Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Considering Year-Round Homeschooling

I've been interested in doing year-round homeschooling since I first stumbled across it online. You might think that sounds pretty intense (especially if you clicked on the link), but really it can be much more relaxed than cramming all your school into the "school year". Different families do it different ways, but I am considering organizing my year into quarters, with 45 school days in each quarter. To make things easy, I would start each quarter on the first day of each season. We'd do 4-day school weeks, and there will still be over a week to play with each quarter.
Why would I consider this?

1. I really want learning to be a natural way of life in our home. I think having learning as a relaxed part of our regular daily routine year-round serves this purpose better than having weeks and weeks of school, followed by weeks and weeks of vacation.

2. There's really no obvious reason that I should follow the standard school year. I'm free to organize my year as I see fit, to suit my family's needs.

3. As someone who loves planning but tends to lose steam after a while, planning each quarter separately would be highly motivating for me. I'd have an opportunity to tweak my plans and begin with energy once again at the beginning of each season.

4. Seasonal planning makes sense where I live. We have different weather in each season, making different kinds of opportunities for learning in each season. (For example, we could have more outdoor pursuits in the Summer and Fall, like gardening and field trips, and more indoor pursuits in the Winter and Spring, perhaps more reading aloud and focus on academics.)

What might the drawbacks be?

1. It might be nice to be off during the summer, as it's so short here. I would counter that by having a lighter schedule during the summer, and planning more nature study and history/geography field trips for then.

2. There might be less time for my children to hang out with their friends in the summer holidays. My children are young, though, and don't know too many people in the school system yet.

I really think this is worth trying for my family, at least for these early years. I'll keep you posted as to how it works for us!
How about you? Have you tried year-round homeschooling or know anyone who has? Do you see any major pitfalls that I'm not considering? Any benefits? Please comment!


  1. We are sorta doing the year-round thing here. I took a full 4 weeks off during the warm season but did some form of schooling the rest of the year.

    my philosophy is more the you have using life and living while teaching at the same time, learning experiences are all around. But there is also a need for some textbook learning and so on. So I mix the 2. Some schooling is very scheduled and directed other is more relax and going with the flow (I like the combination)

    Flexible structure home education, could be how I see the year around schooling thing. (nice to have the flexibility when "life" happens and not be stress by the scheduled)

    I think the drawback is getting self motivated, keeping the young one motivated and engaged too. But at the same time short lesson are better for younger student.

    I like your idea of seasonal lesson, very CM and nature study (the "come sit by me" curriculum is divided that form)

    Have you look at "Math-u-see" sounds like a fun way to teach math!

  2. I have Come Sit By Me, but I'm reconsidering using it. I think I want to do the Ambleside booklist more than I want to do the Canadian picture books, and sometimes in life you just can't do it all...
    I've considered Math-U-See, also Right Start Math (as recommended on Simply Charlotte Mason). They all look very interesting. In the end I decided on Miquon for this year. It is highly recommended by a couple of people here whose opinions I really trust. It's also quite inexpensive. SA is really interested in math anyway. I have a feeling almost any program could work for him (so I may as well get a cheaper one...).
    This reminds me that I should make a post with some of what I'm using this year. So many little time.