We start our homeschool year July 1st. It sounds crazy to most people. I know because I’ve seen the look on the faces of friends, strangers, and church family when I tell tell them we started back to school this past Monday. And I understand why. Most kids have only just started summer vacation. School hasn’t even been out a month and we are already going back?
I’d like to share with you some of the benefits of starting early. Why we start our Homeschool year July 1st.
Why we start early
First off, our district’s school calendar runs from July 1 – June 30. July 1st is the first day I can begin counting our 180 days of required schooling for the new year. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have 30+ days of school logged by the time schools are back in session.
It may seem obvious, but starting early usually means we get to finish early. Officially, we homeschool year around, but that doesn’t mean we school all the time. As each kid finishes up the curriculum for the year (some subjects as early as March or April), they get more free time for spending on what they love. For most of them, that means more time outside. And it usually falls in the spring when the weather is perfect.
Beat the Heat
Another great reason to start schooling at the beginning of July is the heat! It gets hot and humid here in PA and I know it’s even worse down south. When we do make it outside, it’s as early in the morning as possible and late in the afternoon. That leaves us stuck inside all the rest of the day. I don’t know about you, but 6 kids stuck inside all day without a routine is not my favorite way to spend the day.
I’d much rather spend those hot hours of the day and year in the air conditioning teaching and supervising the “school” day.
Extra time off is another highlight of the “starting early” school schedule. Like I said, we homeschool year round. So we are basically “in session” 11 months of the year. We try to leave June as free as possible for the kids to explore their own interests and get a break before we jump back in with both feet in July. But we aren’t schooling all the time. By starting July 1st, we are able to take time off throughout the year.
Instead of schooling for months on end and then taking an extended summer vacation, I scheduled a week of “vacation” every 5-7 weeks (give or take to fit our plans.) It starts after just 3 weeks of school with a week off for Vacation Bible School (a week I actually count toward school days for the little kids) at our church. Then 5-6 weeks later, I scheduled another week off while my husband take time off to work on the house. Again the last week of October we will take a week off to work on crafts to sell at the Christmas Market later in November. Thanksgiving week, Christmas week… do you see how it works? And every 5-7 weeks through the spring until we’ve counted off the 180 days and completed the work we want to finish for the year.
We end early and still have times of refreshment and fun along the way. All because we start early. 🙂
What about you?
Okay, not nice for me to bring you all these benefits a week into July. Sorry. If I’ve managed to make this sound amazing and now you want to start last week, that is going to be difficult. Especially if you did just finish your school year a month ago. The kids may revolt! 🙂 So what can you do about it now?
My recommendation is that you pray about your school year, talk to your husband and then decide what you want to do. If you want the benefits of starting early, you can still get them by starting EARLIER than you usually do this year and make your way to a July 1st start up next year. If you can’t get things together fast enough to be ready, you can always start SOMETHING and then start the rest when you are ready. Otherwise, if all else fails, you can always make a few tweaks this year to set yourself up for an early start next year. It’s never too late! 🙂
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