A few years ago we had some health issues that came up. School got put on hold while we tried to adjust to a new way of life. When everything calmed down, I realized that we were going to need to adjust our school schedule now. We ended up working through the summer. This was the start to our year-round homeschooling journey.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we love the freedom to do school when it works best for us. We don’t mind hiding out in the air conditioning during the hot summer months. And no, we don’t do school all day every day during the summer. We still go to the beach and play outside. But, there are some things that make it hard to homeschool year-round.
The first thing we noticed when we started the year-round journey was that the rest of the neighborhood was not on the same schedule. We would be in the middle of a great lesson sitting outside at the picnic table when all of a sudden the neighborhood kids would show up ready to play. The attention would be lost and the kids would want to go play.
I would have to plan my school schedules around the work schedule of the other kid’s parents. Or, we would spend the whole day playing outside and sit down after supper to work on school. That is what I like about homeschooling, we can do it at any time during the day, not just between certain hours.
Another thing we noticed, we would be in the middle of our school books when all the good “back to school” sales were happening. This isn’t a huge thing, but when you are working on a budget, some days you want a good sale. I did find that I can order and allow these books to sit on the shelf until we need them, but it is hard watching them sit.
Finally, the toughest part of homeschooling year-round are the questions people ask us. We have heard things like “When do you take a vacation?”, “Your kids don’t get the summer off?” and “That sounds really tough and mean to have school during the summer.” My favorite thing about these questions, how we respond to them! We take our vacations during off-peak times and enjoy a quieter time. We enjoy the nice days outside while working on school during the hot, cold, or rainy days. And we are always learning, so it doesn’t matter if we are using our textbooks or not!
So, while homeschooling all year may sound daunting and hard, it really isn’t! We love our schedule of not having to finish something before summer and getting out and having fun when we want, not when school allows us too.
Amanda Hopkins is a wife to Chad and mom to four. When she isn’t buried under the snow of Minnesota, she loves to be outside watching the kids learn while they play. You can find her at Hopkins Homeschool.