Homeschooling

The Benefits of Homeschooling Year Round (with FREE Printable!)

When we began homeschooling 7 years ago, homeschooling year-round wasn’t even a consideration.  I didn’t even know that this was something people actually did.  When I did hear the term year-round homeschooling for the first time, I thought it sounded crazy; who does that?  And why would they want to?

Well, 5 years into our homeschooling journey, something had to change, and homeschooling year round sounded like it might be a good option for our family.  With several moves and several babies in the last several years, I needed something that allowed for more flexibility while providing efficiency as well.

Homeschooling Year Round

Here are some of the benefits that I, as well as other homeschoolers, have found from homeschooling year round –

 

Less Stress

What homeschool mom doesn’t need less stress?  When homeschooling year round, I don’t have to worry about cramming all of our learning into a 36-week schedule.  Instead, I have 52 weeks to work with.

 

More Time

Just like I mentioned above, we have more time to get our schooling in.  Instead of the typical 36-week school year, we have 52 weeks to work with.

Having more time also allows us to take ‘rabbit trails’ more often without the guilt and allows us to immerse ourselves in topics that really interest us.

Homeschooling year round allows for more time to be spent with a struggling learner.  If one of the kids is having difficulty with a certain math concept or is struggling with reading, we can take the extra time to master the skill without feeling hurried.

 

Flexibility

Homeschooling year round offers so much flexibility.  Instead of a 5-day school week, we can easily cut back to a 4-day school week without having to overfill those 4 days.

We can also spread out our breaks and take small breaks more often instead of one or two longer breaks.

We can take a day off here and there (due to sickness, a field trip, an impromptu play date, or just because we feel like it) without feeling like we are going to get behind.

 

Extra-Curricular Activities

We can join a co-op and not feel like it’s taking up some of our learning time at home.  In the past, when we were following a 36-week schedule, it was hard for us to be a part of our church’s co-op and get all of our other schooling done at home too.

With year-round homeschooling we are able to let our children explore extra activities, like sports and music lessons, without feeling like we are taking away from ‘school time.’

 

Consistency

You don’t experience any summer learning loss (ideally), which means less time needed to review concepts when school starts, which means more time for other things.

We also don’t have an adjustment period of getting back into our school routine because we never left it.

 

Block Scheduling

We are able to school using a block/modular approach.  When we study things like science, history, art, or literature, I like to be able to fully study them and not just visit the subject 1, 2, or 3 times a week.  We like to focus on one main subject and do that subject everyday.  We may finish our science curriculum in 3 months and then do an art project for a week, then a literature study for a couple weeks, then do a few months of history, then another art project.  Math and language arts are done every day, all year.

 

Vacations & Breaks

We can space our break times out so that we can have more of them!  I prefer several smaller breaks throughout the year versus one or two larger breaks so that we don’t experience burn-out as often.

We can vacation in the off-season–which means cheaper rates and fewer crowds.

We take more time off for Christmas!  Before schooling year-round, I didn’t feel like we had the time to really enjoy the Christmas season or to fully focus on the real reason we celebrate it – our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Real Life

Homeschooling is a lifestyle, so it is our life all year, not just 180 days or 8-10 months out of the year.  We are constantly learning, constantly exploring, and constantly trying new things.

When my kids are in the ‘real world,’ they won’t be taking 2- to 3-month long vacations from their jobs, so why would they do it for school?

‘Real life’ is happening all around us – things like moving, babies being born, job changes, sicknesses, vacations, and holidays – homeschooling year-round allows us to live life, enjoy it, and learn from it as well.

 

Mapping Out the Year

This is the one-page planner that I use to start my school planning each year.  I like to be able to see the whole year at a glance and map out the days we will be taking off of school.

Year at a Glance calendar

The first thing I do is figure out the number of days we can potentially take off from schooling.  If you figure a 180-day school year, we can take off about 80 days each year (not counting the weekends).

