Wednesday, May 20

Year Round or Summers Off?

Darcy at Heart of the Matter posted on the site today and I responded to it.

Her question was: I’d love to hear the decision making process you took to determine your schedule. Do you school or not during the summer? Why?

Here's my reply:
We don't do academics year round. We take summers off for a few reasons:

a. I need a mental break -- I tend to wear this homeschool mom hat too tightly and my world revolves around it. I need to be free of it completely so that I can enjoy other things, and my kids, without "we have to get school done" hanging over our heads.

b. I sign the kids up for everything that I can afford -- swimming, archery, VBS, sport camps, chess, etc. These things are offered in abundance during the summer and not so much during the school year so we take advantage of these other learning opportunities.

c. I don't want my kids to be unapproachable to traditionally schooled kids. If we school during the summer then they may not get the invites to lake days and campouts because people assume that they have to "do school." Likewise, we can't be salt and light to the world around us if our schedule won't allow us to interact with them.

d. Kids grow in every way during the summer. I am acutely aware of their growth and take it all into consideration as I plan our path for the next year, purchase curriculum, etc. Having an extended break gives me room for extra clarity in making these decisions.

e. I haven't experienced that my kids need much by way of review in the fall. I've actually seen them grow in their abilities. For instance, my reluctant reader needed to have all the pressure taken off and during the summer he found the desire to give reading a shot. My oldest has explored his own interests during the summer, writing his own newspaper and finding entrepreneurial pursuits. We participate in the library summer reading programs as well (as many as we can find!).

With all that said, I admire families (i.e. moms) that can school all year long. Homeschooling is definitely diverse and beautiful.

So what do you do? Comment here or go to Darcy's post and tell her!


  1. I agree with everything you just wrote!! Especially the mental break in the summer, I love the feeling of wanting to go back to school in the Fall!!!
    Great post:)

  2. What do I do? Well, I only just started yesterday, so I can't state categorically whether this will work for us or not, but I have drawn up a year long schedule on a four weeks on, one week off basis.


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