Should You Homeschool Through the Summer?

Updated: January 23, 2020
This article discusses the pros and cons of homeschoooling through the summer.
Table of contents

Should You Homeschool Through the Summer?

Summer Sacrifice
Many homeschooling families have their kids hard at work during the summer months while their public- and private-school counterparts are on vacation.

But year-round homeschooled students can take several shorter breaks spaced throughout the year. Breaks can be planned to fit into holiday observances, special family events, a parent's work schedule, or the culmination of a special hobby or extracurricular activity for the student, such as a piano recital or a debate competition.

Families who homeschool to enjoy a more flexible lifestyle are often the most vocal proponents of year-round schooling. As with any method of instruction, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a calendar that does not include the traditional three-month summer vacation.

No Review: With year-round learning, there's less need for a time-consuming review come fall, which students and parents alike often see as frustrating after a long break.

More Confidence: A child who just memorized her multiplication facts three weeks ago is in a better position to recall them than a child who has let them slip for an entire summer. Likewise, a child who learned to write a book report last month will approach a blank page with more confidence and less anxiety than a child who completed her first report several months ago. Kids who are homeschooled year-round keep their skills well-honed and are more likely to accelerate in their programs.

More Comfortable: For families who live in warmer climates, the decision to homeschool year-round is simply more practical. For these kids, there's no such thing as "playing outside" when temperatures soar, so working in the comfort of air-conditioning makes more sense. These kids can take advantage of the great outdoors later, in the fall or winter.

Less Burnout: Many year-round homeschool families report less burnout. With breaks more regularly spaced throughout the year, kids can go at their lessons full-tilt, knowing a two- or three-week vacation is never too far off.

More Freedom: Many families enjoy making the most of their vacations by taking an autumn or early spring holiday to beat the crowds. The chance to cruise through a children's museum or a historical site at reduced rates is especially appealing when the majority of kids are back in school, or on vacation.

Missing Out: The comments and opinions of other people account for the biggest and most consistent disadvantages reported by year-round homeschool parents. For most adults, memories of summer vacation take on idyllic proportions, and they may say that kids who are schooled year-round are missing out on part of their childhood.

More Questions: Of course, homeschool parents are used to people's curiosity and questions. In this case, instead of having to answer the usual questions about socialization, they may have to repeatedly -- and frequently --tout the rewards of a year-round schedule.

Out of Synch: Another drawback may be that the year-round schedule doesn't mesh with other children in the family who are enrolled in public or private school, or a homeschooled child's friends and neighbors. It's difficult, if not impossible, to stick to a year-round program with the doorbell ringing all summer!

Whether geography, lifestyle, or a desire to accelerate your child's learning makes year-round homeschooling seem like a good option, you'll need to consider how it fits with your family's educational preferences. To the delight of many families, learning through the summer is a welcome alternative.