I’ve been hearing a lot about year-round homeschooling in the homeschool groups I am in (Hip Homeschooling Moms and Homeschooling Around the World are two of my favorite groups). A lot of homeschooling parents are big fans of year-round homeschooling.
I, however, am not. And here is why:
I see the appeal of year-round homeschooling. It allows the flexibility to take off when sudden emergencies come up, you can take vacations when other people are in school, and it allows for more frequent breaks throughout the year.
I have a slightly different prospective on year-round homeschooling, since I was homeschooled my entire life until college. In fact, my parents did year-round schooling with us a few years (usually during a move or after the birth of a baby). As a child, I hated year-round homeschooling.
- I did not like having to do school when my non-homeschooled friends were off.
- I hated not getting a summer break.
- We weren’t allowed out of the house during school hours when regular school was in session, so we didn’t really get any advantage of extra free time during our off periods.
As an adult homeschooling mom, I have considered year-round homeschooling, but ultimately decided against it.
Why We Skip Year-Round Homeschooling
These are the reasons why we chose to go along with the public school schedule:
We like being off at the same time as other people: Sure, crowds are larger when everyone is off, but it is also easier to do things with other people and have conversations with non-homeschoolers. When they ask what we are doing for spring break, we can tell them our vacation plans, rather than explaining that we are still doing school that week. It’s a small thing, but it helps us feel a little less weird.
I need a break: This is the reason that finally convinced me to not do year-round homeschooling. I know you get several smaller breaks throughout the year during year-round homeschooling, but I need that longer break to feel refreshed and ready for the next year. I take the summers to really study what I want to do for the next year and enjoy summer days outside as much as possible. Something about summer is relaxing, and I don’t want to miss it.
It helps us keep motivated for school: When we take a summer break, we’re all excited to start school again in the fall. We make a big deal about picking out new supplies and having fun with the start of the year. If we were doing school all along, there would be no excitement at the start of the year.
The kids need a break: I don’t know if every child/parent is like this, but sometimes, school is a struggle for us. Some days, it seems like school places a strain on our relationship. I enjoy long breaks because we don’t have that tension in the air all year-round. Sometimes after a long break, something that Monkey just didn’t get before suddenly clicked and she was able to move on without any more friction.
Some families love year-round homeschooling, which is awesome for them. What I love about homeschooling is that you are free to make your own routine that works for you. For us, year-round homeschooling is not the best option. If it isn’t the best option for you either, don’t feel like you are less of a homeschooler than the super-dedicated year-round homeschoolers!
I think the quote “done is better than perfect” applies doubly for homeschooling. If year round-homeschooling works for you, awesome! If not, awesome! Neither method is better than another.
Do you homeschool year-round? Why or why not?
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