Feel burned out trying to cram your homeschool year in nine months? How about considering year-round homeschooling? Homeschooling year-round has so many benefits that ultimately maximizes your time, your energy, and your sanity! Here you’ll find my top 10 benefits of homeschooling year-round and some tips to get you started in the right direction. Not to mention, I added a LOT of links and resources to add a TON OF FUN things you’ll love to incorporate into your homeschool routine. Without further ado, let’s start out with the top 10 reasons to homeschool year-round.
Benefits of Homeschooling Year Round
- Avoid Burnout
Yes, burnout happens in the homeschool as well! You and the kids will get overwhelmed, cranky, and just need a break. This is critical when homeschooling to keep your sanity! Homeschooling year-round allows you to afford that extra time off when you need it. Feeling overwhelmed trying to catch up from the holidays? I know I tend to get burned out from all of the family-fun events and trying to get my budget back in order at the beginning of the year. This is a great time to take off before you get extremely overwhelmed and save your homeschool sanity!
- Teaches Commitment, Dependability, Persistence & Good Work Ethic
Homeschooling year-round prepares your kiddos for real-life! Adults don’t get 2-3 months off work to sleep in and do as they please. Life continues everyday and we need to train and equip our children for real-life. It teaches them to be consistent and dependable. Their employers will thank you for teaching them this critical skill early in life. Teaching them structure, commitment, dependability, work ethic, and responsibility will ensure they are fully equipped to become successful in life.
- No Forgetting Material
My son is terrible for this one. Getting back into a school routine and remembering the material where he left off at can be excruciating for him. Having a year-round schedule ensures he doesn’t struggle getting back into a routine and/or remembering the material he’s learning. It keeps their focus, improves their study skills, and mind sharp without regressing over the summer.
Furthermore, it allows your accelerated kiddos to move ahead of the game or more practice for the struggling learners. This is also a big one for my family because my son has ADHD and a couple other learning disabilities. He really struggles with almost every subject and we need a LOT of extra time for the subjects he’s having troubles with. Homeschooling year-round is definitely essential to his educational growth.
- Avoid Summer Boredom
I’m sure you’ve heard this one plenty of times. Mom, I’m bored. Mom, there’s nothing to do. Mom, I’m sssooooo borrreeed. You are constantly trying to come up with ideas to keep their minds busy. Homeschooling year-round is the perfect way to avoid the kids “summer boredom syndrome.” Not to mention, it will also keep them from causing trouble! Win-win!
- Taking Breaks When Needed
This is critical one for my household. We garden every year so when harvest time comes in September-October time frame comes, we need that extra time off to preserve and can our fruits and veggies that will last us throughout the winter and spring months. The same goes with holidays. Homeschooling year-round allows you to have that extra wiggle room in your schedules.
- Planning for the Unplanned Events
What if you or the kiddos get sick and need the extra time off, have a death in the family or some other unforeseen circumstance? With homeschooling year-round, you have the ability to take that day, week, or whatever time off that you need. That is something that public school definitely doesn’t offer unless you have a doctors note…grr! LOL. I think that’s one of my favorite perks of homeschooling.
- Choosing Your Own Schedule
There are so many ways to choose your schedule. Some homeschools choose to school for six weeks and have one week off or on a 4-week schedule. Other homeschools only school four days a week. I know a lot of families choose to take the entire month off between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers has a six week on, one week off schedule that uses the Trail Guide to Learning in which each unit is six weeks long so it works perfect. It’s up to you how you’d like to schedule your year. You can also consider changing things up and not do ALL subjects every day. Homeschooling year-round allows you to afford that extra time to work on a subject every other day or every other week however you see fit.
- Allows You to Catch Up On Other Things
Need to get some spring cleaning done? Run errands, prepare for the next set of homeschooling weeks, take a field trip, have play dates, prep meals ahead of time, organize the house or homeschool stuff. This is the perfect time to teach the kids a little extra home economics and get some hands-on work done. Or even get some extra fresh air and do some nature studies. It also allows you time to reflect and evaluate your curriculum, your schedule, and maximize your homeschooling time. Not to mention, you need that extra time to decompress and unwind too. Get a Faithbox or a Bette’s Box of Blessings subscription and get that extra time for devotion that we all need.
- Allows Time for FUN!!
This is my absolute favorite reason to homeschool year-round! You have the chance to do some really fun things to break up the monotony of your average day-to-day homeschool schedule…4H projects, co-ops, family fun days, make a few art & crafts projects, take music lessons, go swimming, take some extra-curricular classes like singing, cooking, film directing, or fashion design, take hikes, learn computer or video game coding, and etc. School with YouTube & Netflix videos, learning games, and educational apps on your electronics instead of the workbooks to change things up. Check out these fun STEM projects to do.