Then I highlight everyone’s birthdays (because those are holidays to us because who wants to do school on their birthday?) and holidays that we take off.  Next I will highlight any vacations we have planned or any days that we will have family in town visiting (Grandma and Grandpa live across the country).  Finally, I space out a couple more  breaks within our year.  For this school year (2014), I have allotted for roughly 50 days off from school, leaving 30 extra days to use when needed for sick days or days when we just need a break.

Below you will find calendars for 2017 through 2020 in all 3 formats (with school years running from January – December, from July – June, and from September – August.

January Through December School Year:

January – December 2017

January – December 2018

January – December 2019

January – December 2020

 

July Through June School Year:

July 2017 – June 2018

July 2018 – June 2019 

July 2019 – June 2020

 

September Through August School Year:September 2017 – August 2018

September 2017 – August 2018

September 2018 – August 2019

September 2019 – August 2020

 

Homeschooling year-round may not be the best fit for every family.  And some families may find that it works for them for a time, but then they may switch to a different schedule that better fits their season of life.  If homeschooling year-round is something your family is considering, hopefully you will find the benefits that I mentioned above helpful to your decision-making process.

Does your family homeschool year round? Are you considering it? Why?

About the author

Sarah

Sarah is the JOYful wife of Jorge, the JOYful mother of 7 blessings, and a JOYful servant to the Most High God. She has been JOYfully homeschooling since 2007, using an eclectic approach. Sarah left her working-mom-of-2 mentality and plans at the door when the Lord came knocking on it in 2002. Now, as a born-again, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of many, she couldn’t imagine life any other way! Sarah has a heart for moms, and uses her blog, My Joy-Filled Life, to minister to and encourage other mothers. You will find her writing and sharing about the joys of big family living, her faith, homeschooling, homemaking, and whatever the Lord lays on her heart. In her free time (what’s that?), Sarah enjoys baking (but not the clean-up), dabbling in photography, and running.

47 Comments

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  • My kids are still young, so although I consider us “year-round homeschoolers” I really just do school every day…I don’t plan when we’ll take off. Some days it just doesn’t happen! But I’m not too stressed about it because my son is only 6!

  • I’m planning on homeschooling year round, but lighter during the summer and a few times out of the year. This calender is great! Thank you!

  • To be honest, not so long ago I thought year-round schoolers were crazy! But the longer I homeschool, the more I see the appeal of more frequent breaks and being able to take a more relaxed approach throughout the year. I LOVE my summers, so I’m not ready to make the change just yet, but I can’t totally rule it out for the future. I understand much better now why it works so well for so many families.

  • We are in our second year of homeschooling and we are doing year around. We start in September and end the last day of July and take the month of August off so I can plan for the next year. We love it! It allows for pleanty of time off without getting behind and we usually work 4 day weeks with co-op on Friday.

  • Thank you so much! I am about to begin our first year of homeschooling (ages 10, 9, and 1) and I think year around is the best approach for our first year. The calendar is great, I had been scribbling on scratch paper but this is to tidy and efficient, many thanks!
    Emily

  • We are not officially year-round home-schoolers (yet) but we don’t completely stop in the summer…we just do less “official” school (read less worksheets). We do lots of educational activities and trips while the weather is nice, and most of the time, my 7-year old doesn’t even think of it as school–though she does realize she is learning.

  • We are also year round homeschoolers… although our schedule is much lighter in the summer. My boys continue to read every day, I read out loud to them, and we do a little bit of math every week. One thing we like to do over the summer is elective classes that we don’t have time for during the school year. Gives us a chance to do something different but continue the learning.

