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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Scheduling Thoughts...

Do you follow a "traditional" school calendar? School year 'round? Do something else entirely?
image courtesy of madison.k12

I read this post this morning, and it got me thinking. Why exactly do we follow the traditional schedule, and what would it look like if we didn't? What would it be like knowing that every six weeks (or however many I chose), we could take a week off? And extra time off around Christmas sounds good too... time for baking cookies, reading stories, watching all our favorite Christmas movies...

Then, how to transition the kids to such a schedule? Actually, that might not be that hard. We're already planning, this year, on going through the end of June since we took off a few extra days/weeks here and there. So if we just took July and August off over the summer (8 weeks), then started back up with the new schedule in September, it might transition pretty well!

What do you think? Have a good Tuesday!

5 comments :

  1. We typically take December and January off. I just called it for summer too. The weather here is fantastic. We'll start up mid August. I'm always wanting to get started and not wait until after labor day like everyone else near us. We probably school a solid 6 months of the year. Sept, Oct, Nov, Feb, March, April. It works! I'm going to ask the boys to read to me occasionally this summer so they don't forget, but I figure math and grammar is a finite number of rules. Spelling we do for fun...and skip counting we can do in the car. We are heading to the creek today to look for frogs. Who says that isn't educational? :) Happy Summer!!

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  2. I usually intend to school year 'round and ignore the school calendar, but it isn't always easy to work it out that way.

    Summer camps do count in my homeschool, but if the summer is busy it's hard to fit typical academics in. Last year my son went to 2 week-long camps, on a church youth missions trip, and on a family vacation. It was a huge summer for fun and learning, and most of it counted as schooltime, but we didn't cover the academic subjects that really needed attention. That might or might not be necessary in your homeschool!

    Also, schooled friends are typically more available in the summer, so we have to allow for more spontaneous friend get-togethers. Hard to keep 'em in the house writing papers when a friend calls with a sudden invitation to do something fun. (Even if it's just a trip to the mall to look for new nail polish.)

    I think summer learning has to be really intentional! Be realistic about trips, camps, friends, etc. Also be creative about just what "counts" as school. I would have counted looking for frogs in the creek as school a few years ago... for high school, not so much. :-)

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  3. The short version is our school just flows along with life. We do school year round, but summer has the most reasons for breaks (camps, water parties, VBS, and more). I blogged about our yearly scheduling today (http://mhoncaisabhaile.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-homeschool-calendar.html).

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  4. We school year round, but in a modified way. Dh teaches in a traditional school, so when I plan our school calendar, I make sure to take off the days he is home. As his spring break isn't tied to Easter, we also take off the second half of Holy Week, and usually some of the following week (as friends tend to be off). During the summer, we do math, writing (copywork mostly, but also free writing), literature, and silent reading. Sometimes we'll do something science-like with dh. (I also really try to make sure we get our school stuff done by noon so the kids are free to play with friends or we are free as a family to do things.) As we near August, I slowly add one subject a week (Latin, spelling, formal writing, electives, etc.) until we are in full-swing when dh returns to work at the end of the summer. Each year I tweak the schedule a bit, usually to add more weeks knowing we'll want a break here and there in the middle aside from the traditional school calendar breaks. It works.

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  5. When it finally gets warm here, we tend to run away outdoors and seize the day! I need a break from the daily academic schedule as much as the kids do. Summertime is our chance to see friends, hit the beach, go to camps, vacation, and roam the state parks before winter hits again...driving us indoors. However, we do have opportunities to include things that are educational. A fantastic program at the state park provides the younger boys with directed and in depth nature studies, we'll see a Shakespeare play or two in the parks over the next few months, and hot August afternoons are usually our time for enjoying the poetry and art studies we neglected during the school year. Sooooo....while I don't make a schedule for year-round schooling, there is always "stuff" on the agenda.

    This year I *did* make sure to plan extra time off every 6 weeks or so during the school year, so that *I* could plan and change things up as needed. We also had a lighter schedule during the holidays. That gave the boys time to further pursue their hobbies. It worked out well.

    Another thing I have done for several years is to leave Fridays in September (the month we start school) open as optional days off. We often still have glorious weather in September, and we like to take advantage of getting out and about with friends, take trips to orchards etc. Again this is driven by the fact that we like to try to get all we can out of the fair weather before winter hits.

    There are so many ways to schedule that you just need to find which groove works for you and run with it!

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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