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Year Round Homeschooling

posted Jul 31, 2018, 1:02 PM by DanandBecky Kee   [ updated Jul 31, 2018, 4:05 PM ]

     At the beginning of August, I start to feel that familiar tug.  Summer is waning. Many of our beach days and vacation plans are now memories.  Back to school sales are in full swing.  FOMO is hitting hard.  Was that really it?  Was that the whole summer?  Wait! 

     But, I remind myself, it is only August.  There is a whole 'nother month to go before School Starts.  And even then, here in the Commonwealth, we venerate the commerce of Labor Day Weekend, so it'll be practically mid-September before we're really in the swing of things.

     And in our house, there is one more buffer:  we don't Start School with everyone else.  Sure, our co-op starts on the public school schedule, and so there is still a sense of ritual to this time of year.  Our daily routine, though, doesn't change significantly from what it was in August.  We homeschool year round, and even as I write this, my kids are working through the daily list of schoolwork and chores that governs most of our week days throughout the year.

What does it look like for us?

    In our house, we have Regular School Days and... days with other titles :)  Sometimes before bed I'll tell the kids, "Tomorrow is a beach day, so when you get up, be ready to get dressed and leave early!" or "Tomorrow we're going to help Grandma at the shop, so pack your school things in backpacks."

    But any weekday where there isn't something out of the ordinary planned, we have a list of schoolwork and chores that each child is expected to accomplish.  My oldest, who is entering 7th grade this fall (see how it still sounds completely ordinary?) has a list that includes cleaning the kitchen, doing a math lesson, a writing assignment, a reading assignment, a spanish lesson, a keyboarding drill, and a set of math drills.  

    These are the basics that get done every day of the year, no matter what new curriculum we're trying, what other subjects she's studying or what we're doing together as a family.  The other kids have similar age appropriate lists, even the 5 year old, and the lists are posted on the wall or fridge so they are easy to check off.  (Pre-literate kids get pictures to go with the words).  We revamp the lists from time to time, often in September, January, and May.  (again, still very conventional) 

Why do we homeschool all year?

    Having that basic list of schoolwork and chores, for our family, helps keep us sane.  

    That's really it.  It's nothing groundbreaking.  It's just what works for us.  My kids know that in the absence of other instructions, they have a baseline amount of taking care of the world around them that needs to be done.  This gives my the freedom to get some rest after a night shift (I also work a paid full time job), or the freedom to spend one-on-one time with a kid who needs it, or simply go from child to child helping with specific subjects, knowing that everyone else is still moving forward.

    It also gives us the ability to take breaks.  I find the holidays to be a hectic time.  To me, it's freeing to know that the basics are being taken care of regularly through the year.  When Thanksgiving rolls around and we have parties, travel, and special events multiple times a week for a month and a half, we break for that whole time.  We don't do anything that is specifically "school" from Thanksgiving to the first week of January.

    At other times of the year, if Daddy has a day off, you can bet no school is happening that day.  We're free to take vacations or do family projects that put regular school on hold for a week here and there.  In July, we take our annual vacation.  A few days before, we're busy cleaning house and packing.  No school.  But the week after vacation?  Daddy's gone to work, vacation is over, and we're back to work.  

    This fall we'll be starting construction on our new home (Woohoo!), and I fully anticipate there will be many days of checking out the construction site and running errands to make things go smoothly for the planning and execution of the house.  School will fall behind the house on our priority list for a short time.   Knowing this, I have taken comfort in the fact that schooling all year means I have the wiggle room to see how much education I can squeak out of this experience for them, and not be worried that anyone is falling behind.  

    For us, year round homeschooling means we have vacation time "saved up" in a sense.  We don't sweat the unexpected days of interruption, and we get to look forward to leisurely holidays without the stress of doing schoolwork at the same time.

This post is already way too long.  However, I still want to highlight a blogger who also schools year round.  Her name is Misty and she write extensively at

To hear her perspective and get some tips on how to transition your family to year round homeschooling, read her post: