3 Reasons I’m Glad We’re Homeschooling Year-Round

Before I started homeschooling, I did A LOT of research on the topic. I learned that there are a ton of ways for people to homeschool their kids, which of course, is one of the beauties of the choice. For those who like to overanalyze everything (something I know everything nothing about 😜), it’s also one of the most overwhelming things about this choice.

One of the areas I researched was all about scheduling. I read about families following their local public schools’ calendar, families homeschooling 4-days a week versus 5, families homeschooling on the weekends, families doing their work in the mornings, others doing their work in the afternoons, etc, etc. I finally realized that I needed to make a decision about our family’s schedule.

I finally bit the bullet, and decided we were going to test out a modified, year-long school schedule. When you first hear “year-long school,” you might cringe at the thought; I know I did! But when I learned more about it, it sounded like a great idea that I wanted to try out.

It’s important to know your state’s homeschooling laws/regulations on all of this, so always check that out first before working out your schedule.

After I did this, I came up with a schedule that had us starting mid-July. We are averaging 6-weeks on, 1-week off, but of course there are exceptions to that. For example, there’s a time when we’ll only be doing school for about 2 weeks before we’ll be off again for an extended break around Christmas. There’s another time when we’ll actually school for 7 weeks straight instead of 6, but overall the 6:1 ratio is what we’ll be doing. Then, we’re scheduled to end our school year in mid-May, when we’ll probably take off for somewhere between 4-6 weeks before we’ll hit the books again.

I understand that this kind of schedule isn’t for everyone, but for us in this season of our lives, so far, we are loving it. Here’s a few reasons why:

1. Recoup and Recharge!

We have only had one of our 1-week breaks so far, but we will have our next one next week. I was a bit hesitant to try this kind of schedule at first, but once that first 1-week break came up, all my doubts on the issue disappeared! We’ve had some struggles with homeschool, but overall, I’d say we’ve adjusted really well. But even still, these 1-week breaks have been heaven-sent. It gives both my son and me a break that we really benefit from. I know some families who average 4-weeks on, 1-week off and still others, who do 8-weeks on, 1-week off. Do what works for you, but for us, 6-weeks on seems to be the right balance, not too much and not too little.

2. Evaluate and Plan.

We mostly rely on a curriculum that beautifully maps out our school schedule each day. However, I have needed to make changes to that schedule at times to fit our needs, whether that meant skipping something altogether, slowing down, speeding up, or adding activities to expand our lessons. Also, I am not using any specific curriculum to teach Science or Spanish, therefore planning for those subjects is completely up to me.

I know some amazing homeschool gurus who plan out their entire school year before they start their year, but I am not that good, and as much as I’d like to say that I will get there one day, I know myself and I know that’s never going to happen. Ha! But that is another reason why our 6:1 schedule is working so well for us.

During our last break, I dedicated some time to plan our schedule for the next 6 weeks. I evaluated our last 6 weeks, looked at what had been working or not working, and made adjustments. I looked through our packaged curriculum’s schedule for the next 6 weeks, which made me feel very well prepared. Then I took that info and mapped out field trips for our next few weeks and any extra projects I wanted to do.

I think it’s awesome that some people can sit down and tentatively plan their whole year, but the thought of doing that completely overwhelms me. Planning 6 weeks at a time is just right for me.

3. Extra flexibility.

The past 2 weeks, my kiddos have been dealing with colds that have kept them (and me) up all hours of the night. Because of this, there have been a couple of days where we didn’t school. Because of our 6:1 schedule, those days will be easily made up. We can make up a day or two during this scheduled break if we want, or during a future break if that works better. It makes it so easy and definitely takes the stress out of trying to figure out how to make up missed time when unexpected issues arise.


I know this type of schedule might not be everyone’s cup of tea or work for all families, but for us, this has definitely been a decision I’m happy we made. It might not go this way every school year for us, but right now it definitely works best. What are your thoughts? Do you homeschool year-round or are you thinking about it? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!

