Should I Homeschool Year Round?

There are always a million questions when it comes to how to setup your homeschool schedule in Pennsylvania. (This may apply to other states, but you should check your laws, in case.)

What is a good schedule for homeschooling? How to schedule year round homeschool? How to homeschool year round? CAN I homeschool year round? How to plan a homeschool year? Is there year round homeschool curriculum? 

And the list goes on.

If you haven’t already, read my blog on How to Homeschool in PA first. This will give you most of the ins and outs of getting started, how to keep the year going, etc. 

After you read that, though, you may still have questions, so I’m here to address them.

If you know me, you know homeschool is very laidback. It’s very student led. Very free flowing. Very adaptable. And very much caters to our kids’ interests and personalities.

I could just write that sentence and let you go. Let you go learn about your kids’ learning styles. Let you go see how much your kids CAN learn when they are just free to be. But then what would be the point of writing this blog? 

So here is my advice on planning your homeschool year (as in 365/366 days), and hopefully it helps you answer the question: Should I homeschool year round? 

1. Should I homeschool year round? Well…figure out what brings your children joy. 

It can be hard to get past the idea that your child should be doing things as they are done in public school, as in the child goes to school from August/September to May/June, is off for a few months and starts over. If you can change your mindset to year round school, you will likely feel less stressed to fit into a molded schedule.should i homeschool year round 
Homeschooling is all about freedom. Freedom to learn. Freedom to explore. Freedom to experience REAL joy. So as you explore what brings your children joy, consider their interests and their personalities. If your child doesn’t enjoy math, probably sitting down to a workbook that focuses on “Avoiding the Summer Slide” is not the best choice. Your child will be miserable, and in turn, you will be miserable. 
I also encourage parents to take an interests inventory. Sit down with your child and talk to them. Ask them what they would like to do over the summer. Do they enjoy books? Do they learn best from videos? Do they enjoy free play? Do they like to be outside? 
Even be as bold to ask: Should I homeschool year round? Ask your child the question. See what they say. If they seem totally against it, help them understand how it can free up time around the holidays, how they can take off the nice days in April and May and so many other benefits. 
For instance, my son was about 4 when I realized that he was not going to be a traditional learner. Reading and math were not coming easily – and sometimes not at all – and I had to find new ways for him to learn. We BOTH grew from this. It took us a couple years to really find his groove, but once we did, he flourished. He’s 11 now, and he learns so well from doing things with his hands and watching videos on youtube.com. He loves engineering, electricity, tractors, mechanics, entrepreneurship, nature and so much more. 

2. Should I homeschool year round? Well…how is your time best spent?

This can be a complex question, so let me give you some background about us. 
When our oldest was 1, I started working full time and did so until he was about 7. My mom took care of him during the day for the most part, and she was great about taking him to the train museum, our local botanical garden, the corn maze/barnyard, local petting zoo type places, and so many more things. This was all amazing learning for him, as he THRIVED on interacting with animals, loves plants and trains, and loves to just play freely. She also did some worksheets with him and other crafts. 
Around age 7, I quit my job, and Zad and I became full time entrepreneurs. We were both home working our business, so our son Bud was home with us. This was a big transition. My mom had been his caregiver from basically 8-5, 5 days a week for the last year 6 years. I had to almost relearn Bud’s whole learning style. I knew he wasn’t a let’s sit and read 10 books kind of kid, but we had a lot of mutual learning to do between the two of us. 
We started with a few books, some worksheets, some educational websites. It was ok, but we just didn’t have a great groove. We struggled till about age 8/9 to really find what worked. 
Eventually, we settled on HIM choosing the books he liked: entrepreneurship, engineering, biographies, astronomy and so forth. Instead of me forcing him to read x amount of pages per day, I told him to choose the book or books he was into that day, and he just went to town! He would sit and read a whole chapter in a biography and ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT. He would find a great YouTube video on a cool shark, soak it all in and then make his own illustrated book about it. 
THIS was the gold. We found the groove. 
Since Covid, we really have started digging into our homestead. Bud really enjoys gardening, growing cacti, tinkering with his tractor, riding the 4wheeler, welding, plasma cutting, etc. We found a new groove as a family since Covid. 
I tell you all of this to encourage you to think outside the box. 
So should I homeschool year round? Read on.  
If the supervisor of your homeschool works full time and your child is cared for by a family member or friend, find out what they do during the day. Are they mostly playing? Great! This can count towards Language Arts (communicating), Science or Art (depending on if they do any cooking, crafts, nature play). If you want to pour into your kid more when you get home, sit down with them for an hour or even a half an hour, and watch a video with them they enjoy, read a book with them, do an experiment. If the weekdays are just too full, set aside time on the weekend. 
Remember that in Pennsylvania, for elementary and middle school, you only need 180 days of learning, and there is no “hour” requirement each day. You have 365 or 366 days to fit that in! 

3. Should I homeschool year round? Well…what is your end goal? 

Instead of asking yourself: 
Do I want my kids to go to college? Do I want my kids to take over the family business? Do I want my kids to go right into the workforce? 

Ask YOUR KIDS:
Do you want to go to college? Do you want to take over the family business? Do you want to go right into the workforce?
 
See how this mindset change can really redetermine your family’s schooling path? 

Now that you and your children have some idea what they want, you can really make a plan. Obviously, they are kids. Depending on their age, they may change their mind 60x. I changed my mind 20x at least before settling into entrepreneurship, homeschooling and homesteading. And I’ll likely continue to make tweaks. 

So is the end goal to have a relaxed schedule? If so, consider homeschooling “year round.” This may mean that you do a week or two of school each month of summer. Maybe all the weeks in the fall but take off most of December. You get the idea. Again, school is always, if you create an environment of learning. 

Are you still asking yourself: Should I homeschool year round? Email me. Let’s chat about your apprehensions! 

Should I homeschool year round? Do what works for you.

The bottom line is: homeschooling is a choice you should be happy with. If a September to May schedule works for you, then do that! If you want to breakup your schedule and do some learning in the summer, take off around the holidays, etc, then do that!

Your family – as in the people in your home – should be content with your decision, but keep in mind that it will always evolve. Your child’s interests will change. Your schedule may change. 

If you want to chat about homeschool, feel free to email us at chapelhillforge@gmail.com. We are certainly not experts, but we are passionate and love to see family’s enjoying their life, their learning and their experiences

We love this conversation, and when you sit down with your family and ask, “Should I homeschool year round” – we want you to feel confident in your choice. 

should i homeschool year round

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