I have mentioned before we homeschool year round, but I’m always surprised I get so many questions about it. Mostly folks think we’re chained to a desk and miss out on the beach. We don’t – we just go a different time of year!!
Here are the answers to the typical questions I get for year round homeschooling …
We tried the summer break and it lead to a lot (A LOT) of boredom, disobedience, tv time, and laziness. (it’s hot outside so there isn’t much to do inside without some “project” to work on).
2. Don’t the boys complain?
No. ”in the real world” my husband doesn’t have 3 months off and we want our boys to always know learning just doesn’t turn off at a certain time, day, or month of the year. Learning happens all the time at every age! The boys play with friends (who have off for summer) after lunch.
3. What about “vacation”?
Summers in FL are miserably hot & humid not to mention ridiculously crowded! November and February are much more enjoyable. Our “vacations” are sprinkled throughout the year when we join hubs on work trips (Deerfield Bch, Vero Bch, and Spring Island this year).
4. Are there any breaks in “assigned work”?
Yes. June the boy attends 2 camps – 1 week of VBS and 1 week of Art Camp. For December we usually spend the month celebrating Advent, and again in late February we take 2 more weeks off. We do not touch books but rather read and work on science experiments (I don’t consider these “school days”). I think we’re always working on science experiments.
5. When do you (mom) get a break?
I have attended weekend conferences away from town, Relevant ’10 & ’11 now called Allume Social, and speaking at The 2:1 Conference later this month. In town I try to plan one monthly “moms” dessert night, movie night, etc. with friends. It doesn’t always happen, so I use the time to run errands. I meet weekly with two other women (mentoring group) for two hours, as well as attend a Wednesday night hour long women’s bible study.
If I ever get bored stiff of what we’re doing we change it up quickly implementing a few ideas –> (How To Avoid Homeschool Burn Out). And with a frequently traveling spouse – I’m intentional to keep school fun and engaging!
6. How do you keep up with grades/year?
Today we have completed 180 days of school – my son is wrapping up 3rd grade math and has started 4th grade everything else. I submit an evaluation for “assigned work completed” at the end of the summer. We know his grade for church, camps, and soccer purposes – but otherwise we’re not concerned with it. We do “school” not “4th grade”.
7. When do you buy curriculum?
I’m always interested in curriculum. But I wait until we’re half way through something to decide if we’re going to use it the following year. I have a few points I take into consideration before purchasing curriculum (10 Questions to Ask About Curriculum), but I just get what we need when we need it. I attended the FPEA Homeschool Convention last year and purchased a few items there. I always keep my eyes out for sales and review opportunities – keeping a list of items I’m interested in looking into!
8. Do you celebrate the “end of a year”?
Absolutely! The end of a year might be April 10th or May 31st – it’s when the 180 days of assigned work has been mastered. We cook the boy a special dinner (pizza or tacos) and celebrate his accomplishment.
9. What about celebrating holidays?
We celebrate some holidays by learning about them! If my husband has off we try to make family time together – be that a regular Monday or Labor Day. Time with him comes first in our homeschool.
10. Does it feel like school never ends?
No. Actually – when we’re not homeschooling I feel like there is a problem. It’s a lifestyle now – it’s not just check off items on an agenda before lunch Monday-Friday. We had a friend over for dinner the other night and the boys watched Wild Kratts. They learned about some animal, so after the show I pulled out our World of Animals book and read more about that animal. The friend was amazed we had “those type of books” and it was just a regular night for my family.