I imagine that when people hear that we homeschool year-round, they think that I must be an over-achieving, incredibly committed, and academically minded educator. Let my secret be known: we homeschool year-round because I prefer a very laid back and low pressure schooling atmosphere. If there is no deadline or last day of school, then I can never really be behind! If it's July and my 12 year old is steadily mastering every concept in a 6th grade math textbook, who's to say we need to jump up to 7th grade by some arbitrary date in the month of September? I love the consistent flow of our learning and I love the freedom of taking breaks throughout the year whenever they're needed.
That being said, I understand that summer marches to the beat of its own drum. Family vacations, lake days, church and sports camps ... each day I am shocked when 7:00pm rolls around and I have yet to start making dinner. We certainly do embrace the loose structure of summertime, but school is part of our rhythm. Here's what that looks like:
This year, we ended up taking the first 3 weeks of June completely off. We don't do that every year, but this year our family moved and we took the time needed to make that transition smoothly, as well as finish up co-op and make it through a demanding dance recital. For the months of July and August, I write out our lesson plans as normal, but with only 3 days of work. This allows us ample time and freedom to enjoy the unpredictable nature of summer, while still accomplishing what I have planned out. This might mean we sit down to do school 3 days in a row, with the rest of the week free and clear, or we may just fit it in around a plethora of activities that week. We continue on as we have all year, all subjects and whatever curriculum we're working through at the time. Of course, my general rule applies all year round - I will never say no to a fun, enjoyable, or enriching opportunity just for the sake of checking off an assignment in my lesson planner. After all, one of the main reasons we homeschool is for the freedom and flexibility to set the formal schoolwork aside and spend our time learning and growing by living life!
I know that school in the summer gets a bad rap, but I believe that being open to schooling year-round allows us to more closely follow the rhythm of life and learn in a more organic and natural way. Homeschooling is such an extension of every day living, which of course does not come to a halt in June, July, and August. The consistency and relaxed nature of the year-round schedule has been such a huge blessing to our family. Happy summer!!