Here at la casa de Oliver, or Faith Family Homeschool as we call it though I don’t refer to it often, we school… all year round.
Oh yes. We do. But wait! Before you start imagining my kids with the pencil to the paper 7 days a week, 365 days a year, I need to tell you something…
We take LOTS of breaks. We enjoy seasons and holidays and birthdays. We just spread school out over the whole year.
My friend, Dawn, at 5 Kids and a Dog has started a new homeschooling meme called the ABCs of Homeschooling. It sounds like fun and I thought it would be a really great way to give a little insight each week into how we do school here. And since we’re smack in the middle of a three week Spring Break — oh yeah, baby, THREE WEEKS — I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about why we school All Year.
There are many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s too hard to get back into a school routine if we take off too long. What’s the point of three solid summer months off anyway? It’s not like we get to travel around Europe for the summer or anything. ; ) But the best part is taking more frequent breaks so that we don’t get burnt out and like I said, so that we can enjoy the good things in life. Really enjoy them.
We take time off for birthdays (or as we like to call them, school holidays,) we take off the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas. We basically end up taking off about a week a month and we still take off a month for the summer.
This year I tweaked things even farther and gave up two of those week long monthly breaks so we could take our 3 week Spring Break. I can already tell you this is going to be an annual thing! The month of April is basically THE. BEST. month the kids have to play outside in and it just seemed ridiculous to not give them ample time to play outside and breathe in the fresh air. Usually we’re suffering from Spring Fever anyway and it’s hard to get them to focus on school work. Next month Texas will already start getting hot, hot, hot and it’s just going to keep getting hotter until we’re well into the next school year!
So here we are deep in the middle of spring break. The kids have already played outside more hours than I can keep track, some days as much as five hours straight has been spent running the tall grass and climbing the trees. And in the middle of that free play, they make discoveries. “Mom, what’s this flower? Mom, what’s that bug?” We’ve also read books, and watched a few documentaries believe it or not. Princess is trying to write a script (we’ll see how that goes) and Little Prince has learned to ride his bike! Both girls have been learning to cook and have been baking for the whole family (LOVING THAT PART, I MUST SAY) and there is still sewing and painting and several other things on our list for the rest of the break.
This. Is. Awesome.
And it’s all because we school all year. This is definitely the best approach for us, for our family. And after a little bit of tweaking, we’ve finally settled into the best ratio for us as well (about one week a month, with a longer spring and summer break.)
What about you? What does your school year look like?
Don’t forget to check out the ABC’s of Homeschooling over at 5 Kids and a Dog!
And by the way!! Have you heard about the BIG Homeschool Bloggers Field Trip yet??
(Also linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.)