10 Reasons To Homeschool Year Round

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We never planned to school all year long. It just sort of happened. As a new homeschooling momma in our very first year, I dove in with a huge dose of enthusiasm and little awareness of the reality of my situation:  A first grader, a preschooler, a toddler, a house to keep and too many plans for what I hoped we would learn that year. I soon realized we were not going to be able to get it all done, nor should we, because we all needed time to play, relax and just enjoy each other, in addition to learning.

But that was all part of the learning curve for me as a homeschooling parent. We all experience that curve. Looking back, I’m glad it all worked out this way.  We didn’t get to do history between August and May so we had a wonderfully fun summer exploring ancient civilizations. We really had a great time and my kids still talk about the projects we did that summer, the things that they learned.

Six years later, we have found our rhythm. We take time off when we want or need to and pick back up, regardless of the season. 

homeschooling all year

Here’s why our family loves learning all year long.  

10 Reasons We Homeschool Year Round

  1. We don’t have to rush through curriculum. My kids can truly work at their own pace and I don’t have to push through things that I know they need more time on.
  2. It provides some structure to our days, especially in summer, which is something my kids respond to.
  3. We can take off days and even weeks whenever we need to. We routinely take off the whole week of Thanksgiving to prepare for family to visit. If we want to travel, we don’t worry about school for a week or two. 
  4. We “school lightly” during certain timesof year when there are so many things we want to go out and do: We enjoy pumpkin patches and apple picking and gorgeous foliage in fall to our hearts delight.  We have the neighborhood pool to ourselves  before school lets out in June, travel to visit extended family in other states and take impromptu amusement park trips whenever it fits our budget.  
  5. It allows us to delve deeply into a subject of great interest. That first summer, we learned all about ancient history. We worked on learning to read a bit and had a little math practice but oh, how we savored ancient Egypt, Phoenicia and Rome. I read to the kids while they built pyramids out of LEGO. We dug a Nile River in the side of our yard. We dyed pasta to make ancient Phoenician jewelry.
  6. We sometimes use summer to catch up. Last summer my 10-year-old had gotten farther behind in math than either he nor I was comfortable with. We used the summer to keep moving forward in math.
  7. We don’t have to do much reviewing in the fall. We skip the review sections in the beginning of new math workbooks because we’ve thoroughly covered that just a week or two prior. There’s no loss of skills in reading or math if we keep a comfortable but steady pace.
  8. It allows us to not do all subjects all the time. Trying to do math, language arts, science, history, art and so on plus time to see friends and go to outside activities, keep my home at a functioning level of clean laundry and dishes takes up more hours than exist in one day.  So we don’t do all subjects all the time. My kids don’t get burned out and neither do I.
  9. It reinforces to my kids that we are always learning. Life is like that. We never stop learning. One of my goals as a homeschooling parent is to create life-long learners, kids who grow to be adults who don’t know everything but know how to learn something–whatever their hearts and brains desire.
  10. We prefer uncrowded places. Amusement parks, museums, parks, pools, and performances are so much more enjoyable when they are less crowded, so we take the time to go there when public school is in session. We still do some of those things during summer and other school breaks. We aren’t antisocial hermits, after all. But we savor those less crowded times.

This summer my 9-year-old daughter has asked to learn cursive, my 6-year-old will continue learning to read and my 11-year-old is going to work on coding.  We’ll do about 10 minutes of math every day to practice, adding a new skill here and there. We’ll all read to each other and keep our nature journals. Otherwise, you can find us at the pool or traveling. 

What do you plan to learn this summer? I’d love to hear about your plans in the comments below.

How to Keep Kids Engaged During Summer Learning

I’m over at In Step this week, writing about how to keep kids engaged in summer learning. Here’s an excerpt: 

1. Keep your favorite stuff on the schedule, and build on that. My kids’ favorite part of our day is when we all meet at the kitchen table at 10:00 every morning for hot chocolate (in cold weather) or lemonade (in warm weather) and I read to them. We transition into ten minutes of math and ten minutes of them reading to me. Then we head to the pool.

2. Save one delicious subject for summer. My oldest child loves history. He can’t get enough of it, so continuing history studies with him is a no-brainer. This can include some writing practice for him as well as geography. We schedule some awesome field trips too. He’s happy, mom’s happy. Win win.

To read more, go to the In Step website.