While many students are spending their Spring counting down the days of school remaining, our family is readjusting. Always with the readjusting.
In defense of year-round homeschooling
A few years back we made the decision to forgo the traditional 9-month, 5-day-a-week school year to instead pursue year-round schooling. Before you start groaning, hear me out.
In our home state of Pennsylvania, our schooling requirement is 180 days. Achieving 180 days in nine months can be cumbersome and– let’s face it– pretty boring. It can be especially difficult when days at home simply cannot be 100% focused on traditional lessons. Most days are also laden with housework, caring for younger children and many, many unscheduled distractions.
To attempt 180 days in nine months can leave even the most organized family feeling frazzled. One “simple” change– switching to a year-round model– can be so [so] much more relaxed and enjoyable. It has led us to adopt a life-is-school mentality, which we absolutely love. Instead of cramming lessons & “learning” into 38 weeks, we now have the entire 52 weeks to accomplish the same thing and more. Can you tell I’m a fan??
All that to say, here’s why, in April, we are changing things up and coming up with a new schedule.
New Spring 2018 Schedule
Monday– Meal & Home Prep
A little prep work can go a long way. That’s why we’ve decided to devote this day to just that. Everyone gets involved as we scoop, measure, peel and chop our way through the day. We also tidy our common spaces of the house and make sure we complete enough laundry to get us through the week.
Tuesday– Reading & Math
Today is for getting serious. Sorta. We pull out our books and bunker down for the day. We allow ourselves to get immersed in reading and math because the entire day is carved out for just that. We are big fans of RightStart and enjoy many math games and interactive learning strategies. The rest of the time you’ll likely find us with our noses in some books.
Wednesday– Interest-based learning
This is one of the places we plug Science & History/Geography into our weeks. But instead of forcing the kids to learn a certain topic, I encourage them to learn about what interests them. My son has studied farming; my daughter China and now Africa. In the Spring and Summer they’ll research plants and get hands on learning in the garden. The possibilities are endless and we’ve seen much fruit allowing the kids a say in what they’re learning.
Thursday– Preschool Focus & Math
The older kids pitch in to help teach our 2-year-old & Kindergartener basics like coloring, shapes, letters and music in the morning. Though math practice and worksheets occur all week long, Thursday includes another scheduled math lesson with mom in the afternoon.
Friday– Flex Day
For sanity’s sake, our schedule must include built-in day for friends, field trips and service. We like to keep Fridays super flexible (hence the name). We know how important it is to get out there in the world and be with other people whether for building up, learning or serving.
Saturday– Catch Up
Some Saturdays we do extra lessons around the breakfast table, other times we work on our garden. We use Saturdays however we see fit and I’m not at all opposed to using it as a “school” day!
Sunday– Family Learning
Sundays are great because our whole family is together. We often wind up reading, visiting with friends & family or, lately, catching up on an episode of Drive Thru History.
What every day includes:
✅All ages read-aloud time
✅Outdoor play or physical activity (we love Mr. Mark!)