Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our School Year

  Some of you are wondering what kind of school year we have that gives us three weeks of Christmas Break.  This is a new schedule for us this year and so far we are loving it!  We got the idea from our Sonlight curriculum.  We started school the first week of August instead of the first or second week of September.  We work for four weeks and then take a week off.  It worked out perfect because it gave us the Labor Day week off to be with friends before they started school.  Then if we continue that routine of four on, one off and take two weeks off at Christmas, we fall right at our normal 5th week off.  So it gives us three weeks instead of two.  Continue through the year and take a week off at Easter and again it hits a fifth week and gives us a two week Spring Break.  Then we will take the whole month of July off as our Summer Break.

   Fortunately in our state we don't have a required amount of days we have to school but it does make life easier when you figure out how many days your on.  You can divide your work up to fit your year easily and it gives you something concrete to tell family.  We chose to follow the typical 180 days because it seems most curriculum's are set up to follow a 36 week school year.  Even the ones that are not are close (some are 24 weeks that we have used).  But that lets us know if we need to spend more time on something, we have it.

    The best part of this has been the chance to breathe!  The week off we can do some fun things as a family.  I can make doctor/dentist appointments.  We can catch up with housework and organize our school stuff without trying to juggle all of that AND school.  And honestly... after four weeks I'm either bored of routine or overwhelmed by life!  Just like my count down to Christmas Break of "5 more days.... 5 more days", I can do the same when heading to our week off if I need too.

    The kids love it.  They brag to all their friends when it's a week off.  The only catch is summer.  I'm not sure they're going to think it's so great with only a month off in the summer.  We'll have to see how it works.  All I know is ALL moms by the end of summer are dying to get back on a routine.  Maybe a month will be  a big enough break to relax but not so much that I'm counting down the days to "normal" again.  Like I said, we'll see.

    I must say this is the best and worst part of homeschooling for me.  I love that we get to make our own choices like this but at the same time it's hard to make a choice and stick to it when you know you can change it!!  This year we're determined to stick with it.  So far, so good.

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