If you've chatted with me before about homeschooling, you know that we homeschool year round. There are several reasons for this. A few of the reasons are a direct result of our touring ministry, I'll list those first. However, you should know that I followed a year round homeschool plan even before we knew we were going to be traveling most of the year. I'll share those reasons as well.
* Because our touring ministry has us here, there, and everywhere, it is important for our family to be able to take advantage of time with friends and family when it is available to us. We are usually only near friends and family for a week or so a couple times a year. That means that when we are in Seattle near my family and our friends or when we are in Billings near Josh's family, we aren't going to spend much (if any) of that time homeschooling! We spend that time soaking up every moment possible with the people we love!
* In addition, our ministry schedule has us traveling a lot throughout the year, so some days/weeks are just not conducive to homeschooling. On days when we spend hours in the car, we may do some schoolwork, but overall we often let the boys pass the time with videogames and "for fun" reading.
* Our ministry schedule also can be somewhat unpredictable, but there are certain things that we've come to expect. Some of these are -
Thanksgiving to Christmas our schedule is always VERY, VERY full and we spend a lot of time driving from one city to the next and have about 5 church services a week. So, we take all of that time off from homeschooling. Any moment that is not filled by a ministry event, we try to enjoy fun Christmas activities.
On the other hand, the summer tends to be a little light on ministry events, so while we do still take advantage of the good weather and fun summer activities, summer is also a good time to for us to get some consistent homeschooling in.
We also have a few more reasons for our year round homeschooling, that have nothing to do with our touring ministry.
* I am not a fan of wasting time reviewing things simply because it's been three months since the boys have thought about them. I don't take long breaks because I want all of the information my kiddos are learning to remain fresh so they can continue to build on those lessons as they progress in school. Then if we are reviewing it can simply be to help solidify things in their minds and strengthen concepts they may struggle with.
* It is very important to me that I prioritize my boys education and that I am giving them the time and attention needed for their academics. That being said, I do NOT like the idea of having our family life dictated by the fact that it is a "school day" or "we can't afford any more absences." So, while I do track our attendance, I never have any trouble getting enough school days in AND I can decide that we're going to take next week off, just because Josh and I want to! SWEET FREEDOM!
* I mentioned in my post Homeschool Renovations that Thing 1 is a lot like me in his need for predictability and routine in our schedules. Although our life is far from consistent month to month, we do plan our ministry schedule well in advance. That means we CAN have some routines each week. This need for predictability and routine also means that if we were to take weeks off for a typical "summer vacation", both Thing 1 and I would find ourselves stressed out, grumpy, and overall unhappy!
So there you have it! This is why we homeschool year round. :)
That all being said, there are still elements of our homeschooling that fit the traditional school year. T1 and T2 still have to have their annual testing according to Washington state law, so we'll be doing that in August. (We use a non-test assessment rather than a starndardized test. Maybe I'll share more about that later this summer) Also, both boys are still looking forward to "moving up" to the next grade in September. I'm planning a "promotion" party the first week in September.
If you're a homeschooler, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the whole "year round" vs. "traditional school year" topic as well as any other ideas, tips, tricks that have worked for your homeschooling adventures!
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
(Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV)
Leviticus & Mark
(the Bible in a year)
Five Children and It
(family read aloud by E. Nesbit)
Middle School: The Inside Story
(by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna)
All Things Gardening, Soil, & Chickens
(not a title, just a list of my current library search topics)