I've been doing some reading on Charlotte Mason. My biggest takeaway is her scheduling and narration. I really like how she breaks the subjects into "times" rather than assignments. My girls think getting their schoolwork finished is a race. Most of what I assign them is the same even though they are two years apart. I wish they would learn to spend the time they need to really absorb something that they read and when they are in a race to finish two chapters in a day, I don't feel like they do.
I wouldn't really consider us year round schoolers, but I guess we are because we never quit doing math for any length of time and we are always reading. This week we are doing an experiment. "Last year" we used Core 5 of Sonlight and because of all our travelling, we didn't quite finish all the reading before the typical summer break. So, instead of assigning pages for them to read, I told them they needed to read 30 minutes of the assigned book each day and write down for me the pages that they read. Later, I asked them to tell me everything that was in the story that day and what they thought might happen tomorrow. Sometimes, I have had to prod for more information, but overall they have been doing an excellent job of telling me the story and nobody is concerned about who read more in the 30 minutes. (I thought this might be a problem ~ they are pretty competitive.)
I am considering using something similar in the fall, but with more subjects. I almost wonder if they might actually accomplish more if they work diligently for short spurts of time. We'll see how it goes.