    Love your calendar, BTW. Computers sure do make it easier to complete our homeschool planning! 🙂

  • Hi, THANKS SO MUCH!! I have beed reading and learning so much about home schooling and I think this would be the best option for myself and kids. My daughter will be 6 in August 2014 and I removed her from school this month. Is there any “specific” curriculum we need to follow? Thank you so much again for the year planner will definitely make things easier

    • Hi Amina,

      There isn’t any specific curriculum you need to use. But there may be requirements in your state as far as what subjects you need to teach. Check with HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) to find out about the homeschool-related laws in your state. You can find them at hslda.org. 🙂

  • I love this idea. I have a disabled parent that I assist and we have struggled with an answer to how to get in school and help my mom. I like what you said about real life not having breaks usually planned in school schedules. I think this method also shows your kids that learning never really ends. I am so grateful you explained your journey. It gives me some more information and and little more confidence to try year round learning.

  • Thanks for sharing! Especially the calendar. I have found my son just can’t take off the summers he forgets concepts and then we have to review. He also has a hard time getting back in a routine. He usually complains a lot when we start back up even though he likes school once we start! If we take small breaks he has a much better attitude and there is almost no complaining!

  • Hi,

    I have 5 children of which 4 I homeschool. I teach K, 1,2,3 grades. I love it. I have been using the regular homeschooling calendar, but definitely considering using the year round method as it would give me more leeway. I like the idea of continuous learning throughout the year I feel the kids minds forget a lot throughout summer vacation and its harder for them to jump back into the mix if things when school starts up again.

  • Thanks so much for this post! I am just getting ready to begin our homeschooling journey (pulling my son from public school – he is in Transitional Kindergarten,) and we are going to begin in January. I have been pondering how to organize not only our daily schedule, but how to organize our school year, and have been thinking we’ll do it year-round for many of the reasons you listed! I think we might be able to do more field trips & “fun learning” in the summer.

  • Thank you for this and the fantastic explanation. I’ve been leaning towards year round schooling and this is a great example and helpful thought process. Just printed, now time to bust out the highlighter!

  • This is great! I love your reasons for doing this, it seems so similar to what my thoughts have been. I love the comments too, they add even more great reasons to do all-year school. We have had our kids in an amazing Christian private school but the more I look at the cost vs what their receiving I simply realize I can give them all that for about 10% of the cost and have the extra income to do the things that a regular school schedule and all that tuition $ wouldn’t allow us to. I want to travel with them! We’re currently making the final decisions about whether to homeschool this year or wait one more year but this info makes a great case for starting now 🙂

  • I’ve been looking into Year-Round for awhile now and think this year we’re just gunna keep on through summer and see how we like it! I’m pretty excited about it!
    I’ve also never heard of ‘block scheduling’ but LOVE the idea!!! I would have done so much better in certain subjects when I was in school were we able to focus on certain subjects like that! (**COUGHbiologyCOUGH**) Def going to be doing some research into it, thanks for the idea!!

  • I have been thinking about doing the homeschool year around. This year I started my 2nd child and lets just say it was a little challenging . I have one 10yr old and 5yr old. I’ve never even thought the thought of homeschooling year around until this past year with the 2nd child. lol. I have prayed and prayed about school with him and this is one of my thoughts is to homeschool year around to give some breaks. So I goggled and ran across your website. 1st of all thank you for the free pintables . they are awesome and give me somewhere to figure my year out with. I do have a question, I was looking over the calendar and trying to figure days etc. Do you count the Friday as a day off or do you count that into your 180 days of school since your probably doing something to teach your kids as you stated above we teach them daily.. Just curious..

  • I need a little clarification on your block schedule ideas. You said you liked to focus on one main subject and do that subject every day, but you also said you do math and LA every day, all year. I’m trying to plan the grand finish to my daughter’s high school “career”, and am very interested in the block schedule, but am not sure I quite understand how to do it. She has remaining English 11 and 12 (Amer. and Brit. Lit), Alg. 2 and Precal, 2 more sciences, Govt/Econ, Spanish 1&2, and an elective or 2 after we finish a 6-week “summer term” we will be starting soon to finish Human Anatomy and Physiology, as well as PE, Bible and another elective. Can you give me some idea how you would do this?

  • Thank you Sarah for the free printable school year calendars. Thanks for sharing about home schooling year round. I have thought of doing it year round just wasn’t sure how to do it. Thanks for the information. I too am a mother to 7 kids.

