The first thing to think about creating a year-round homeschool schedule is the requirements your state enforces. Not all states have requirements to follow when homeschooling. However, some states require homeschool families to schedule and work the same number of days as a local public school. This means they have to have 180 homeschool days. Most states don’t say when these 180 days have to occur, which is why a year-round schedule is possible. There are numerous benefits to year-round homeschooling.
The number of families who homeschool has increased exponentially in the last several years. This increase is because there are many benefits to homeschooling. One of the benefits of homeschooling is getting to pick the schedule that is best for your family. Some homeschool families choose to follow the local school district schedule with a summer break in June and July, while others follow the traditional calendar starting in January. Still, other families choose to do homeschooling year-round.
Benefits to Year-Round Homeschool Schedule
The number of benefits when you homeschool year-round is quite expandable. When you homeschool year-round, you get to schedule more brain break activities, which helps prevent burnout, like when the February blues hit. There is always a break just around the corner that helps relieve stress for your family. You can take longer breaks around holidays, which gives families more time to celebrate. With more frequent breaks, you can travel to off-season vacations, and the sites have fewer people. There is no waiting in lines at popular travel destinations like Disney World or Universal Studios. Taking a vacation during the traditional school year is often cheaper as well.
When you participate in more frequent breaks than a long summer break, fewer skills and concepts are lost, and a routine can stay in place. Information remains fresh, and it doesn’t take days to get back into the swing of things. When scheduling year-round, you have more time to be spending with a struggling learner and can slow down the input of content until the student accomplishes mastery.
Another benefit to year-round homeschool is planning breaks around pleasant weather. It is hard to stay focused inside when the weather is nice outside. It is hard to take advantage of nice weather when there is homeschooling to be completed. You cannot do much when the weather is cold and miserable outside, so homeschooling during this time is perfect.
Ultimately, year-round homeschooling allows you to enjoy life with your littles and family while still attending school. You won’t feel hurried and rushed, and this means less stress.
Creating a Year-Round Homeschool Schedule
With the flexibility in creating your own schedule, you need to consider so many aspects as building your year-round schooling schedule. The first step in creating your schedule is to figure out what type of schedule you would like. Do you want a traditional schedule that follows the local conventional school schedule or a year-round schedule? Make sure to create a schedule that works for you. Ask another homeschool mom how her family started homeschooling and what schedules she has tried and what works best for them.
Now that you have decided on year-round homeschooling, you have to decide when you will start. Will you start your new year in January with a long break at Christmas, or will you start in August with the local school calendar? You can start at any time in any month. Cater it to your family’s needs. If one spouse can’t take a vacation until a certain month, be sure to plan a long break during that time so you can vacation together.
One downfall of starting in January is that when Christmas time rolls around, you will have to purchase a new curriculum and do all of your homeschool planning around the holidays. This can be tough and stressful.
What Is the Best Month to Start the Homeschool Year?
Starting in August will allow you to find school supplies and homeschool planners easily and puts you with most of your area’s schools. But those aren’t the only two options. Pick to start during the month that is best for you. As you decide which day to start, visit your homeschool co-op to see if they have requirements. Some co-ops want everyone starting at the same time; others don’t have a preference. Use your co-op as a resource; they should help you get started in your planning with several ideas of what works for other families that might work for you.
We think starting in July is a great time to start. You can be inside while it is hot outside, which keeps your kids healthy. It allows us to take longer breaks earlier in the year, especially around Christmas and Thanksgiving. We like to take the whole week off at Thanksgiving.
You don’t want to feel like you have to do school every day all year. Planning your schedule will help you get your schoolwork completed throughout the year without worry.
Traditional schools are in session for 180 days, 36 weeks, so we like to take that number and use it for planning. 36 weeks of school means you get 16 weeks for breaks because there are 52 weeks in a year. Having so many weeks for breaks allows you to plan in a break every six weeks and to take longer breaks during the holidays.
When you choose to do school at home, you can have four days, five days, or six days every week. Many year-round homeschooling families take at least one day off a week. They take at least one day off for several reasons. The first reason is that both parents and kids need a break because schooling each day is challenging and a lot of work. Another reason is that families want to participate in the Sabbath as set by God in the Bible. Students who go to traditional public schools don’t have to do school during the weekends, so families feel homeschooled kids should not.
A 4 day week can be four days of regular school time, with the fifth day being a life skills day where you might take a field trip or do chores around the house. You can focus on meal prep, character, and life skills. If one parent is off on Tuesday and Wednesday, then have your school week be Thursday-Monday.
As you plan how many days you want to home school a week, think about which subjects you want every day and which topics need completing less often. The less often ones can be more creative like art or crats. You can also plan on fewer hours of home school time for younger children compared to older children.
What is a Good Schedule for Homeschooling?
Since the school year fits into 36 weeks, the schedule that works allows us to home school for 6 weeks and then take a week-long break. This week-long break allows you time to clean your house, get the laundry caught up, go on a field trip, or plan a virtual field trip, and plan for the next term. When you home school for 6 weeks, you have six terms that allow subject rotation if need be. It is possible to set each term to one 6 week term followed by a break. Most of the online homeschool courses allow you to start and finish at any time.
When you start school in July, you can have a summer term, a harvest term, an autumn term, a winter term, a spring term, and a verdure term. There is a one-week break between each term with longer breaks around Christmas, Easter, and the end of June. Taking field trips during your breaks is acceptable, but no academic work is required.
As you plan and complete the school year, think about the positives and negatives of schooling year-round. If it doesn’t seem to work, tweak it a bit for the next school year. It usually takes a family 1-3 years before they’ve reached a schedule they love. Once you find a school schedule you love, you can use it every year.
Six weeks on, one week off is a good schedule with four, five, or six days a week, depending on what works best for your family during the year. Year-round homeschooling provides the flexibility of having one or two weeks off for a break throughout the year.
As you plan for a new school year, think about homeschooling year-round. There are many benefits to homeschooling year-round, including more time with the family and more breaks. You can get outside and enjoy nature as well. You won’t feel stressed about getting everything completed, and burn-out doesn’t occur as often as during a traditional schedule.