What Is Year Round Homeschool?
Homeschooling affords us so much freedom! Not only in what we teach, but how. We are blessed to tailor our homeschool subjects, approach, and philosophy to our student’s needs. And even better, we can tailor our schedule too! One popular scheduling option is Year Round Homeschool.
If you’re new to homeschooling, don’t worry! Year round homeschooling isn’t as grueling as it sounds. When I was a new homeschooler and heard that term, here is what I envisioned: an angry taskmaster-teacher marching her sad and exhausted students through an unyielding, never-ending school year. That vision also included a methodical, driving drumbeat. (I kind of have an overactive imagination.)
However, I learned that Year Round Homeschooling offers so much freedom! You can adapt your year to fit even the busiest of schedules. This ultimately leads to less stress for all. So, if you have to work around any of these challenges, year round homeschool may be for you:
- Many extra curricular activities
- Chronic illness
- Travel for sports/events
- Work related travel
- Off season vacations
- Summer forgetfulness (poor academic retention over the summer)
Year Round Homeschool Planning Tips
Start with a great planner.
The Essential Year Round Homeschooling Planner is a fantastic option. I love this planner because it’s especially made for year round homeschooling. It’s tailored to what you need. There are over 80 pages and you can print only what you want.
For example, if you’re taking a ton of field trips this year, print more of those pages. Or, if you have teens with individual schedules, you can print a separate attendance log for each child. Easy peasy!
There are lots of options out there. Research, and choose the planner you feel will work best for your family.
Choose Your Schedule: Part 1
You thought you had the schedule set simply by choosing to school year round? Nope! Now you get to break down your year into two chunks of time: schooling chunks and break chunks. This is called “pre-planning” in the Essential Year Round Homeschooling Planner.
The most popular time-chunk break up is 6 weeks schooling, 1 week break. However, I’ve seen some moms do 4 weeks schooling, 1 week break (this works especially well for young students). Some moms plan to extend the break weeks to 2 weeks long over holidays.
Remember, this is about what works for your family and personal homeschooling goals.
Choose Your Schedule: Part 2
When you’re planning your year round calendar, consider how many days a week you’d like to school. That’s right, you don’t need to be a slave to the 5 day a week, or even Monday through Friday schedule.
In our house, we plan 3 full academic days, and two light academic days. On the two light days we concentrate on the basics only: reading, writing, and math. Then, on one light day, we use the rest of the time for a field trip or fun afternoon. The second light day, we use the “extra time” for household pick up.
Some homeschoolers choose to school Tuesday through Saturday, or every other day!
My best advice is DON’T PLAN FOR YOUR BEST DAYS, PLAN FOR YOUR WORST DAYS. It’s oh so easy to fill up the calendar with neat subjects and activities. Then, life happens and we find it hard to get through the basics. Leading to feelings of failure.
You’re not a failure! There will always be an unexpected stomach virus, a wedding, a project…anything that can disrupt your schedule. That’s why it’s so important to leave white space on your calendar.
You can always add more; it’s much harder to take away.Don't plan for your best days, plan for your worst days! #homeschool #planning #2to1Conf Click To Tweet
Plan For Fun
This goes hand and hand with tip number 4. As you make your schedule with white space, be sure to pencil in fun!
Remember at the beginning when I shared my vision of the taskmaster teacher and the drum? No matter how productive your school year, you will still feel like a taskmaster if you can’t have fun with what you do.
So, plan those field trips and play dates! Plan them in pen, not pencil. Better yet, use a permanent marker. Yes, FUN is that important. I wonder if could make FUN a homeschool subject.
More Resources To Make Your Job Easier
In addition to a great planner, there are other items that will make your year round homeschool planning easier. Add my favorite must-haves to your resource basket:
The big picture:
Permanent markers – for scheduling the fun stuff!
File folders – for saving the important papers
Book organizers – for keeping library or theme books organized