Here at la casa de Oliver, or Faith Family Homeschool as we call it though I don’t refer to it often, we school… all year round.
Oh yes. We do. But wait! Before you start imagining my kids with the pencil to the paper 7 days a week, 365 days a year, I need to tell you something…
We take LOTS of breaks. We enjoy seasons and holidays and birthdays. We just spread school out over the whole year.
My friend, Dawn, at 5 Kids and a Dog has started a new homeschooling meme called the ABCs of Homeschooling. It sounds like fun and I thought it would be a really great way to give a little insight each week into how we do school here. And since we’re smack in the middle of a three week Spring Break — oh yeah, baby, THREE WEEKS — I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about why we school All Year.
There are many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s too hard to get back into a school routine if we take off too long. What’s the point of three solid summer months off anyway? It’s not like we get to travel around Europe for the summer or anything. ; ) But the best part is taking more frequent breaks so that we don’t get burnt out and like I said, so that we can enjoy the good things in life. Really enjoy them.
We take time off for birthdays (or as we like to call them, school holidays,) we take off the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas. We basically end up taking off about a week a month and we still take off a month for the summer.
This year I tweaked things even farther and gave up two of those week long monthly breaks so we could take our 3 week Spring Break. I can already tell you this is going to be an annual thing! The month of April is basically THE. BEST. month the kids have to play outside in and it just seemed ridiculous to not give them ample time to play outside and breathe in the fresh air. Usually we’re suffering from Spring Fever anyway and it’s hard to get them to focus on school work. Next month Texas will already start getting hot, hot, hot and it’s just going to keep getting hotter until we’re well into the next school year!
So here we are deep in the middle of spring break. The kids have already played outside more hours than I can keep track, some days as much as five hours straight has been spent running the tall grass and climbing the trees. And in the middle of that free play, they make discoveries. “Mom, what’s this flower? Mom, what’s that bug?” We’ve also read books, and watched a few documentaries believe it or not. Princess is trying to write a script (we’ll see how that goes) and Little Prince has learned to ride his bike! Both girls have been learning to cook and have been baking for the whole family (LOVING THAT PART, I MUST SAY) and there is still sewing and painting and several other things on our list for the rest of the break.
This. Is. Awesome.
And it’s all because we school all year. This is definitely the best approach for us, for our family. And after a little bit of tweaking, we’ve finally settled into the best ratio for us as well (about one week a month, with a longer spring and summer break.)
What about you? What does your school year look like?
Don’t forget to check out the ABC’s of Homeschooling over at 5 Kids and a Dog!
And by the way!! Have you heard about the BIG Homeschool Bloggers Field Trip yet??
(Also linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.)
Good for you! Life IS school, and things tend to go better when you don’t separate school from life. ;0)
We kind of do the same here too.
Hooray for year round! We go year round too, but we do school for three months and take the fourth month off. It works out to month-long breaks in December, April, and August. We love the breaks and I love being able to just focus on something–usually some form of home cleaning & organizing– for the entire month. It works great for us! Thanks for linking up Amber!
We school all year, too! We don’t have “hard” breaks worked into our calendar but take breaks when attitudes are wearing thin. We also make sure to school when the public system is out and travel when the public system is in. This makes it easier for our sensory son to enjoy the travel because there aren’t as many travelers at our destination.
Summer in Florida is too hot to really enjoy, so we do something similar to you…taking many long weekends and special ‘holidays’ throughout the year (and a full month for Christmas!) and then we have an abbreviated school week during the summer so we can enjoy the beach and spend time with friends who aren’t homeschooled and only have the summer off!
This is our first season homeschooling, but I had figured we’d do the same, kind. 6 weeks on, 1-2 weeks off. I’m looking forward to the start of our spring break next week!
Thank you for sharing! We do a lot like Lindsey said…6 weeks on, 1 week off, and then the month of June off.
We year round too – especially in the summer in FL, who wants to be outside then??
We do the same thing, I grew up in New Zealand and the public school system works all year round, it just felt weird to me to not do it now that I live in the USA.
When I hear people explain their year-round schooling rationale, it always sounds SOOO appealing. But then I think about summer. And I just can’t. I think it might be something that hangs on from my childhood. The long-held anticipation of a ginormous break. The joy of knowing that we’re done for threeeee whooolllleee mmooonnthhssss!! I just can’t let it go! 🙂 Great post! Thanks for linking it up on the Hop! I’ve linked lots of posts at the Hop, but today I linked up a Hip Homeschool DAD post!! I linked a wonderful post by my co-blogger, Arby, at The… Read more »
Teri – Yes, life IS school! =) Joelle- It’s nice to find other homeschoolers we have things in common with. =) Dawn – We started off with 3 months on, 1 month off. Then we went to three weeks on and the fourth week off, but that made for a little bit too short of a school year so we moved to an *almost* every last week of each month off. Sometimes there’s three weeks in between, sometimes four. And for this Spring break, I think we have about 6 weeks of school on either side of this break, but… Read more »
That sounds nice…we’ll probably keep a similar schedule! 🙂
Loved this post Amber. I have been thinking a lot lately about doing this from now on. It really does make sense. And we had a lot of extra forced breaks throughout this school year due to so much illness in our fam – which is a totally stinky way to take a break!! And it puts us behind….which got me started thinking about the year round thing. Because every year….no matter how well I plan….there are always unexpected “not fun” breaks. It is just life!! And I think year round would help in being more flexible around “life”!
I miss visiting with you all. Give me a call sometime so we can meet at the park or something. How are all of you doing?
We also homeschool year round for a lot of the same reasons. The boys do complain sometimes but it just seems to work better for us. Take care and email or call if you get a chance.
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