Memorizing Scripture Isn’t a Priority in Our Homeschool

I know. You’re probably thinking, “What is this heathen rambling on about now? Memorizing Scripture isn’t important to her!?”

Hear me out.

Memorizing Scripture is, in fact, very important to me. And we know that the Bible talks to us over and over again about the importance of knowing God’s Word. It’s our Sword, afterall, so yeah, pretty important.

So, yes, we do assign Scripture verses for our son to memorize every week. I’m even having him memorize them in English and Spanish. And while we want him to work hard to learn them, it’s not what’s most important to us.

The other night when my son was saying his prayers before bed, he asked God to help him not worry so much about things, like being afraid of the dark and other things. And as he prayed for this, he said, “Help me turn my cares over to You like that verse tells me to.”

We had been working on memorizing 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.” He had learned the verse in English fairly quick, but we were spending quite a bit of time trying to memorize it in Spanish.

When it is taking more time than I had planned for him to learn the memory verse, it can get frustrating for me, I admit. But when I heard my son’s prayer that night, it was a great reminder of what’s most important.

I realized that my son might not be able to quote the verse just right yet, but he had accomplished something more important: He had captured its meaning and how to apply it to his 7-year old life.

Every time we embark on learning a new verse, we discuss it. We talk about what it means, not just what it says. We ask questions and we really familiarize ourselves with each verse. We could have the talent of memorizing 100 Scriptures this school year, but what good is that if we don’t have any understanding of any of it?

And isn’t this concept one of the EXACT reasons so many of us choose to homeschool anyway? We often choose homeschool over “normal” school because we don’t want our kids to just memorize enough to pass a standardized test and then forget everything after the test. We want them to be able to study something in depth, to really learn the ins-and-outs. So why abandon that desire when studying Scripture? Isn’t that even more important in this area?

I don’t want my son to be memorizing Scripture just to check something off our list. What I’m tryingt to lead him to is a deeper relationship with Christ. I don’t want to teach him to just go through the motions. I want to help cultivate an environment for my son that fosters connection with God. I want him to learn who God is. And one of the best ways we’re going to have any hope of accomplishing this is to study His Word. To dwell on it and soak in it and learn it well. To inscribe it on the walls of our hearts.

It’s easy to get distracted by the quantity at the sacrifice of the quality, but this was a great reminder to dig into these verses this year and stay as long as needed.

If that means he only accomplishes memorizing 1 verse a month, I don’t care. Because at the end of it all, I don’t want my son to just be able to carry his Sword. I want him to be able to use it and use it well.

3 Reasons Homeschool Rocked This Week

One of the great things about homeschooling is having the freedom to make your own schedule. You don’t have to start when public schools do, but you can if you want. You can take breaks that work for you and your family and you can change it when needed. I love this about homeschool.

I decided that we were going to try more of a year-round schooling approach for our first year of homeschool. We started on July 15th, so we just finished up our 5th week of school. We have one more week of school to accomplish and then we’ll be enjoying our first break of the year! Our family will also be taking a vacation during this break and I am so excited.

We had a really great week of school this week, but even so, I am ready for a whole week of no school. 🙂

So what made this week such a success? A few things.


1. Group field trip.

At the advice of veteran homeschoolers, I joined our local homeschool association for the school year. Yes, there’s a small registration fee involved and if you continue to participate in the group after your first year, you’ll be required to volunteer some time with the group, but all of this is worth it.

Thankfully, it looks like our local group is fairly active and this week, we joined the elementary group for an end-of-summer bash at a local pool! The weather was great for swimming and I was really happy with the amount of people who showed up. I hope we continue to see such good attendance.

Not only did my son get to play with other kids his age, he was excited that everyone there homeschooled, too. He loved it. We definitely plan to join in on more events like this throughout the year.

2. Games, please.

I am really happy with most of our curriculum choices this year, but math and language arts are still “iffy.” The main issue we’ve had with the math curriculum so far is the repetition.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I see great value in repetition when learning new things, but this curriculum feels like too much repetition. Even I get bored with it, so imagine what it’s like for a 7-year old boy!

