Today I'm going to be talking about our choice to homeschool year round.
This is our 8th year homeschooling. We started out doing the traditional school year. We would start school in September and end in June. This worked for us when the kids were little. As they started getting older and doing more work, it no longer fit our needs. We always seemed to be falling behind because of sick kids, a sick mama, trips to the grandparents, field trips, and homeschool co-op functions. Yup....you can over socialize, but that is a different topic all together.
Well about 5 years ago, we started homeschooling year round. At first, we did all the normal subjects during the regular school year. During the summer months, we worked on unit studies. I allowed the kids to each pick a subject that they wanted to learn about and then I would pick one. We would spend a month on each topic. We studied sharks, dolphins, butterflies, snakes, etc. This was a great way to keep the kids learning during the summer months.
Two years ago, we started doing the main subjects year round. It wasn't on purpose when we started it. We had a really bad winter with illness that year and fell behind. We fell so far behind that it was either cram everything in or take it slow and school year round. It was the best decision we have made. We no longer stress if we fall behind. We have all year to get it done!
Now that we homeschool year round, I break up the school year a little differently.
Last year we went year round with large breaks for Christmas, Easter, and summer. Even with the long breaks, we still had times when school became too stressful or the house became too cluttered.
This year, I switched things up even more and I think we have finally found what works best for us.
Our official school year starts in September. We do school for 6-7 weeks and the take a week off for organizing, field trips, and fun getaways. A fellow homeschool mom and I were discussing the headaches of homeschooling when she read about the Sabbath Week. The Sabbath week is just what it sounds like. God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th day. When applying the Sabbath week idea to homeschooling, you school for 6 weeks and rest on the 7th week.
In addition to our Sabbath week off, we still take off from regular school during Advent and Christmas. This is still our longest break. We take off for Holy Week and the first week of Easter. Finally we take off the whole month of August because we usually go on vacation during that month.
After homeschooling for 8 years, I think we finally have the scheduling aspect of it down. But then again if we find it's not working, we are free to switch it up again! We love the freedom homeschooling gives us.
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Till next time,