Monday, February 8

Homeschooling Year-Round

Year-round homeschooling doesn't seem to be as common as following the traditional school calendar terms, which can make a lot of sense, but others like the consistency of having a year-round homeschool schedule.

There are many ways to homeschool and we've tried a few different ones, depending on our circumstances at the time. At one time we followed a four-day schedule while Dad worked so he could spend time with our children on his days off. When he began to work 5 days a week it meant the days were shorter and the children didn't want to be in class when he arrived home so we moved to a 5-day week. Currently, our homeschool is roughly four and a half days a week; giving us time to relax and pursue other interests.

As for homeschooling year-round, it's something we've always done. When the children were toddlers they would learn so much every day of the year and we just went with it, not stopping the learning moments just because it was 'summer' or another holiday, and we've just continued on with this format.

Year-Round Homeschooling Has Many Benefits

There are many benefits to homeschooling all year long, as opposed to following the traditional school schedule. These are just a few of them:

Summer Slide

You'll often hear about the infamous 'summer slide' that occurs in school settings - children don't continue their studies over the summer break and September is spent reminding/reteaching students what they had learned the previous school year.

When you homeschool year-round, you still have breaks scattered throughout, but they are shorter, thus students rarely have to be re-taught again as they are almost always in a learning frame of mind with past lessons still fresh in their memory.


Going hand-in-hand with the summer slide is that when you don't break for long periods of time it's much easier for life to be consistent, which works very well for children, particularly those who thrive on routine. When children know what to expect they know how to react and you may find their behaviour and happiness are more consistent as well.


This is one of my personal favourites. If you follow the traditional school calendar all of the holidays fall at the same time making vacations much more expensive, not to mention that your destination (close to home or abroad) will also be packed with hoards of families all trying to do the same thing at the same time.

When you homeschool all year long you can take vacations at off-peak times. Visiting your local beach on a weekday in June is much more relaxing than a weekend in July. If you use air travel then you can avail of discounts by travelling on off-peak days and times. This can cut travel expenses drastically.

We've travelled like this and enjoy campgrounds that are quiet and have room to explore, museums that aren't packed shoulder-to-shoulder, and we've often had tourist spots all to ourselves so we can take our time to enjoy our surroundings without having to worry about being jostled about.


Homeschooling year-round is very flexible. You can schedule classes when they work best for you (don't forget, if you want to school on weekends, you can, or if you want every Wednesday off, you can do that, too) and schedule holidays, appointment days, trips, or even pajama days watching movies with hot chocolate.

How To Plan Year-Round Homeschooling

Planning your year can take many forms, depending on your needs and wants. This is how we schedule our year:

Special Days Off

The first thing I do when planning our year is to designate all family birthdays as days off (and sometimes the day before as well, to allow for cake baking, etc.).

Public Holidays

Next I give days off for all public holidays...and if you have family abroad or love to learn about different cultures, do as we do and celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgivings (even though this holiday is not a UK holiday). We are in the UK, so I mark all UK holidays off, as well as all Canadian holidays, and some American ones as well.


Although we rarely go away for a family vacation, I ensure the kids have the same weeks off that Dad does so we can all have some time together. Sometimes these weeks will work into our 6-on-1-off routine, but other times they don't, which is fine.

Spread Out Time Off

Last year we tried something new, and we'll continue with it this year. The children have 6 weeks of classes and then 1 week off so that they can concentrate more on their work while they look forward to having a week off. Occasionally, that week off may be used for catch-up, but mainly it's used as a break from school to recharge and have fun or pursue other interests. I also look forward to this week off so that I don't need to correct homework or teach classes and I can plan the next 6 weeks, catch up on things around the house, or have some crafty time of my own.

Save a Few Unscheduled Days

Don't schedule all of your days off; be sure to save a few days for when life happens. Inevitably, someone will become ill, an opportunity for an unplanned trip to the city, an appointment, or just not feeling motivated comes up. These days that have been set aside can now be used at the spur of the moment.

There's no worry about 'falling behind' while home educating when you don't need to miss school because you are unwell, take the day off. An astronaut is coming to town and little Suzy wants to get an autograph? No problem! Grandparents or a friend wants to fly in and visit? Enjoy!

Year Round Homeschooling Is Great

Although year-round homeschooling may not be for everyone, it is great for families with unpredictable schedules, as well as those who have family members who thrive best with routine. If you haven't tried year-round homeschooling yet, why not try it for a year and see how it works for you?

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Castle View AcademyCrystal is a Mom, wife, homeschooler, virtual assistant, frugalista, ex-pat, and much more. If you’re looking for fun activities, educational ideas, recipes, multiculturalism, reviews, freebies, and giveaways, you’ll find it all there with a little dose of inspiration thrown in for good measure. You can connect with Crystal at Castle View Academy, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

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