Homeschooling Year Round

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As a homeschooling family, we continued to study and learn throughout the year without giving it a second thought. Why did we do this and what were the benefits? The primary reason we continued to learn year round was that it was a process as natural to our family as waking up and eating breakfast each day. When one subject was studied it invariably led to another area of interest, and this became a process similar to adding links to a never ending chain. The Vikings were a popular culture to study in our family and this led us to Great Britain as the Danes invaded that country. My children then discovered that the Romans had also invaded Great Britain and that culture became the next focus of their learning. You can easily see how this was a perpetual source of new subjects my children were excited to learn about. Why would I interrupt this process with a long break over several months?

Another reason homeschooling year round works is because a child can finish their lessons and accomplish their goals with just a few hours of work each day.  This allows them ample time to participate in events with family and friends no matter the time of year. The normal school calendar requires 180 to 200 days a year of attendance. A homeschooling family can easily meet these requirements while also taking vacations, visiting museums or participating in routine outdoor activities at times of the year when venues are often less crowded. Don’t forget this is also a great source of financial savings. Our family hiked across Utah in November while moving from Texas to California.  The weather was perfect for hiking, we were often the only people in the parks, 90% of the time the park rangers waived our admission fees and the local hotels and restaurants were less expensive during the off season. The experience was phenomenal and one my children still remember.

The summer months offer a wealth of great learning opportunities. A child participating in a family’s gardening project or just enjoying the outdoors can learn about changing weather conditions, the life cycles of plants and animals and develop motor skills while participating in physical activity. This time of learning will also lay the ground work for discussions and questions over the course of the year as the seasons change and your child remembers the lessons learned.  I believe the most important advantage year round education creates is children, who do not view learning as something they need to escape, but embrace it as a treasured part of their lives.  This growing appreciation of knowledge and its application leads children to become creative and socially responsible adults. Once they start learning they never want to stop.

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