Creating more breaks in our homeschool calendar hopefully will prevent burnout by both the kids and parent/teachers.
Inspired by my blogging friend, Sonshine, we have completely revamped our schedule for the school year. For the last three full years, we've adopted a public-school-like schedule, beginning in late August, breaking for three to five days at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, one week in the spring, and then for summer break during June, July, and most of August.
But after reading Sonshine's post where she mentioned their school schedule, I started thinking about the disadvantages of our current school calendar, and how burned out we get by Thanksgiving break, only to have to struggle through three or four more weeks of school before taking another too-short break.
I quickly came to the conclusion that there must be a better way that would work for us. And here's what we came up with.
We'll basically school for twelve weeks, then take an extended six-week break over the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then we'll school for another twelve weeks, taking a two-week break in early April, around Easter. We'll go for another eight weeks, taking one week off for music camp in June at our church, and then finish the year over the last four weeks, ending July 10. Then summer break will still be seven weeks long, just long enough for the kids and me not to get stir crazy, but long enough to feel like a summer break.
With this adjusted schedule, we'll be able to take an extended breather between each long school session, a break long enough to actually relax and refresh ourselves before starting up again. The kids are pretty excited about the change since they'll have two big breaks during the year — in both winter and summer — and they'll still have a couple more one to two week breaks throughout the year.
Hopefully this new schedule will reduce the likelihood of burnout on my part, as well as keep the kids fresh and excited about school since they won't be chomping at the bit about Christmas for all of December while we're supposed to be doing school work. Plus, it's much easier to plan for twelve weeks at a time than for an entire 36 weeks. But like everything in homeschooling, this is not necessarily a permanent change. We'll have to see how it goes.
Here's our calendar for the rest of our school year. We have added the breaks in the homeschool calendar and the kids are rejoicing.
If you homeschool and have also adopted a school calendar that's different from a regular public school calendar, I'd love to hear about it. Do you school year-round? Leave a comment and let me know how you schedule your school year.