Year Round Homeschooling
Recently I came upon an article that talked about year round homeschooling. This actually made me laugh because it’s seems this is how our year is going. Believe it or not, there are quite a few public schools going to the year round plan. This would include having a 45-15 schedule, where students and teachers are in school for 45 days, followed by a 15-day vacation, and just continue this throughout the year. The holiday weeks that are already scheduled, will stay the same.
I’m thinking that’s what a homeshooler can do already, they can be as flexible as they want (and bring their Bible to class)!! Most people don’t realize when you give the children a little flexibility, really just take a breather, they are more likely to accomplish some of the goals you are setting for them. Also, students may forget a lot during the summer break, so a shorter time away from learning may increase retention in your child.
The key to any homeschooling lifestyle, I believe, is truly the opportunity to set your own pace. You don’t want to have to fight so hard to “get it all done”. If the babies are hungry or the laundry is piling up, it’s okay to admit the time would be much better spent doing some housework or feeding the kids. My kids will learn much better the next day if we all just take a breath (well mainly me) and get started back in the next day.
Don’t worry about the small stuff. If we are homeschooling in the first place, we are committed to giving our children the best possible education we can. If they can’t do Calculus in the 3rd grade – well, wait until the 4th. My point is, we are our own best critics, and we will never be good enough in our eyes. Our kids sense this, and will pick up on the tension we are throwing off. So if you have to be working in the summer – so be it, it’s not going to be that way every year.
You also can say “yes” to those opportunities that may come up during the week that a family in school may not be able to do. This is great, usually parks aren’t crowded, rides at theme parks have shorter lines – well you get the – idea. Not to mention the off-peak prices you can take advantage of.
Summer Time Studies
It’s probably a good idea anyway to keep your kids involved in reading, math skills and writing at least through the summer. Of course this doesn’t mean they have to have a scheduled time everyday, like you did during the school year. But it never hurt anyone if they had to figure out how much 15% off the already clearance marked items are. Or for those younger kids – have them count how many strawberries you just picked. Remember, I’ve mentioned it before, life is a learning process in general, take full advantage of everything.
Where we live, the law states we are required to have 180 days for school. You have 365 days to fit in 180 days. Are you doing the math? Did you get that you have 185 days off. We got this. This isn’t to say that you have to stop homeschooling or stop counting your days at 180 school days. The 180 days recorded are the minimum we have to log. This gives you the flexibility to embrace life’s moments when they happen and not worry whether you will get school done or not.
Places get too crowded to enjoy in the summer months. Not too mention the weather outside is a scorcher. Too hot to do much outside that doesn’t include water. (In my state anyway!)
Plan for the Unexpected
This basically fits in the “be flexible” category as well. If you need to suddenly stop everything at your homeschool because of unexpected “life situations” you can do that with no worries. Maybe you have that dreaded flu bug go through your house. With a flexible schedule you can simply pick up where you left off and without the stress of worrying, make up the days missed.
You may have a long lost relative that wants to come in the middle of that busy week, and you thought everything was going so smoothly. Well, don’t worry, there is always next week. Or as in my case, you had to have gallbladder surgery – well everything pretty much stopped. My son can work on his own – but there is still that never forgiving Algebra.
…and don’t forget Music and Art
So many homeschoolers can get caught up with whether or not your child is getting enough of Music and Art in their life. The summer months are a perfect time for this. You can cut down on some of your more traditional homeschool activities or even all of them and study Art and Music for a few months. Of course if you are involved in some kind of lessons, you will obviously keep up with those. You can put in some extra practice time in the summer without your child feeling pressured with his other studies.
Have Another Great Homeschool Day!