Hi everyone! My name is Yvonne and I’ve been homeschooling since 1998. My family’s lifestyle and homeschooling routine has evolved over almost two decades.
The first year at home, I ordered all ABeka for every subject. Needless to say, we completed each worksheet and followed the teacher’s manual to the letter. One son did fine with this method. The second son tolerated it, but he was not thriving. Having a newborn son kept me busy and very stressed.
Year Round Homeschooling
The second year, I gained some confidence. I found Five in A Row and my sons and I loved it. Not only did they begin to have fun in learning, but I was learning how to teach in a much more interesting way than just leaning on workbooks. However, I noticed that my sons had retained very little information over the summer, but that was pretty typical right?
The third year, we continued with Five in A Row and I was even more relaxed in my role as teacher. We enjoyed our local field trips, and continued to learn from living literature while using the Charlotte Mason method. We even branched outside of FIAR. Once again, I noticed that we had to spend quite a bit of time reviewing math and grammar at the beginning of the year. It seemed like we were wasting a lot of time relearning concepts at the beginning of each year.
The fourth year, we chose to use Sonlight. We loved it, although it was really busy. I decided to start the year off with a review of math and grammar, but I didn’t really want to review every year. Instead, I chose to divide our year up so that we had more breaks during the school year instead of all saved up for the summer. We tried three weeks of learning with one week off. Ya’ know what? It was a complete and utter failure! No one wanted to go back to school after having that one week off! I didn’t give up though. That year was a year of experimentation. We did work through the summer that year, and the children did not need a review.
I’ve been homeschooling for almost seventeen years now. During that time, we welcomed a fourth child – our daughter into our family. I’ve never quite mastered a regular or rhythmic pace at year round homeschooling, but that’s okay. Most years we work through the year steadily, taking breaks as we need them, and then do a modified learning schedule, three days a week during the summer. It works for us. We cover Bible, Reading, Math and Grammar during the summer months.
Now here’s a confession: This year, my daughter (a rising 6th grader) really needed a break from school. She had a tough year with math. When I told her we were going to work through the summer, she went to her room and I found her there crying. Poor thing! She was truly exhausted. So, rather than pushing ahead, I decided that grace was the way to go. I gave her the summer off. It was the best thing for her. She is now ready to begin a fresh year. My son, on the other hand, continued to work through the summer on Algebra II and English. He’s almost finished and will enjoy a two week break before we start on new credits.
I encourage you to do what is best for your children. Sometimes a nice long break is just the balm they need to continue their journey in lifelong learning. It is good to remember too, that children learn whether they are studying from a book, watching a documentary, visiting a museum, or working on a project. You can’t stop them from learning! So whether we call ourselves one or not, we are all year round homeschoolers.
So grateful for grace,
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