Jubilee Homeschool Year – Taking a break from traditional homeschooling

Raising Arrows
Jubilee Homeschool Year – Taking a break from traditional homeschooling

How to take a break from your usual homeschool routine to revitalize and refresh your educational efforts at home!

I have been homeschooling for 20 years. *gasp*

During that time, I have been fairly eclectic in the educational resources I use with the exception of following a classical 4 year cycle – working through history chronologically – as the spine of our homeschooling day.

READ >> Homeschool Curriculum Choices for the Large Family (to learn more about our favorite homeschool resources!)

Back in 2017, we came to the end of a 4 year homeschooling cycle, graduated my oldest child, and then found out my husband would be deployed overseas for a year.

That was the year I turned our homeschool on its head, and declared our first Jubilee Year of Homeschooling!

What is Jubilee Homeschooling?

In Leviticus 25:10, it says:

Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.

First of all, I made up the term “jubilee homeschooling” based on the change of pace and freedom found in these verses.

Our Jubilee Homeschool is a proclamation of liberty from the traditional way we’ve been homeschooling. It is also a return to our family and clan in that we are purposeful about focusing on building family ties during this time.

Essentially, a Jubilee Homeschool is a year (or more if you need it) of change in homeschooling curriculum, pace, scheduling, or focus, or all of the above combined!

Why a Jubilee Homeschool year is good for you, your kids, and your homeschool!

First of all, let’s talk about you, homeschool mama…

Sometimes you need a short break, and a sabbatical (like the one described in the post linked below) is all it takes.

But, sometimes, you need MUCH more. Sometimes you are so burned out, you need a whole new way of thinking to get out of that rut you are in!

And sometimes your kids need this change of pace as well!

It is almost as if everyone has become too familiar with the curriculum. It begins to lose meaning and become more “going through the motions.”

So, if homeschooling has lost its luster and enjoyment, or if you or your kids seem to be lacking enthusiasm and excitement, a Jubilee Homeschool Year might be exactly what you need!

A Jubilee Homeschool gives you something fresh and different, and often that is all you need to create a happier homeschool – not to mention beautiful homeschooling memories!

My Jubilee Homeschool in 2017

Starting our preschool year off with a hot air balloon ride from A Year of Playing Skillfully
We started our homeschool year off with a Back to School Picnic and “hot air balloon” ride! This was an idea from A Year of Playing Skillfully – of the curricula we used during our Jubilee Homeschooling year.

I can’t even remember how I came across the resources that made up our Jubilee Homeschool that year. Instagram perhaps?

I think I was probably scrolling through my Instagram feed, when I began to land on lovely photographs of nature-based homeschooling experiences that made me long for the simpler days of homeschooling when I first started out with my little 4 year old son.

I’m not usually one to say, “Let your feelings guide you,” but that year, I needed something that “felt” peaceful and beautiful. (Remember, that was the year my husband deployed, and also the year our daughter had her cleft palate surgery.)

I think I even began to Google “peaceful homeschool curriculum” and “beautiful homeschool curriculum!” I was so desperate for something that would help me feel the way I wanted to feel amidst all of the chaos.

That homeschool year ended up feeling like a deep, cleansing breath.

Here are the resources I chose for that year, with links directly to the curriculum (the bold headlines) and links to my reviews (the bulleted sections), along with photos from that year of homeschooling:

Peaceful Press

We used several of their products throughout our Morning Time and then did the projects in the afternoon.

A Year of Playing Skillfully

We did these projects in the afternoons. It is geared toward younger kids, but read the review below to see why this became much more than a preschool curriculum for our family…

The Homeschool Garden

Morning Time lessons became incredibly important to our Jubilee Homeschool, and these were exactly what I was looking for!

PictureSmart Bible

This curriculum had my kids tracing/drawing through the books of the Bible and became a much loved part of our Jubilee Homeschool year. I do not have a review of this program for you, but there is another I also highly recommend called GrapeVine. It is “stick-figuring through the Bible” and would be a good fit for a Jubilee Homeschool year as well.

You ARE An Artist

We decided to use chalk as the medium for our Jubilee Homeschool year art because the lessons from Nana were always a hit when we tried them. I got a Clubhouse Membership so I would have access to everything. We STILL use this membership many times a month!

Starting off our preschool year with a hot air balloon ride!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Why Homeschool Gaps Aren't Mistakes
Nature Study
Leaf sorting project from this week's Large Family Homeschool Week in Review
Leaf sorting
Make your own Nativity Story Stones and let your children experience the Christmas story in a tactile way!
Nativity Story Stones

My Jubilee Homeschool in 2023

Personally, I don’t think I could ever do the exact same thing for every Jubilee Homeschool year. That would almost defeat the purpose of having a Jubilee year for me. I need it to be different, exciting, and outside our norm.

So, in 2023, I will NOT be doing what we did in 2017; although, I will be using resources from some of the same companies I used back then. Below is my tentative plan with direct links to the various resources:

Peaceful Press – Playful Pioneers

This is the one resource from The Peaceful Press we have not used!

The Prairie Primer

My plan is to mesh this with Playful Pioneers. We did parts of this curriculum many years ago, so it will feel fresh.

A Journey Through Learning – Prairie Primer Binder Builder

We did this when we did The Prairie Primer all those many years ago, so I figured I’d get it back out and do it again. Binder Builders are like Lapbooks, but a WAY better fit for my brain!

The Homeschool Garden

There are still some lessons we have not done, so we’ll be working our way through those.

Gentle + Classical – Morning Virtues

Over the past coupe of years, I’ve become a huge fan of G+C, and their Morning Time lessons (entitled Morning Virtues because they use a virtue as the backbone of their composer, art, music, and Bible study). I definitely want this as part of our Jubilee Homeschool year!

PictureSmart Bible or GrapeVine

I have not decided which of these we’ll be doing, but I do feel it has been long enough since we did PictureSmart that I won’t feel like it’s a repeat. And we have not done all of the GrapeVine studies, so we’ll pick one we have not done yet if we go that route.

Music in Our Homeschool – Folksongs

We use Music in Our Homeschool all the time, but we don’t often work through the folksongs section of our membership. I decided this would be a fun addition to our Jubilee Year!

Homeschool Nature Study

This new online resource takes The Handbook of Nature Study and makes it accessible and easy to use with projects and ideas for all ages!

Our Journey Westward Nature Studies

I love Cindy’s products, but I haven’t used a lot of her Nature Studies on their own. We won’t work through them all, but I definitely want to incorporate several that interest my kids.

Exploring Nature with Children

I’m not sure we’ll get to this, but this is one of those resources I’d like to do but can never seem to incorporate into our traditional homeschooling day, so I’m putting it in the Jubilee plan, but it still may not make it. Oh well – a girl can dream!

I’m sure there will be changes and additions to this as I continue to plan and research, but hopefully you get the idea of where I’m heading with this Jubilee year!

In the next post, I will share how you can plan your own Jubilee Year, but here at the end of this post, I want to address some of the questions you might have about a Jubilee Homeschool Year…

Questions you might have about a Jubilee Homeschool Year

After looking through my Jubilee years, you could be wondering a few things. I’ve tried to anticipate what you might have questions about, but of course, if I didn’t answer them all, feel free to ask in the comments section!

Do you do math, science, phonics, etc in a Jubilee year?

YES! Most of what I listed off are things we will be doing in our Morning Time that replace our usual curriculum during that time.

READ >> How we do Morning Time

The resources are more light-hearted and projects-based, and any history we do will not be chronological. We will also do projects in the afternoon hours that go along with these resources as I have time and energy.

However, there will still be independent school work to be done after Morning Time. That will include handwriting, math, science, phonics, and any literature and Bible reading I have them doing.

READ >> Independent Learning – Teaching Kids to Homeschool Themselves

Does a Jubilee Year have to be nature-based and/or playful?

NO! This is MY personal Jubilee Year. This is what is relaxing to ME. We’ll explore this question more in the next section, but you have to do what is FREEING to YOU!

What if we don’t do Morning Time? Can I still have a Jubilee Year?

YES! (Although I highly recommend a Morning Time!). Do less subjects, add in something new like Art or Nature Study, take off on Fridays. The idea is to take a break from your “norm” and do something that frees you and your kids from the constrains of traditional homeschooling and helps you focus more on your family (and that might even be starting up Morning Time!).

A Jubilee Year sounds a bit exhausting! Do I have to do ALL of these things?

NO! Never, ever, ever make a Jubilee Year exhausting, but DO try to make memories! Whatever you choose to do for your Jubilee Year, choose wisely and choose things that build your family togetherness! And again, the things I listed are particular to MY family. You will want to do something that works for YOUR family!

Jubilee Homeschool Year – Taking a break from traditional homeschooling