So this week, I hit Pinterest for some inspiration and I found great ideas that inspired me to create my own Bingo game. It wasn’t time consuming and was super easy to execute. I don’t currently have a home printer, though that’s something I plan to invest in soon, so I just quickly hand-drew a few Bingo cards and shred some paper to use as cover-ups. In the future I’ll make some pretty printed cards, but this worked just as well, but it’s certainly not fancy. Ha!

We made up a game using a few dice and practiced addition and subtraction. My son also got some good practice in being a good sport, since I kicked his booty 3 times in the game! Haha!

Our math for the day was great practice but it was also great fun. My son said it was the best math day, ever. I am definitely going to be incorporating more games in our weeks and not just in math.

3. Another field trip. Sort of.

I’ve mentioned before that we are using Sonlight curriculum this year. One of the things they do is give us a prayer focus each week. This week we were encouraged to pray for Buddhists.

I love how we have the freedom to really dive into topics in homeschool. We’re not restricted by a rigid schedule most days and we can go as deep as we want! Like, we studied a map to locate some of the countries where Buddhism is prominent, we Googled pictures of Buddhist monks, and we had a great discussion on how we can’t work out our own salvation because all of us need Jesus.

But even better, one day we were feeling a bit cooped up in the house and decided we could use a drive. I had an idea. So we loaded into the car and made a pit stop for a few slushies. While enjoying our drinks, we drove just a little ways to park across the street from a small Buddhist temple nearby. Yes, even our tiny piece of the South has one. We discussed the architecture, the statues outside, and so much more.

It wasn’t a long field trip and we didn’t even get out of the car, but it led to some fantastic discussions with my son and it was a perfect example of a great perk of homeschooling.

We didn’t need a permission slip and we didn’t even have to schedule it, we just went! And best of all (according to my kids, anyways), they didn’t even have to wear shoes. They tried to go sans pants, too, but I drew the line there, my Friends. Even homeschool needs a few rules. 🙂

Until next week, Friends.

5 Tips for Surviving Your First Week Ever of Homeschool

Well, we did it. My 7-year old son and I started our homeschool journey this past week and we survived it! Ha! I don’t know what’s brought you to my blog today. Maybe you’re getting ready to also start your first year of homeschool and you’re looking for advice. Or perhaps you’re a homeschool guru and you’re looking to see how badly this rookie messed up.

But whatever your reasons, I thought I’d post about our first week ever as a homeschool family right after we did it so that everything-the memories, the thoughts, the experiences, and the emotions-are fresh and raw. We’re only just beginning, but I’ve already learned so much and I’m here to share that with you in the hopes that if you’re starting this journey as well, you can be encouraged and motivated, and can learn from my mistakes.

1. Start slow.

When talking with friends and others who have experience homeschooling, many of them suggested a “soft start” to the school year. They suggested that rather than trying to do every school subject the first few days of school, that I start with one or two and gradually work our way up to the full schedule. I took this advice to heart and did try to start slow. The week before we officially started our year, we started working on Scripture memorization and Spanish lessons. But when our first homeschool week arrived, I added everything else. I think I justified doing this because my son was so excited to get started, but once he realized that not everything is totally fun in homeschool, I realized I should have started slower. Next year (hopefully), I will adhere to a much softer start and I’d strongly suggest you do, too.

2. Have realistic expectations.

Our first week was a pretty good week, I think, but it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Now I am a very idealistic individual. I’m a dreamer and I love that, but it can also get me in trouble when I have grand expectations of perfection. If I’m not careful, I’ll build up some upcoming event like a family vacation so high in my mind, imagining all the wonderful things we’re going to do and see, that when my 2-year old throws a tantrum mimicing an exorcism on our 1.5-hour “family bonding” hike up a mountain because I let her skip her nap that day, it can feel like a complete and utter failure. Because in my excessive planning to make this trip “The best family vacation ever!” I choose to avoid the realities of our situation, like the fact that 2-year olds need naps, even on vacation. I know this about myself, so I worked really hard when planning our homeschool year, to dream about all the potential, but to also go into this with realistic expectations by talking with homeschool veterans, researching, and reading blogs like this one.

