Chances are if you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve heard of people schooling year round. I’m not sure if I ever made a concious decision to do it, but it’s been our practice for years.
What does it look like for us?
Throughout the year we work on math and reading Monday through Friday week in and week out. If we have a field trip, we’ll skip it. If we go camping in the summer for a week, we’ll skip it. At Christmastime, we take roughly a week off and we’ll skip it. If it snows and we want to take a snow day, we’ll skip it.
The general idea with our year round school is a constant, steady moving forward with math and reading as the emphasis. The little breaks are nice and we all enoy them. But, the key is that they’re little.
The three main reasons we school year round:
(1) Too much free time = No Bueno. I’ve learned the hard way that if my crew has too many free hours during the day they get bored which leads to trouble which leads to me being annoyed.
And really? Summer is HOT, y’all. We live in the south. You walk outside to check the mail and you’ve broken a sweat. During the summer months, the main time they’re outside are the morning hours. That leaves a lot of day to fill. Math and reading take up a small part of it.
(2) Retention. My crew forgets things. Taking a two month long stretch with zero math would result in LOTS of review when it came time to hit the books again.
(3) Flexibitity and freedom. Each of the children learns and works at a different pace. Struggling with decimals? No problem. Let’s work on it until you’ve got it. (Of course, you also benefit from the flipside of that. Excelling with fractions? Awesome! Let’s move quickly through this section.) Without that looming deadline of a specific date to finish the book by, we have more wiggle room.
What about the other stuff?
The other subjects (history, science, geography, foreign langauge, etc.) are set aside during the summer months. It gives me time to reevauluate, purchase new items, read through things, and come up with a skeleton plan. So, ultimately our summer months are MUCH lighter giving us the freedom to pick up and go and do more, but with the constant stream of math and reading. The first week of August is always when we declare that our “new” school year has begun.
What about you? If you homeschool, do you school year round? If so, do you include all subjects or a select few?