If you have made the decision to transition to year-round homeschooling with your kids then it’s a good idea to do some careful planning and organisation to ensure success. You want to create a rich learning experience for your children, so let’s delve into some practical strategies and tips for getting started so that you can support your kids’ continuous learning and maximize the benefits of year-round education.
Year-Round Home Education
Year-round home education is not new, in fact, traditional brick and mortar schools have been looking at the academic term times and creating a more balanced schedule with shorter breaks throughout the year. It can offer flexibility, continuity, and a multitude of benefits for both parents and students. Breaking away from the traditional academic calendar, year-round homeschooling spreads learning throughout the year, allowing for a balanced approach to education and creating a more personalized learning experience.
Tips and Strategies for Starting Year-Round Homeschooling
As a home educator, you have the unique ability to decide on your own structure and schedule for your year. Enabling you to create the right balance and flexibility for your children and their learning abilities. If like us it’s something that you are interested in getting started then read on for our tips and strategies to get you started.
Creating a Flexible Schedule
One of the advantages of year-round homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Design a schedule that aligns with your family’s needs and preferences. Consider the optimal number of weeks on and off, taking into account the desired frequency and duration of breaks. Some families prefer a schedule with shorter breaks every six weeks, while others may prefer longer breaks every three months. Find what works best for you and your children.
Take into account if you want to have extended travel opportunities for world or road schooling these can become part of your structure or be taken in the breaks. I will see that in reality even if you opt for traditional home education aligned with school terms you will find that learning never stops. We found that even though it was always happening before we home educated there has been an even bigger impact since we homeschooled the kids.
Set Clear Goals and Vision
Establish clear learning goals and objectives for each academic period. By defining what you want your children to achieve during each phase, you can ensure progress and track their educational development. This is especially important if your state or country requires certain reports submitted at the end of an academic year.
Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable milestones, allowing for a sense of accomplishment and motivation as they make consistent progress throughout the year. Want to learn more about setting goals and vision in your homeschool we have a guide that I have put together to help new to home education and those wanted to focus again. Just click on the blue underlined link to read.
Curate a Balanced Curriculum
When planning your year-round homeschooling curriculum, aim for a balanced mix of core subjects, electives, and child-led learning opportunities. Consider your children’s interests, learning styles, and any specific areas they need to focus on. Seek out resources and curricula that align with your educational philosophy and offer flexibility, allowing you to adapt and tailor the content to meet your children’s individual needs.
We are huge fans of unit studies, inspired by topics that I know my kids need a background in as well as where their interests take them. However, in mathematics, we always followed a curriculum that was in line with the National Curriculum in the UK and at a mastery level. Even though we used this curriculum we didn’t stick to one lesson from each per day instead we adopted a flexible approach spending time on areas where more work was needed to get a strong foundation and flying through other work. This method included starting the next year’s work before the “academic year” had finished as learning was just a continuous process.
Embrace Interest-Led Learning
Year-round homeschooling provides ample opportunity for interest-led learning. Encourage your children to pursue topics or projects they are passionate about during designated project periods or breaks. This approach fosters intrinsic motivation, deeper engagement, and a love for learning. Provide resources, guidance, and support as they explore their interests, and allow them to take ownership of their educational journey.
My youngest discovered a love of gardening and although we joined the RHS School Garden Scheme (yes even home educators can join this) she developed her own garden schooling curriculum with a focus on some exotic fruit she grew as well as selling her own seedlings and flowers to neighbors as a small enterprise.
Online Resources and Communities
Tap into the vast array of online resources and homeschooling communities that cater to year-round education. Join forums, social media groups, and online communities where you can connect with other homeschooling families, exchange ideas, and access a wealth of educational materials. Utilize digital platforms, interactive websites, and virtual learning tools to enhance your children’s educational experiences. Check out some of our Virtual Field Trips for some digital adventures your kids can explore and learn about as well.
Emphasize Balance and Self-Care
In the pursuit of year-round education, remember to prioritize balance and self-care. Encourage your children to engage in physical activities, pursue hobbies, and spend time outdoors. Take advantage of the flexibility in your schedule to plan family outings, field trips, and vacations. Prioritizing self-care and family bonding time contributes to a well-rounded homeschooling experience.
Monitor Progress and Adapt
Regularly assess your children’s progress and adapt your approach as needed. Keep a record of their achievements, areas of growth, and challenges faced. This documentation will help you make informed decisions about adjustments in curriculum, pacing, and learning strategies. Flexibility is one of the strengths of year-round homeschooling, allowing you to tailor the education to meet your children’s evolving needs.
Deciding to home-educate year-round instead of sticking with the more traditional academic structure can have so many benefits for your family. Following these strategies, you’ll be able to smoothly transition and enjoy the freedom that comes with introducing this to your family’s journey.