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Homeschooling Year-Round

Should you follow the public school schedule or should you make your own? Many homeschoolers enjoy the freedom of not feeling tied down to a particular schedule but worry about whether their children will get enough academics at home. Is year-round school the best solution? The following discussion appeared on HomeschoolChristian.com's message boards.

Carolyn S. I planned to do year-round schooling. Then I found that I was the one who needed the break from school - not the kids. I remember when I was growing up just loving the summers because they lasted forever - I want my kids to do the same and be kids for as long as possible. I think because my son is sooo grown up in so very many ways that I don't want him dealing with academics all the time. I want him to just play. He would be a perfect unschooled kid. As long as there are things available he learns. Actually, there doesn't have to be anything available and he'll still find things to learn. He's told me he wants to become a librarian when he grows up because he wants to be surrounded by books! Ah, a child after my own heart! Anyway, for my family, game nights, lots of books and play take up our summers.

Lorissa: I was going to do the year round homeschooling. Then I realized I was nuts. I couldn't do it. Now I am not saying you shouldn't or that your nuts... What I am saying is don't plan it, just see what happens and if it happens then great and it if it doesn't then great!... Even when the kids are not staring at books or reports or papers they are still learning! We've been HS for 4 years and now everything is just done by feeling. Sometimes we go weeks doing work everyday and then one day we get devotions done and thats it. But it's a balance that you can feel after awhile. So just feel as you go and don't set any expectations other then doing what feels right.

Teri P. We do year-round school, and the kids prefer it. They got so bored with 9 weeks off in public school. This way, we take off when we want, and they can go see their father when it's convenient for him. They get bored after two weeks of no school, and both said they would rather do school year round and take more short breaks.

Wendy: We have always schooled year-round. We take off a whole month in June. We had 3.5 weeks in December. I will take 1 week off again here in the spring. We only school 4 days a week though. I'm going to keep track of how many days we school starting next year. I know that we do way more than public school.

Debi: We do year round but not three weeks on and one off. We take June off, and start in July, usually take a week here and there for VBS, a vacation or some other activity during the summer. We take a week off at Thanksgiving and four to five weeks off for Christmas. We take one to two weeks off at Easter. This gives us plenty of school days (min. of 180), and time for other days off as we decide we need or want them.

I really enjoy knowing that if we want a day off, we can take it. We finish our semester before Christmas break, which is a natural place to pause. If a day is particularly beautiful (early spring days) we can take it off and enjoy it.

The only drawback is beginning to show now that I have an older child. If you do a co-op class or other class situation, it does not go by our schedule. While he had Christmas break, he still had two weeks with his English Comp. class. When we finish our "school year" in May, he will still have English Comp. class till sometime in June.

DMX: We've always done year round. Year round came naturally to us. First, philosophically, it reinforces the idea of life-long learning and learning from all aspects of living. The biggest practical advantage is the flexibility it offers. There are times of the year that get especially hectic around here. We always shortened the days during the height of the little league season; around Christmas; etc. If he got burned out on math or Japanese, we'd take a couple weeks off. And we didn't hesitate to do in-depth projects that weren't exactly a 'balanced curriculum.'

I've loved working this way. So did my son until he began taking a few classes at the local high school where he learned that you're supposed to look forward to 'summers off.'

Barb: Year-round works great for us. I find that my daughters retain a lot more information and we don't have to do as much review work. We usually take about three weeks off at Christmas and it allows for vacation time, and other occasions when we may need to take a week off here and there for other reasons. This way I also don't feel guilty when relatives say they're coming for a visit. We can take that time off with short notice since we are usually well ahead of schedule. It's just nice to know you can be flexible and do whatever works best for your family.

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