Things always seem to change, just when I think I have everything decided. First it was Memorial Day, which always feels like the start of summer to me. And the weather is going to be really, really nice the next few days. And I am really, really tired of homeschooling. So I started re- thinking. Which I naturally do every time I think I have decided on something! And I read a lot about homeschooling year-round and thought about some different options.
In the end, it comes down to these things:
- I need a break
- The kids need a break
- We did not take enough breaks last year
- I want to take more breaks this year
Also, June is a really nice month around here. July/August can be very hot. Too hot.
So....I changed my mind. As of last week, we are finished with the 2012-2013 school year!! The kids finished their Oak Meadow levels...everything I wanted them to do anyways, and everyone except Grace is right on target with math. I would have liked her to get through a bit more, but such is life. I was going to have them finish their Latin, but really- does it matter if they start next year by finishing up this year's Latin??
I think not.
However, we will not be taking the whole summer off. We have tried that and it is nothing but a dismal failure. Lots of boredom and whining (both the kids and me) after a few weeks. We do better with routine. So I sat down and came up with a year-round homeschooling calendar for us. I am under no illusion that we will follow this perfectly! But, it is something to shoot for, and it lets us see when the next break is coming up. I color-coded it: red for school days, blue for break weeks, yellow for catchup weeks which will be break weeks if not needed. It is posted on the side of the fridge, where I can easily console myself that a break is coming up:).
So as of this week we are on a three week break. After that we will start our 2013-2014 school year, but we're going to take a lot of breaks. And we are going to ease into a 3-4 weeks on/1 week off schedule. The kids are psyched about that. A week off a month!
I love the idea of having a whole week off every month to take care of other things- catch up on cleaning, do the photo albums, work in the garden, pre-read the kids' books, check papers, and whatever else needs doing. I have also heard of scheduling appointments for the week off and I like that idea too!
So the rough plan for the 2013-2014 school year is as follows....
June 1-23rd-*Summer Break*
June 24-28- School week 1
July 1-5-School week 2- this week will be light though, because of the holiday!
July 8-12-School week 3-Grace is in camp, but the other kids and I will do lessons
July 15-19-School week 3 again! Boys in camp, lessons with other kids
July 22-26-catch up to week 3 if needed, the kids are taking a few summer classes this week
July 29-August 11-*Vacation Break*
August 12th-August 30th-School weeks 4-6
August 31st-September 8th-*Labor Day Break*
September 9th-26th-School weeks 7-9
September 28th-October 6th-*Autumn Break*
October 7th-October 25th-School Weeks 10-12
October 26th-November 3rd-*Halloween Break*
November 4th-November 15th-School Weeks 13-14
November 16th-November 24th-*Thanksgiving Break!* (use the first few days to catch up, if needed)
November 25th-December 12th-School Weeks 15-17
December 13th-January 5th-*Christmas Break* (use the last few days to catch up if needed)
January 6th-January 31st- School weeks 18-21
February 1st-9th-*Winter Break*
February 10th-March 7th-School Weeks 22-25
March 8th-16th-*Late Winter Break*
March 17th-April 11th-School Weeks 26-29
April 12th-April 20th-*Easter Break*
April 21st-May 16th School weeks 30-33
May 17th-26th-*Memorial Day Break*
May 27th-June 13th-School weeks 34-36
The kids will get their birthdays off, like always, and we will adjust the breaks around travel, the inevitable flu, or whatever else comes up. The plan is by no means set in stone! But it looks pretty good on paper:).