Should You Really Homeschool Year-Round?

Jun 15, 2018

Guest Post by Mary of Growing As They Grow.

Whether to homeschool year-round or not is an important decision, so take the time to consider all the factors.

Should you really homeschool year-round?

To School Year-Round or Not? That is the Question.

Summer is here! One big decision homeschoolers need to make is whether to homeschool year-round or to stick with a traditional school year. There are benefits to both ways of thinking, so it all boils down to what fits your family’s lifestyle the best.

Here are some things to consider when making the decision.

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Homeschooling Laws in Your State

Before you make any big decisions, you need to make sure you know what the requirements for homeschooling are in the state you live in. If you have been homeschooling for a while you probably already know them, but it never hurts to double check before you switch up your schedule.

This website is pretty great for special needs homeschooling, and they keep an up-to-date page on their website for the laws in each state.

Most states require a certain number of “school” days, and that usually hovers around 180. The traditional way to cover those days is to do most days starting in the middle of August and ending around the end of May.

With that method you get a couple days off for holidays and a Christmas break and Spring break. You could even eliminate or shorten those breaks and end early if you wanted. This is great for kids who participate in summer camps and have busy schedules when everyone else is off of school too.

The alternative is to school year-round.

This way you can take time off of school for longer breaks during the traditional school year (good if you live far away from family and travel to see them over the holidays) and then just make up that time in the summer months.

It is also good if you worry about your child losing some of the information they learn over the summer months. Learning year-round helps them to retain the knowledge and not lose it.

It can also be beneficial if you have a child who is interested in graduating early because they can complete more than one grade in a year by doing continuous school.

Family Vacations or Travel

I have heard a lot of people say that they love year-round schooling because they travel a lot as a family. They don’t have to do all their traveling in two months in the summer when everyone else is traveling as well. They have the flexibility to take time off whenever they want and school when they aren’t home.

I also know of some “road-schoolers” who like to travel so much that they homeschool while they travel so they don’t have to miss out on any trips!

If you are not big into traveling (like me. I’m pretty much a Hobbit over here who wants to stay her little hole and not be late for dinner), then you don’t have to worry so much about how to work around time away from home.

Taking the summer off of school might seem really appealing. It all depends on your preference.

Your Child’s Structure Needs

One more thing to consider, before I wrap it up, is if you have a child with special needs. Most people who are on the autism spectrum have a hard time being flexible and transitioning from a set routine.

This could alter your decision either way!

Maybe you feel like your child is old enough that they need to get used to things changing. Schooling during the regular school year, and then taking summer off, will allow him or her to practice transitioning from “school” routine to “summer” routine and then back again.

Depending on your child, you may have to brace yourself for a couple rough weeks during transition, but hopefully they will start to get the hang of it with time.

Or maybe that means you feel like keeping their schedule consistent with schooling year-round will help them to regulate their anxieties and regulation. Maybe they are in a place in their life where stability is more important than learning to adapt to changes, so year-round schooling can help their schedule to remain more predictable.

Kids with special needs really blossom when given the right environment to work in, and maybe year-round schooling does that for your child.

Should You Really Homeschool Year-Round?

One Final Thought

Just because you choose to do year-round schooling doesn’t mean that it has to be formal learning. For instance, I know some year-round schoolers who focus a lot on science and nature study in the summer because the warm weather lends itself to experiments outside and gardening and biology lessons.

Either way you choose to approach your school year, the summer is a great time to learn; you just have to know what will benefit your family the most.

Mary Winfield is the media manager and blog editor at SPED Homeschool and blogs about special needs parenting and homeschooling at Growing As They Grow.

She is the mom to 2 rambunctious toddlers who are more dirt than boys most of the time. She is an avid reader and loves to write in many genres. She especially loves connecting to other moms so she can learn from them and maybe even offer a little help in return.

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