It wasn’t obvious to me when I first started scheduling our school years that I needed to add in some REGULAR break time. I wanted to do school for about 180 days, and in my flawed thinking, the faster we got that done, the sooner our summer could begin. Forget the love of learning; forget school fatigue; forget appointments; forget beautiful false spring days in the middle of winter where we just want to play outside.
I was so married to this schedule. Each week was a struggle to keep pushing towards the arbitrary goal I had set. And there was nothing to look forward to. Not only was I burned out, but my daughter, the main reason for all this, was hating school. Ugh.
Sometimes things are so obvious, yet I’m just stuck with my initial plan that it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. I had to allow myself to give ourselves breaks during the school year. To accept that our school year would extend past 36 calendar weeks. I laugh now thinking about that. You all are probably thinking it’s so idiotic to not do that to begin with. Homeschooling is about flexibility, and I always have touted that, but I wasn’t allowing myself to be flexible.
What we’re trying this year is to school for six weeks and then take a week off. I am LOVING it. The weeks go by so quickly that it seems like we’re always just a week or two away from a break. At first I was hesitant to really play up the break weeks. I want the girls to love schooling and so I didn’t want them to love the break weeks more. But even when we’re doing something we love it’s always nice to take a break and do something different, right? And the bonus is I have a week to recharge my batteries, review what we’ve been doing, and make any necessary changes to our school days, curriculum, etc. if necessary.
A friend of mine, who has chosen to school year round runs a four weeks on/one week off schedule. I’d be willing to try this if we were able to school year round. Right now we are moving just about every summer and I’m not at the point where I’m willing to school during those moves. . . although we *will* be roadschooling this summer when we move, and that’s something I’m going to blog about more in the near future!
Schedules are beneficial to most homeschool families. Unschoolers or families with very young kids probably don’t work within the confines of a schedule. I’ve come to realize that a flexible schedule helps me to stay organized and on track–with our school work and with our breaks!
What is your “school work to break time” ratio within your homeschool schedule? I’d love to hear how different ratios help different families.
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