So when my kiddo wasn’t enjoying absolutely everything about his first week of homeschool, because I’d prepared for this reality, the struggles didn’t devastate me or render me completely discouraged. Reality is going to look different for every family, but go into your homeschool year with the understanding of your individual realities so you’re emotionally better prepared when you hit a stumbling block.

3. Be understanding of your child’s emotions.

When we discussed the possibility of homeschooling with my son earlier this year, he was all for it. He hadn’t had any really bad experiences in the public school system and was actually doing quite well there. But he wasn’t super attached to his school experiences yet, and there were many components of homeschool that really attracted him to the idea. However, even change that we’re excited about is still change, and change is usually hard, especially for children.

My son spent Kindergarten and 1st grade in the public school system and he’s used to being in school til 3:30pm during the week. While I thought a 7-year old boy would be thrilled to be done with school by 12pm or 1pm every day, that’s actually been a struggle for my son. He hasn’t loved that like I thought he would because he says, “It’s different.” There have been several other things he’s found hard to adjust to as we’ve started our year and he even shed some tears about it this week.

My initial reaction was to be discouraged and frustrated with that, especially since I’m nervous about all this! But God really guided me through this this week and reminded me that my son is nervous, too. Even all the great perks of homeschool can feel uncomfortable for my kiddo because “it’s different” than what he’s used to.

So keeping this in mind, I made checking-in with my son a priority each day. I’d ask him how he was feeling about everything, what did he like about the day, what did he not like about the day, and even asked him for his suggestions on what we could do to make things better. I think my son, though he couldn’t necessarily communicate this verbally, really appreciated that I wasn’t mad at him for not liking everything about homeschool and that I wanted his input. Be understanding and it will make for a much better week.

4. Be flexible.

I tried my best to be diligent in preparing for the school year. I went through my chosen curriculum’s instructor guide, mapped out different things on my calendar each week, gathered all the material and supplies, and tried to get everything organized. I don’t regret that planning at all, but I also recognize that not everything is going to go as planned. The sooner we can accept that fact, the better our homeschool year (and just life in general!) will be.

Even this first week, I had to be flexible and willing to adjust things. For example, I had planned to follow my instructor guide for math this week, but once we got started, I realized my son already had a solid understanding of some of the concepts we were supposed to cover this week. Rather than bore him to tears by strictly sticking to what I had scheduled for math this week, I ended up skipping some of the lessons I had planned and covering something new instead. Similarly, we spent more time covering nouns and adjectives than I had planned for because I felt my son needed more practice.

One of the beauties of homeschool is being able to be this flexible and really tailor your child’s education. It’s one of the things I am most excited about with homeschool and I can’t stress its importance enough.

5. Celebrate the victories.

Our first week of homeschool may have had its share of struggles and hiccups, but it also had some great victories! Two of our biggest goals for the homeschool year are to 1) Focus on teaching my son the Bible and 2) Improve my son’s Spanish. I am so excited that through our focus this week, my son can now recite Colossians 3:23 by heart in both English AND Spanish. Not only that, but we were really able to talk about and understand what that verse really means when doing school work and chores. Also, my husband even noticed that my son’s Spanish pronunciation has improved sooo much in just this 1st week and it’s got me that much more excited about working on this goal!

Other victories might not seem as grand, but to me they were just as important, like being able to listen to Christian music while we worked on a school craft or squeezing in some one-on-one time with my son doing school work while his little brother and sister were still sleeping in the mornings. To me, these things are priceless and I am trying to be very intentional in cherishing every good moment.

No, our first week wasn’t perfect-far from it. But while we’re trying to learn from the mistakes and set-backs, I think it’s incredibly important to also bask in the good moments, no matter how small they may seem.