Year Round Homeschooling: Will It Work For You?

For the first eleven years of homeschooling we homeschooled year round. I discovered early on that this was one of the great benefits of homeschooling for our family. As my children grew older and have had summer jobs or camps or other activities, we’ve moved away from year round homeschooling. But when the children were young, I loved the flexibility of schooling through the summer, and it was a great benefit to our family to do it.

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?

Year round homeschooling

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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.

    What do you do all summer?

    I liked to use the summer as a time for something different. When we were schooling year round, we typically finished up our regular curriculum content by May. Then in the summer we would have time for other things.

    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:

                            * Moving Beyond the Page– This is one of my favorite literature based resources. They offer unit studies for language arts, history and science. You can use them as complete curriculum or purchase the units separately. 
                             * Homeschool Share- This is an awesome site with free literature based unit studies for many grade levels. Many of their studies also have lapbooks that go along with them.
                             * A Journey Through Learning– This site has some great unit study and lapbooking resources. They have some smaller units that can be completed quickly and some that can last all summer. There are history or science based studies as well as some that are holiday themed 
                             * Hands of a Child- This is an awesome lapbooking resource. They have lapbooks that are really great for multiple ages at a time, so I’ve found some good resources here that we can use for the whole family.
                             * Unit Study Resource Page- I have an ever growing listing of all of the unit studies that you can find here on the blog. I’ve got some thematic unit studies, as well as literature-based unit studies.
                         * Charlotte’s Web Literature Notebooking Unit Study– Check out my literature notebooking unit study for a great summer study. It’s a detailed study based on Charlotte’s Web and including science, social studies, and language arts concepts and skills. It includes many pages for narration of each chapter, study questions, and notebooking pages to use with chapter activities.

    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.


    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. Schooling through the summer can have many benefits. It’s something that has to change and adapt as the family changes and goes through different seasons of life. But it can be a great time to do some special and different learning things with the whole family.

    Year round homeschooling

    Do you homeschool year round? Let me know what you think.

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