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Home-Ed Study Weeks

Home education, just like school, can at times become repetitive and it’s always good to shake it up and make sure the process of learning continues to be enjoyable for both the home learner and the parent-teacher/home-educator. Home-Ed study weeks are a simple way to do that.

Periodically it’s good to pause and observe how your homeschool is working, to check the balance between home and school is right; to assess what’s working, what could do with a tweak and to see if anything needs to be added to (or removed from) the curriculum/actual lessons/the routine of your homeschool.

What is a home-ed study week?

Study weeks are a blend between a half-term holiday (that may or may not last a week or more) and a revision week before exams.

We call this downtime ‘Study Week’ partly because it sounds educative enough to pacify the ‘need-to-be-timetabled’ part of my parent-teacher brain; partly because it reminds our home learners that it’s not a holiday and they must be productive. Study weeks are downtime from the routine of school and sometimes that’s mentally good for us all.

Balancing all the roles you play – pupil/student/child/parent/teacher/facilitator – can get tiring and it’s easy for home and school to start to blur – either home life taking over unintentionally, or school taking over the home. Taking time out from ‘school’ allows you and your homeschooler to reconnect as only parent and child – the teacher’s away for the week.

It doesn’t of course mean you stop teaching – questions are still answered, homeschoolers are still steered toward projects, games, activities that will benefit them – but it does mean you get to spend time with your children without thinking about the home education side of that relationship. That’s important.

During study weeks I’m not needed as a teacher, freeing up time to re-evaluate curricula we’re using, sort through books and papers and get on top of life admin tasks.

In a way, study weeks are similar to the idea of ‘deschooling’ – the process of taking a break from any kind of formalised learning/teaching in the period between leaving the school system and starting home educating. Deschooling is intended to re-spark a joy, a natural curiosity for learning, and study weeks work the same.

With a never-ending stream of new software, web-based learning environments and online qualification options; as the online and offline worlds blur (socially, in education and working environments), learning (education) never, ever stops.

We’re able to access the tools and information we need, to learn what we need to learn, as and when we need it. A good education will place as much importance on teaching the tools and skills needed to learn autonomously, as it will on the knowledge the curriculum contains.

During study weeks we ask our homeschoolers to experiment with new software (a new-to-them Adobe programme, a writing app, AI etc), to test-run any potential memberships or subscriptions that might be useful and to delve deeper into anything that interests them. Study weeks are a good way to passively teach children how to be self-led learners.

Obviously, if home learners are working towards exams, keeping hold of the exam timeframe and evaluating their learning progress is important – really important! – but that doesn’t mean if you take a week off their education plan is going to fail.

What to Do in a Homeschool Study Week?


  • Evaluate the curriculum you’re using in your homeschool – take time to go through the resources and books you’re using. Get rid of any that aren’t being enjoyed either by your pupils or by you: Textbooks and resources that are boring, too easy, too challenging bring unnecessary stress into a homeschool environment.
  • Think ahead – Look over the home-ed plan for the coming few months. Do any lesson prep that can be done in advance now and file it to pull out later. (Like cleaning the kitchen sink before going to bed- your future self will thank you for it.)
  • Evaluate student’s progress – Scan back over work your homeschoolers have done since you last evaluated. What progress can you see? Are there any learning gaps? Are they on track to hit the academic goals you set for the year? Make a note of any big improvements you notice or any subjects in which you can see a homeschooler has been trying really hard – tell them you’ve noticed! Recognising progress, even simply with a ‘Well Done!’ sticker on a worksheet, is the easiest way I know to encourage them to keep trying harder.
  • Write book lists – Look at the curriculum to see what topics are planned for study. Spend time tracking down books to compliment the study. (The School Reading List is a great place to start.)
  • Rearrange books on shelves and switch up passive learning materials – Hide board games that are frequently used and swap them for less used games, bring hidden books to the front of bookshelves, change the supplies on the art table for a different medium.


  • Explore, experiment, and have fun!
  • READ! Watch TV. Play games. Get outside! Try a new hobby. Bake. Make art. Make music. Sleep.

(If a home learner chooses an activity that doesn’t immediately strike you as ‘being productive’, ask why they chose it: If they can debate the productivity merits of an activity, let them have it.. even if they don’t convince you.)

One of the great advantages of home educating is being able to visit tourist attractions without the crowds of school holidays. Take a virtual school trip offline and go explore!

All subjects can be linked to an adventure. What are you studying in the coming weeks? Can you plan a day-trip that incorporates any titbits of learning that will support that?

Memberships to places that support learning are a great extra to include in a home-ed budget.

National Trust/English Heritage style memberships can add depth to history/sociology/geography/science/language/nature curriculums, farms and woodlands introduce animal husbandry/agriculture/machinery; even theme parks can be an inspirational learning source for design/engineering/data collection.

Whatever you do on a study week – if it’s productive and fun it is learning.