So, why would we choose to school year round? Are we crazy? (Maybe. But that's the topic for another post.) How does this year round homeschooling work? And could it work for your family?
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So why homeschool year round?
I found year round homeschooling to be a good thing for us for several reasons:
- It gives kids something to do when they are stuck inside. We are in the South. It is not unusual to have temperatures in the high 90s as the summer progresses. The kids can't be outside in the heat of the day. Kids stuck inside mean kids who want to keep their eyes on a screen all day. Having some school work to do helps alleviate this problem.
- When we are in a routine, our family functions better. We don't have a strict schedule, but we do have flowing routines. And when we can keep a routine, things seem to go more smoothly. Kids bicker less. We eat better and more regularly. I feel better. Having a school schedule- even a modified one- helps us stay in a routine.
- It gives us the freedom to take extended time off at other times in the year. I like to have more time to take off for Christmas. We also occasionally like to travel in the fall when everyone else is back in school. Having the days of attendance in the summer frees us up to have these days off at other times in the year. Our state requires 180 school days. If we've already counted days in the summer, then we can take the time later and still be sure to have more than enough school days recorded.
- Unit studies. I love to choose unit studies that the whole family can have a part in. We've used lapbooks, literature units, history units, science units. Having a more relaxed schedule in the summer means that we can take time to enjoy the hands on activities in a unit study. Here are some of the unit study resources we've used:
- Summer Bridge Books. You can find Summer Bridge Books for kindergarten through middle school. These books are workbooks with daily activities that reinforce skills students have probably learned in the previous year. I like them because they give just enough book work to keep the kids focused on some of these skills but not so much work that it's burdensome to them. The work for the day usually takes thirty minutes or less. There are also reading recommendations for the grade level and usually some fun reward system for reading and completing pages.
- Reading. If you've been around the blog, you'll know I love reading aloud. I read aloud year round. But, in the summer, if we aren't as busy with other activities, I really enjoy having a read aloud that the whole family is listening to. You can find some of my favorite read aloud suggestions on this ever growing list.