Before our school supplies for back to school even arrive we’ve been sitting down to plan out the days of our Homeschool Year.
One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability to structure the schooling around our family schedule.
In our state the laws are that school should be 180 days or 1000 hours covering 11 subjects (reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation).
My husband also has a work schedule where he gets one weekday off in addition to Sundays. So to make sure we get to spend quality time with dad we technically do a 4 days a week school schedule but still get in some schooling on that off weekday.
We homeschool primarily with BJU Press Distance Homeschooling which, in addition to helping us get in those 11 subjects (except music and art which I take care of with other products), meets my daughter’s needs of being a visual and audial learner.
BJU Press nicely includes a printed lesson plan that spaces out our lessons across 180-181 days. I say “nicely” because I love this lesson plan. Even though I don’t follow it to a T or even to an F I use it to tweak and manage our days.
To fit the 181 day lesson plans into our 4 day a week schedule I follow their recommendations (in the Teacher’s Manuals) for combining certain lesson days such as testing and the first day of a new unit.
For our “off ” day or “Daddy Day” as we like to call it that is when we fit in field trips and music appreciation.
We also take 2 weeks of December, a few days in November, a week in March or April (this is usually when we travel), and about a month or a month and a half in the summer depending upon when we finish our school year.
So some days I feel as if we do year round homeschooling but I tend to think of our schedule as simply 4 days a week.
That’s the thing. With homeschooling, even though there are various names for the different kinds of schedules, really each family just tweaks their homeschool days to meet their own lifestyle and patterns.
Making Your Own Homeschool Schedule
Should your homeschool go year round? Should you take a number of short breaks during the year or one long vacation? What about public holidays? When should you take a break?
The answer to these questions and many more like these are actually quite simple: Do whatever suits you and your family best.
Like I mentioned this is one of the appealing benefits of homeschooling. You do not have a set pattern to follow. You do not HAVE to take that autumn break, or
close shop for a prolonged summer vacation.
Flexibility is the key.
Before you plan the structure of your homeschool year, consider some of these issues.
- What method of homeschooling will you be using.
- What is your teaching style and your child’s learning style.
- What are the work and play schedules.
- What are your vacation plans. Some families plan small 1-week vacations at
different times of the year. Other families prefer to go away for
a month or more.
There are some positive benefits in following the traditional
summer vacation schedule.
First of all your children can take part in various summer activities, camps and classes. Your child’s schedule will coincide with his school-going friends.
As they get older a summer job may be possible.
And a longish summer break also means that both parents as well as children can get a break from their daily lessons. (This could also backfire, as it is sometimes
difficult to get back on track once the school year resumes)
On the other hand, there are some advantages to taking numerous small breaks throughout the year.
Your children do not get bored since they get to take a break between units or every few weeks. They may be ready to dive back in after the short break.
You can take family trips and vacations during the less popular seasons of
travel. This means less crowds and better prices.
But your child can also become restless when other children are enjoying their long summer vacations.
So as far as planning your homeschool year, you and your family are in charge.
Taking care of the individual needs of your child is the primary focus so, tailor the school year to suit your child’s needs.
Re-evaluate periodically to see if things are working for your.
Set some realistic goals and see if you are able to achieve these goals.
Most importantly, avoid burnout – both in yourself and your children.
Part of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop