Why We Don’t Take Summer Break

We do not take summers off at our homeschool. We don’t take summer break, instead preferring to continue our homeschooling year-round.

This may seem odd if you {like most folks} grew up with the notion of summer “freedom” being an essential part of the education experience, but it works for us. After a brief hiatus of about ten days we will be back to our usual routine. 

Sun hat and sandals sit on the sand overlooking the water. Text reads: Why we don't take summer break.

Truthfully, the only reason we will be paused that much this year is because our long weekend at Disneyland—which was supposed to be our quick reset—ended with a lovely stomach bug. {Starting with me, our last night there. Good times.}

How does this work?

We have a pretty relaxed schedule during the year, and we take off for holidays and vacations as we go. We just prefer to chug along at a pretty consistent pace rather than taking lengthy, planned breaks.

Also, it works out better to have days away from our studies coincide with days Hubby is able to take away from work, instead of following a typical calendar.

But doesn’t everyone need a break?

I realize it is hard to let go of the mindset of “needing” a large chunk of time off from the day-to-day routine. It didn’t seem normal to me either at first. Even those parents complaining all over social media in August how badly they want their kids to go back already and get out of their hair would mostly scoff at the idea of having a schedule like ours, because the traditional school year {with its predictable breaks} has been so ingrained in our minds in US culture. 

What we have done, however, is {unintentionally} reached a place where it doesn’t matter. Over the years, we’ve essentially made “school” something the Agents don’t feel they need a break from.

That’s not an attempt at a humble brag. They legit don’t think learning is a chore one needs to periodically escape. It is just a part of life for them. Not in an unschooling free form kind of way—we all like schedules and routine way too much for that—but in a this is just the way things are kind of way.

Over the years, we’ve essentially made “school” something the Agents don’t feel they need a break from. Click To Tweet

But kids need time to be bored

The structured parts of our day remain relatively short—even as the Agents age. They have plenty of opportunities to read, play outside, do art, and yes, even waste time and be bored. Even though we don’t take summer break, we never feel like we have missed out on experiences.

Fellow homeschoolers, what does “summer vacation” look like for you?

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sondra Weaver

    This brings up so many questions for me about how you determine when your year is done, how many days you do “school” and how you shifted your mindset so radically. I was planning out our calendar for the next school year & I came to the radical idea that it doesn’t make sense for us to take June off, the weather isn’t that great so we don’t do water things until July, but this is blowing my mind and I need more time to adjust to the idea. I’d love for you to share more about how you have the year & breaks worked out.

    1. Avatar

      I am actually working on a post about those very things right now. 😉 I totally understand about the weather and not making sense to take time off when it’s not cooperating; one of the reasons we started going year round is because we were in Florida and summers are ridiculously hot and humid and we wanted to postpone our longer breaks until fall when you can actually breathe. So we stayed in the AC and did school a lot in the summer months, and took more time off later.

  2. Avatar

    when we started homeschooling in the 90s it was very weird after regular school to allow for random holidays and spur of the moment teaching moments out of the house – wish we’d tried homeschooliing when i was in elementary school or earlier.:)

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    1. Avatar

      It is odd to get used to at first, but then once you are in the groove it’s hard to imagine going back to following a pre-set schedule. I love not being tied to someone else’s calendar. Also, it makes traveling a lot easier.

  3. Avatar

    Love this idea. It can be so hard to get back into the school routine after summer break is over.

    1. Valerie

      We LOVE routine around here! We don’t like to be out of our element for very long, which is how we headed down this path in the first place. Thanks for stopping by, Katie.

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