Once my son graduates, I might do this with my daughter. Some public schools in America are doing it, at least in New Mexico…
How many weeks of school do you complete? Just curious. Two six week breaks made me wonder how many weeks you shoot for.
Well, I never really counted out the weeks, but it’s probably around 36. We count the days because we’re required to log in 180 days. Since we do so much stuff on the weekends and even on break weeks, sometimes I’ll count those as school days, too. We started in the second week of July and are already at 153 days because of all the extra days. Because we’re so far ahead, we’re taking a 2 week break at Easter. Keep in mind that our school days won’t stop once we hit 180 days. Our schedule will continue as usual without the burden of logging everything in. (I’m looking forward to that!)
Year round works best for us. Learning is fun.
It really is!