How to Make a Year-Round Homeschool Schedule!
Guest post by Amanda Sims
I think we should start by debunking the common misconception of what year-round schooling
truly is. Simply stated it is NOT doing school every day all year long. Year-round schooling is
taking shorter breaks, especially during the summer, and taking more frequent breaks during
the year. Year-round schooling IS all about flexibility.
Why Homeschool Year-Round?
● Take advantage of good weather- We live in Texas and our year-round schedule allows
us to do the bulk of our schooling during the summer months when it’s best to stay cool
inside. If you live somewhere cold or rainy you can take breaks when the weather is nice
and get outside.
● Vacation during off-peak times- We take our vacations during the traditional school year,
usually May and September. Prices are not as high and lines are not as long.
● Fit your schedule- If your husband travels for work, works the night shift, works 3-4 days
per week, etc.., you can adjust the school schedule as needed.
● Avoid the “summer slide”- We have found taking shorter breaks is better academically
for our students. We don’t have to review as much because we haven’t taken 8-10
weeks off for the summer.
● Able to take time off for unexpected interruptions and not fall behind- When we started
homeschooling, we had 4 kids under the age of 5 and over the first 8 years of our
schooling we added 5 more children. As you can imagine there where many times when
year-round was a must. I had grand ideas of being able to do school shortly after the
baby was born. Well, 6-8 weeks later we finally picked up again and had to review for a
couple of weeks to get back to the place we left off. I guess you could call it “baby slide”.
Schooling year-round is also beneficial when you or your student is sick, a loved one
passes away, a flooded basement, no electricity, an event that is too good to pass up,
and many other reasons.
Different Ways to Schedule Year-Round School
Term scheduling is similar to what I did in elementary school. We called it the Track System. We
went to school for a certain amount of days and then had a certain number of days off. For
example 6 weeks of school and 1 week off, or 60 days of school and 20 days off. You will have
to figure out the best for your family, do the math, and make sure to meet a state requirement
Days off can be scheduled to coincide with Christmas or family vacations, used to make new
lesson plans, catch up on schoolwork if needed, schedule appointments, or just enjoy some
downtime. Flexibility in homeschool scheduling is what it’s all about.
Four Day Schedule
Another way to plan year-round homeschooling is a four-day schedule. Four days of school and one day
off. The day off can be great for co-ops, errands, appointments, lesson plans, or chores.
Special Number Homeschool Schedule
This is my favorite schedule! First I figure out how many days of school we will be schooling for the
year. I add up all weekends, vacations, holidays, and any other known days off and subtract that
from 365. Let’s say 260 days for example. Now, how many days of school does your state
require? My state has no requirements but we’ll use 170 days for this illustration. 260-170=90.
That means we can take 7 1⁄2 days off every month in addition to those I have already taken into
Obviously, you can use those days off for all the reasons I have listed above. I really like those
extra days for unexpected interruptions. And, I don’t panic feeling like we are falling behind. Also,
if we don’t take that many days off in one month we can take more in the next or extend
Christmas vacation or give us more time before the new school year.
Regardless of the type of schedule you use, I firmly believe that year-round schooling has
benefited my family in countless ways and has helped my students academically. Those days
off have been great for working with one or two of them that need some extra help.
Amanda Sims – Volunteer Contributor
Amanda Sims has been homeschooling since 2005. She and her husband, DJ, married in 1999 and are parents to seven girls and two boys. Amanda and her family moved to Texas from Colorado, where she was born and raised. She is actively involved in her church, enjoys reading, and loves to travel. Over her many years of homeschooling, she has learned the importance of schooling to the individual learning style of each of her children, schooling year-round, and teaching multiple ages. Hear Amanda’s homeschool story here!