I’ve always thought year-round school was a great idea. When I was young, I was so bored by the end of July that I actually got out books and started reading for hours. That was after the yearly two week road trip vacation with my parents, in June, right after school got out. When my children were in public school and they went on the year round track, it was a huge relief, both financially and psychologically. Financially because I didn’t need to squeeze so tightly in order to pay the babysitter for full days for three months. Psychologically because I didn’t have three active children at home going stir crazy from boredom and cabin fever.
When we transitioned to homeschooling, we actually did take the first summer off. Partly to celebrate and change gears. We took a long camping vacation. We moved to the next state. Then we settled into our new “routine”. I decided not to take the next summer off, because for one, I was working and could not have constant interruptions to direct bored children into useful, productive activities. Secondly, children need routine, just like the rest of us. It gives us a sense of security and purpose that gets us up in the morning and keeps us moving through the day. Lastly, we could take a week or two off throughout the year, as it suited us, for visits to their dad, grandparents, or for our own vacation or just a plain old break from routine.
With my 9 year old son, whom I have homeschooled since birth, we have taken one summer off, because his friends did. It was so hard for me to get back into gear after that, I decided to get back to the year round schedule. So, without further blab, here are 10 reasons we homeschool year round:
1. It keeps the routine consistent.
2. It fits our work schedule better.
3. We can take time off as a family.
4. We can plan trips and time off around our schedule, not the school’s.
5. We can go places during the off season and avoid crowds.
6. No paying for expensive camps or day long babysitting to “keep the kids busy”.
7. Fewer interruptions for mom, working at home, because boy is doing schoolwork at the same time.
8. We can take a three week vacation in the mild fall weather of November, instead of the blistering heat and humidity of August.
9. We can stay inside in the air-conditioning, working in comfort when it’s too hot to do anything fun or productive outside.
10. We can go skiing midweek in the middle of January, without worrying that we are getting behind on schoolwork.
Now that I’m started, I’m sure I can come up with a bunch more. So next time I’m faced with a dumbfounded stare after telling someone we homeschool all year, I will be able to give them more information than they ever knew they wanted.