Hubs and I are crazy hard workers. We both worked 3 jobs through college and now own our own business. It has its good points and bad ones, but homeschooling year round has worked really well for us for a few reasons.
We own a business and homeschool for the lifestyle. We aren’t so much there now, but we are right on the cusp of being able to do crazy cool things as a family like travel. For now, it works really well to mix travel & pleasure. Our last two vacations (and the next one planned) have been extensions of business conferences for hubby. It’s marginally more to add the rest of the family if we have a room and such already. Plus, we can take trips in low time and not look forward to joining every other family in the country on Christmas break or spring break!
2. Work Hard, Play Hard
Okay, this is a throw back from corporate days, but it really does fit here. Because our nice season is so short and sporadic here in Michigan, we really have seasonal schooling. In the winter, we push it hard! There is nothing else to do, so why not hit the books?
We sometimes do 2 lessons a day or two weeks worth for block scheduled subjects. After 5-6 weeks of working that hard, a week break is greatly appreciated!
3. “Sun” Days
Forget snow days, we call Sun Days! Especially those odd 60 degree days in March. Those first couple warm days are either school free, or just about the basics.
Since cool weather usually returns before it STAYS warm, we start to push even harder to finish up winter electives. For us, this includes things like music appreciation or geography. We also make a final push to double up on subjects that are almost complete. So far this year, we are on par to be at half our normal school load by mid-May.
4. Forget About Forgetting
You know how they made those Summer Bridge Books? It’s to try to keep kids from forgetting what they learned in the THREE(!) months they have off. Then they spend a month reviewing stuff when they return in September.
Okay, first of all, you don’t get 3 months off in real life. Second, spending 3 months off and then a month in review = four wasted months.
We do a light schedule through late May through June. In July, we do the three R’s — math, reading & writing. With my kids, writing = copy work, but later it will probably be journal writing :). August to mid-September is a slow build up of the basics & daily work, both to get in the habit and still take advantage of nice weather.
In addition to academics, we want to provide real-life experiences to their lives. Sitting in a room with only people your age & ability for 6-8 hours a day, ain’t it. In real life, they can do schoolwork at home in 2-4 hours, move as much as necessary, and learn to work with different personalities, abilities and ages.
How a year round schedule works for us is that we “do school” from August to June. Only July is “off” and even that is not completely off. When I plan our year, we school for approximately 6 weeks on, 1 week off. Our breaks typically take place the week of Labor Day, near Halloween, thanksgiving (short week), 2 weeks at Christmas, the beginning of Lent, Holy Week, and Memorial Day. Our amount of work varies with the seasons and if you move to another climate, that will probably change.
How about you? How you your adjust your homeschool year to fit within the lifestyle you want to live?
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