  • Thank you so much for sharing with us. I like the idea of the Blocking/Modular approach. I’m schooling year around from Jan. to Jan but I would like to switch to July to June or Sept to Aug. I feel stuck and don’t know how to switc with my Abeka curriculum. Having trouble releasing the systematic structured way of teaching, but need to make learning more enjoyable and less stressful.

  • Thanks for all the good info, and the great calendar! When you school year round, can you space your quarterly reports accordingly? Even if one falls into the school district’s time off? Just wondering how that part works. Thank you so much!

    • Donna, that might be a good question to ask HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association). They know the homeschool-related laws in all 50 states. Since the laws vary from one state to another, I don’t know the answer to your question, but they should be able to help you. 🙂 http://www.hslda.org/a/5387589

  • I am just starting year around home school for the 2016-2017 school year. I was wondering if you will be adding future calendars like the ones you have available? Love them!

  • I love your calendars. I wish they went August to July because that is how my state designates their year. I hope you keep making these or make a tutorial on how to make them. 🙂

    • I also would like August to July. I love having this format for planning my year! Thanks for what you have already made, too.

  • Hey,
    I’ve been using this calendar for two years now, and I love it! I keep coming back when I need to print a new copy (like when I have to change the schedule because of MORE unforeseen circumstances!) I’m really hoping you make more of these! Not sure what I’ll use for 2017-2018 if you don’t! Thanks for this great printable! 😀

    • Monica, thank you for your request! 🙂 We’ve been so busy we just haven’t had time to do this, but I’m going to put it on my to-do list and try my best to do this in the next couple of weeks.

  • Will it be announced when you make the calendar for the 2017-18 year? This coming school year will be our first try for year round homeschooling and I really need help planning. Lol.

    • Yes! We sure will! We will republish the article with the calendars and will mention it on on our social media accounts too. Thanks for asking! I’m planning to republish the article with the updated calendars one day next week–depending on exactly when the calendars are ready.

  • Thank you!
    Tiny glitch.
    Sept.-Aug. 17-18 link is connecting to Sept-Aug 18-19.
    I’m so excited about these calendars!

    • Oops! I thought I had checked to be sure they were all linked correctly! Thank you for letting me know. I’ll get this corrected ASAP. 🙂

  • LOVE these calendars! We’re starting home school after this school year and really wanted a year round approach so we had more time t explore as we travel.
    As I’m figuring out a “schedule” may I ask, how many hours a day/week you have school? Im still pretty new to homeschooling but with ADHD/ADD kiddos, I know for sure an eclectic approach is best along with more break to keep them interested. Just haven’t figured out how to make it work yet lol

    • Gen, different families take different amounts of time to homeschool, so it’s important to give it a try and figure out what works best for your family. Your children may take more or less time on their school work depending on their ages, ability levels, attention spans, etc. When my children were younger (kindergarten and about 1st – 3rd grades), they did no more than 1 or 2 hours or so of work a day. (It may have taken more time than that if you include breaks here and there.) From 4th grades through about 6th grades, they did about 3 or 3.5 hours a day. From 7th grade through graduation, they may have spent anywhere from 3 or 4 hours to 5 or 6 hours a day on school work depending on how much they needed to get done in a day and how much reading they had to do. I know that’s pretty vague, but each family is different, so maybe that will give you an idea to go by.

  • The link for Sept 17-Aug 18 is still bringing up Sept 18-Aug 19. I’m a beginner homeschooler with a 5-year-old. Very excited to get started with him!!

    • Thank you for letting me know! I thought I had checked all of the links when I added them, but I must have missed that one. I hope to have the correct calendar made and added in a few days.

    • Sorry about that! I’m in the process of getting the correct calendar made and replacing the incorrect link. I hope to have it done in a few days. Sorry about that! I thought I had checked all of the links when I added them, but I must have missed that one.

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