Homeschooling comes with the benefit of being flexible. You get to decide what to study, you get to decide how to do it, you can decide to have class outside on a sunny day, and you get to decide when to have school. Yes, there are some legal restraints depending on where you live, for us we must have 180 days of school, but beyond that you get to do what you want in your homeschool.
When we first started homeschooling we were so in love with learning we chose to homeschool year round. Then we decided to join a co-op which followed a traditional school year schedule so we stopped homeschooling over the summer. For us the co-op environment and traditional school year gave way to more stress than our previous relaxed schedule had given.
My husband has health issues so the year round schedule allowed for us to be flexible and take time off as we needed. We also had more flexibility to take off for vacation during non-peak times. Or we could take off because it was the first sunny day of spring. During those year round school days we always took off from Thanksgiving until the first full week after New Years Day. Those things were impossible when we followed the traditional school year schedule because it wasn't possible to get in 180 days that way.
So this summer we went back to year round schooling. Everything was going great until the neighbor boy told Little Man it was weird that he had school during the summer. Little Man is at that age where he worries what others think, so everyday when it was time to do school he would complain and I spent the summer fighting with him.
As spring is right around the corner I am counting our days and it is obvious we will have to go into summer to get in all of our required 180 days. I am debating what we are going to do. Should we just get in our required days or continue with our year round school schedule?
For me the benefits of year round schooling are this:
- The ability to take off days as needed during the school year without the stress of worrying about getting in those required days.
- Shorter breaks during the year allow for the kids to not lose reading, math, or language arts skills that are sometimes lost over the long summer break. This also cuts down on review time that is needed at the beginning of the traditional school year because skills stay fresh.
- After a summer break it takes a long time to get back into the habit of homeschooling, with schooling year round everyone stays in the groove of schooling.
- I have found that we experience less burnout, as we get to take time off more often than with the traditional school year schedule.
- You have a longer time period to complete curriculum. You no longer have to stress about completing a curriculum by the end of the school year because the school year is continuous. As you complete one curriculum you just move into the next.
- We tend to complete more than just the 180 required days when we homeschool year round.
I do have one question for you before you go - can we be Facebook friends? If you do like my page let me know and I will follow your Facebook page as well.