Summer is right around the corner! I would love to hear how your year of homeschooling has been going. One decision you may be making now is whether to homeschool all year round. I will tell you that this is truly a personal decision based on your child(ren) and you. You know your child best, so only you can make that decision, but there are some considerations.
Here is my list of things to consider when deciding whether to homeschool year-round.
The Summer Slide
The summer slide is the tendency for students to lose some academic skills during long breaks from school. In 1996 a study was published that showed “kids lose significant knowledge in reading and math over summer break, which tends to have a snowball effect as they experience subsequent skill loss each year.” “How to Prevent Your Kids from Losing What They Learned in School During Summer Vacation,” by Ashley Austrew. This does not mean you have to go year-round. The article mentioned has wonderful ideas on how to help beat the summer slide. You could take a break from the reading curriculum and take a trip to the library. Instead of math, you could teach your child how to bake and learn about measuring, timers, etc. If you are working on fine motor skills, take them to the beach and let them play in the sand. You can build a sandcastle and write letters with their fingers in the sand. You can also take a well-deserved break. It is your choice.
Consider how your child does with routine changes. Children handle change differently. If you want to add a trip to the library in the summer instead of reading at home, that would be so much fun! I love a good community outing. Prepare for the change in routine. Explain what you will be doing to your child and prepare for the outing. When I taught in schools, I taught kids who had trouble with the transition from school to summer and back to school again. This is another perk of homeschooling, you get to teach based on your child’s needs. If your child has trouble, maybe you could give them a couple of short breaks during the summer. I also taught kids who could not wait for the summer and when they came back to school, they were thrilled to be back. Every child is different. Every child has different needs.
One unique opportunity for homeschooling in the summer is that there are more kids around. The parks are busier, the libraries may have more reading groups, and there are tons of summer camps. These opportunities let us introduce our children to other children and for other children to meet our children as well. Let the children learn from each other and truly experience how unique and special everyone is. Socializing this way could be a great way to switch up homeschooling for the summer. They may not be learning from their academic curriculum, but they are definitely still learning.
My children homeschool all year round. This is a choice that works for us. I must take into consideration health conditions that require breaks throughout the year. They also have speech, occupational, music, and physical therapy all year round. For us, we need all year to make up for the academic time we may miss. There are also times we change focus to other things if an issue comes up, like focusing on communication or socialization. I know you will make the best choice that works for your child(ren) and you.
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