Why we don't homeschool through the summer

Year round homeschooling seems to be the popular thing to do in homeschooling circles.

And honestly?  When I read articles like this one, it doesn’t sound so crazy to homeschool through the summer.  It really makes perfect sense.

Except it’s not for me.

Nope.  We don’t homeschool through the summer.  At least we don’t right now.  But who knows?  In just a year or two, I might be eating my words, friends, because when it comes to homeschooling & parenting, flexibility is the name of the game.

But for right now, we’re taking the summers off.  Here’s why.

 

1.  It doesn’t fit my personality.  

I love clear beginnings and I love clear endings.  In fact, I’m motivated by deadlines (That’s code for “I’m a procrastinator.”).  For my personality, having a big start date and a big end date keeps me accountable for completing x number of lessons in a week so that we can finish by a certain date.

To be honest, we still have seasons when we get behind or play catch up.  First trimester of pregnancy, anyone?  Life happens.  And the beauty of homeschooling is that it affords us a certain amount of flexibility.  But I still prefer to have a deadline for the last day of school.  It helps me keep going, especially in the tough seasons.

2.  I need a break.  

Does that sound selfish?  OK, guilty as charged.  But it’s true.  I really do need a break, and for me, a week-long break barely enables me to catch up on laundry & housework.  I feel like a longer break is what I need to really catch up on deep cleaning the school supplies, storing old curriculum, and ordering and organizing the new books.  And even more than that, I need a long break so that I can actually feel refreshed.

I need a long break so that I can, once again, wake up excited to teach my children instead of dreading the great juggling act that happens when you teach your children and still have to manage the housework.

3.  My kids need a break.

At least I think they do.  I think a break from lessons will give my children an even greater desire to learn when we begin anew in the fall.

4.  I need to regroup.  

I’ll be honest.  There is much of my daily schedule that does not please me.  When I taught in public schools, I would end every unit and every school year by asking myself, honestly, what’s working and what’s not.  And the things that weren’t working would guide my reading, learning, and professional development over the summer.

For me, my homemaking schedule is simply not working in this season of life.  My season of life involves children who are 2, 4, 6, and one more on the way.  It’s my goal to regroup this summer.  I want to create homemaking routines that work for our family and our home.

This summer, I’ll clean out closets.  I’ll figure out when I’m supposed to have time to scrub the showers.  And I also need to figure out how to make sure my freelance writing opportunities can fit into our schedule without causing The Great Laundry Pileup of 2015.  Again.

Hopefully by the time school starts again, we’ve got a routine that sort of works and keeps things running as smoothly as possible.

5.  I love summer.  

And I especially love a simple summer.  Summer is when life seems to slow down.  Our activities at church and extracurricular fun slows down.  We have more time for playing in the sprinkler, eating popcicles, and going out for play dates.

Do you know what I love most about summer?  I love reading.  Even as an adult, to me, summer means more time to be lazy and read more books.  Again, call me selfish, but reading refuels me.  I read an occasional fun fiction book for pleasure, but I also read homeschooling books or motherhood books for the purpose of renewing my vision for my family.

I need this renewal.  I need it to be the kind of mom God calls me to be.  I need it to be the homeschooling mom He has called me to be in this season of life.

So for me, for my personality and my family, we have decided that we need a longish break in the summer.  At least for now.

What do summers look like for us?  

We run with a modified schedule–we still don’t follow the traditional school year.  

We try to end school early in the spring while the weather is completely gorgeous.  Then we can start school in late July or early August, when the weather here in South Louisiana is completely miserable and hot.  If it’s too hot to play outside, then we may as well start school.

I want my kids to love summer reading lists too, so we’re planning more library trips this summer.  With no formal schooling and no activities, we have plenty of time for it.  We plan on going at least every other week, but I have a feeling we’ll be there more frequently.  I just can’t keep my kids in books!

I also plan to spend more time investigating bugs, working in our small vegetable garden, and doing simple home science experiments.

Our goal is that even in the summer, we will cultivate an atmosphere of learning in our home.  Because that’s really what homeschooling is all about.

Do you school year round or follow a more traditional calendar?  I would love to hear what works for your family and why!

About Gabby Daigle

Gabby writes at MamaGab, where she loves to encourage moms in their heart for their homes, husbands, children, and the Lord. She loves to encourage in this same way in her local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Ministry, which she currently coordinates. She spent a brief time teaching at a Classical school and then began teaching high school English at a public school before becoming a stay-at-home mom. With a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 5 year old, Gabby has spent the past 5 years surrounded by diapers and spit up, and there's no where else she would rather be. You can find Gabby honestly sharing the joys and struggles of motherhood on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+.

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