Homeschooling allows families many freedoms that those who utilize public or private schools don’t have. It’s this flexibility that makes teaching at home so appealing to more families every year. Finding a school schedule that fits every day life is important and varies from one family to another. Many families choose to adopt a schedule that incorporates instruction throughout the entire year, instead of taking three months off during the summer.
After the first couple of weeks during a summer break, many children become bored. They don’t have scheduled activities to occupy their time during the day and find it hard to know what to do. When some children become bored, they have a tendency to get into more trouble. The things they find to occupy their time aren’t necessarily things they should be doing. Homeschooling throughout the year remedies this situation. Families are able to take time off when they want or need to, but continue schooling the rest of the time.
Many public schools have shortened the amount of time off during the summer by running summer school programs or by having earlier return dates. Some schools use “track” schedules, having the children go to school for three months and then take a month off, continuing the pattern all year. The children still have three months off but it’s spread out. Many homeschooling families take this approach, as well. Some may have school for three weeks and take the fourth week off, or have school for six weeks with a week off. Some take a whole month off at at time and then resume school.
The reason for this alternative schedule is retention. In schools, the first several weeks of a new school year are devoted to reviewing what was learned the previous year. Children tend to forget what they learned when they have gone for a whole summer without using it. When shortening the amount of time off, less is forgotten and more is retained.
Children thrive when they have a routine of some kind. When a child is on vacation, the routine is often thrown off. Bedtime schedules, waking times and daily routines are thrown off. This can cause confusion in some children, resulting in discipline problems. Having less time off allows them to get back in a routine quicker, or maintain the schedule throughout the vacation.
When breaks are broken up throughout the year it allows the family to decide the best times to take them. For instance, taking the month of December off may be more important or beneficial to a family who travels to see relatives for the holidays. Scheduling time off for holidays important to the family, birthdays, illnesses or seasonal outings gives more freedom to work school schedules around their personal lives.
Typically, children who learn at home learn much more in a shorter period of time than their peers do, because they are working one on one and without distractions. This can cause burnout after a few months. Taking a break after a few weeks or months prevents mental drain and allows time to refresh, making starting back up less of a task. Developing a schedule that works is beneficial for many reasons. Finding one that works makes home learning more fun for everyone involved, helping develop a love of learning rather than just getting through the school year.