Often the question comes up. Do you school year round or do you take a summer break? It’s a legitimate question that has different answers and reasons depending on who you ask. We school year round, but we don’t keep a regular schedule during the summer. We have a more relaxed Year Round Homeschool Summer Schedule.
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Why Do We School Year Round?
If you’ve ever taught or schooled in the traditional school system, you know that each year begins with a few weeks of review. It’s necessary due to the long summer break. Students forget what they last learned, and they need a little time to readjust to being in school. This is something I didn’t want to have to do with my kids. I knew that if we kept learning all year, we wouldn’t need to review and the kids would have a much easier time with transitions.
But, there is another reason we school year round. The “I’m bored” statements. My mother told me too many times to count that “You can have fun on a rock.” She might have been a bit delusional when it comes to her grandchildren. The summer gets long and exhausting when you are constantly refereeing fights and combating boredom. Because of this, we choose to take shorter breaks all through the year instead of a long break in the summer. The kids have a week or two of downtime, but not enough to get completely off-routine.
What Does our Homeschool Summer Schedule look like?
Even though we homeschool year round doesn’t mean our summer schedule looks like the rest of our year. Our summer is full of trips and activities, so trying to plan the typical course of study just wouldn’t work. So we have a relaxed summer schedule.
Part 1: The Have I’s
It all starts with the “Have I’s”. I got the great idea for the “Have I’s” from Beth at Techie Homeschool Mom. The “Have I’s” are a list of items that each child must finish each day. To complete the first one, “Have I finished all my chores?”, the kids have to complete any chores that are in their cups on the bottom of the “Have I” board. Three chores are listed daily:
- Complete at least an hour of assigned school work.
- Read for at least 30 minutes.
- Go outside for at least an hour.
Other chores are listed on an “as needed” basis, like clean your room or unload the dishwasher.
Part 2: The Assigned School Work
At the beginning of the summer, I give each child a Task Sheet that lists all the assignments I expect them to complete during the summer. These include math and language arts. Sometimes I’ll throw in some history or science, but for the most part, I’m only concerned with keeping up our math and language arts assignments. I don’t tell them what they have to work on that day. They can choose anything from the Task Sheet to complete. This allows them some control over what they want to accomplish during the day.
The summer schedule can be anything you want it to be. I chose to keep going with math and language arts this summer, but next year I’m considering some unit studies we’ve been interested in. The great thing about homeschooling is that you can change your routines to fit your needs. This is what meets our needs for now. Next year may be different.