common debate between home educators is the year round school versus
the traditional school calendar. I have struggled with this for the
past few years, and I will admit I have changed my mind on the topic
a few times. First thing I do whenever I have to make a decision is
create a pro and con list. Here is mine:
our family, for this season of our life, we are schooling year round.
My husband works four days a week for ten hours, so we decided to go
with his schedule and only school four days a week. On the fifth day
of the week we will do field trips, co-op days, and family fun.
first planning I did was schedule my quarters. Each of my quarters is
ten weeks long, with a field trip or co-op planned for every other
week. This makes each quarter at least 45 days long. Next, I
scheduled in when we are taking breaks: Christmas, Easter, Columbus
Weekend, birthdays, vacations, etc. Then I spread out the weeks so
that we are starting mid-July and ending the end of May/beginning of
June. The longest break is in between years from June until we start
is set aside for sick days and we usually finish up around the same
time public school does. Having only a 4-5 week break means there is
just enough time to plan, reorganize, relax, and be rejuvenated in
time to start up again. I also tend to schedule lighter weeks in the
summer. Sometimes we will only do two or three days a week in July
and slowly ramp up in August to make it easier to transition. I also
schedule a lot of field trips in the summer because there are more
opportunities. We go to zoos, battlefields, landmarks, etc. while the
weather is warm and we can enjoy the outdoors.
months of January and February are the worst months to try to
homeschool in my family. The kids are sick of winter by that point
and cabin fever takes hold. There are some days my kids more closely
resemble trolls than the beautiful babies they are supposed to be. It
is in these months I lighten the load and judiciously institute
mental health days for the safety of all the family members. I try to
get out of the house and do field trips to indoor places with the
kids. As soon as the weather gets warmer we take our school outside
and do it on the front porch or under our tree in the front yard. It
is these small changes that keep school from becoming dull for us.
do you do? Are you a traditional calendar educator or a year round
educator? What do you like about it?