Monday, February 1, 2016

Year-Round Homeschooling (and New Things Ahead!)

I dropped a hint at the end of my last post that we had some new plans for next school year. Actually I have several things to share! I will probably spread this over a few posts, so please be sure to stay tuned!

Yes I am fully aware that this is just February and I am already making plans for next school year. But this is really the best time for me to think about it. We are over halfway through our current year now, and I can see pretty well what works and what does not. It also helps avoid burnout and keep up the excitement level at this otherwise blah time of the year if we are making interesting plans for the future.

In this post, I wanted to explain one of the major changes we will be making. Once we complete our current school year (somewhere in the neighborhood of May 20), we will be joining the ranks of year-round homeschoolers! We will probably take a couple weeks off to decompress and get new materials and activities ready then start our new school year in early June!

Why are we making this switch? I'm so glad you asked! 😉

We will have an entire calendar year (June-May) to complete 180 school days rather than try to cram them all into the 9 months of a traditional school year. This means we can take a slower pace with our studies.

We will have the freedom to take more frequent breaks when we want or need them. We will have so much more flexibility with our schedule! Since we have a whole calendar year to fulfill our attendance requirements, we won't have to feel so stressed and rushed if we need to take a few days (or weeks) here and there off for sickness, travel, or just to rest.

And of course no super long summer break means we won't have to deal with that dreaded "summer slide" where the child promptly forgets and looses a month's worth (or more!) of what they learned the previous year.

When I was homeschooled, we also followed a non-traditional schedule. Our school year usually started sometime in June and we would finish somewhere in April. We would have most of the Spring off when the weather was just right, and we were able to take a break for our family vacations in the Fall when places were cheaper and much less crowded! I would get a week off to go to Bible camp in the Summer several years (although I am pretty sure that was counted as school time!).

I am going to try to stick with a June through May schedule, taking breaks as needed throughout the year.

Thankfully Big Brother is in agreement with this plan as he likes the idea of taking stress-free breaks as we need them.

Next post I will be announcing a couple more exciting new things: why Big Brother is going to have no clue what grade he is in next year and what totally different curriculum and homeschool method we are going to be giving a try! You won't want to miss it! 😀

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