You can also order some subscription boxes or other fun activities that the kids enjoy! Oh, one of my favorite things is to do science projects with my son!! Steve Spangler Science has so many fun projects you can do at home. You can even check his Sick Science YouTube Channel for a TON of fun-filled science projects! His science projects are so good, he’s been on the Ellen show over 20 times showcasing his best projects.
I love that homeschooling year-round allows us to get those fun activities in without worrying about getting the year’s curriculum completed in time. Not to mention, you have the ability to take advantage of the vacation deals when the travel prices are low, attractions are less crowded, and weather is more ideal for vacationing. Perfecto!
- The Kids Can Get Extra Time Off With Their Friends
This is a huge deal for us! My son was previously in public school and he misses his friends terribly. He Loves homeschooling, but he does miss his friends. When his friends get the day off or want to come over, I jump on it and he immediately gets that extra time off with his friends. It’s critical not only for his social skills, but also to keep his morale up!
Tips on Planning
- Get a year-round homeschool schedule that fits your family’s needs and plan your first day of school each year and any holidays or vacations you know for sure you’ll be taking throughout the year. Check out the FREE Cozi Planner App to schedule your activities, document your family’s adventures, meal plan, and much more. Also set some goals you’d like to accomplish throughout the school year. Maybe even include the kids in their goal planning and find out what they’d like to accomplish during the year.
- Start planning your weeks off if you know you’ll be doing a four or six week on, one week off schedule or your four day a week schedule. Get it planned out so you have a good idea of what your homeschool will be like. Also, schedule time for planning. If you’re on a six week on, one week off schedule, use that time to gather your materials and plan the daily lessons out for that six weeks.
- Plan for the unplanned events. Allow yourself time to adjust your schedule around the holidays. Don’t get overwhelmed. Take 3-5 weeks off if you feel you need to.
- Schedule time for sports and activities for the kids throughout the year…4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sports, field trips, and so on. Find out the homeschool deals in your area or state. Minnesota has homeschool week at the aquarium about three times a year and the Valley Fair puts on a homeschool week a couple times a year. These are great events and they’re much cheaper than your typical entrance fees too. The aquarium’s usual admission fees are around $25 per person and we got our tickets for $7 each! Furthermore, where I live, my son can still participate in public school sports (which gives my son more time to spend with friends) so he can still stay active and have a good physical education credit so scheduling those activities are a must!
- Keep things fresh, interesting, and prevent boredom. Alternate subjects. Maybe fluctuate science & history every other day or every other week. Lesson Planet is excellent for mixing things up! They have over 350,000 teacher reviewed lessons to choose from and you can narrow your searches down my grade, subject, what type of resource you need (activities, lesson plans, printables, etc), if you want a certain standard to follow (Common core, etc), what kind of instructional activity you’re looking for (demonstration, experiments, hands-on, independent learning, etc.) and so many other ways to narrow your searches down. And the best part? They have three plans that are incredibly affordable ranging from $2-$5 a month…for access to 350,000 lessons…I think YES! Lesson Planet is an awesome resource for getting some additional fun activities into your homeschool routine. Plus, they have a ton of resources and articles on lesson planning, how to teach subjects, early child development, higher education, and so much more.
- Let the kids pick their curriculum. If they like doing a certain activity like playing video games. Incorporate that into their learning. Minecraft is great for this! If they’re in a war or battle in their game, have them write a story about the event. If they like Legos, incorporate legos into their curriculum. This allows them to learn, play, and avoid boredom at the same time! Get outside and get some fresh air with nature studies or gardening. If your kiddo likes to cook or bake, incorporate that into your schedule.
- This is probably one of the most critical steps in homeschooling year-round. Really take the time to consider what works best for your family…you, your spouse, and your kids collectively!! Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate things as time progresses. Life is a learning process and homeschooling is no different. Learn as you go. Find out what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have to fit into this cookie cutter homeschool lifestyle of what other people think you should be doing. You need your sanity and so does your family (kids included) so make sure you nurture that and do what works best for YOU!!
- Lastly, HAVE FUN LEARNING! Learning is a lifelong endeavor. Teach your kids in a way that learning is fun and they’ll continue to do so throughout their life!
All in all, homeschooling year-round is a continuous learning adventure that will carry on throughout the year. It allows you time for all of those extra breaks, time for FUN activities, and vacations that are essential to your children’s education (and your sanity)! So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed reading the benefits and tips of homeschooling year-round. I added a lot of links and resources to this article as well to give you plenty of ideas on fun ways to really maximize your homeschooling experience! After All, learning is so much fun!!
CHIME IN: What did you think about this article? Was it helpful? Are you homeschooling year-round? Drop a comment below and tell me your thoughts!
Your Minnesota Country Girl, Sharla