It has been a while since I shared homeschool planning for our 6 blessings. After rereading the post I decided it was time to do some touch ups it, add in new things I learned over the last couple years, and share a new version with you. Since the original post was SO LONG, I decided to split the post into 6 separate posts and expanding on some of the different topics covered in the original post. Those posts will be going out each day this week, I hope you enjoy!
Decide If You Are Doing A Year Round/Traditional School Year:
Making the decision on how your homeschool year will look is a very personal decision. What works for one homeschool family will not work for others. The options are really endless on how to structure your homeschool year. Here are a few ideas that I have heard homeschoolers use for their homeschool year.
- Some homeschoolers would never want to homeschool through the summer because that is their time off so they will choose to homeschool similar to the typical public school year.
- I have heard of homeschoolers doing 6 weeks on 1 week off, or even 4 weeks on 1 week off.
- Others will choose to homeschool the whole year round. Taking extra breaks off through out the year and perhaps a few extra weeks around the holidays and summer.
We choose to homeschool year round, just because it is what works best for us. On a average we plan to do 3 weeks on 1 week off, with a few weeks off during the summer and a little extra break during the month of June/July.
During the summer classes are not as long and a lot of their classes are done with for the year by that time. Our school time isn’t as long during the summer months as during the year, most of the kids will start around 10:00 and be done for the day by lunch time 12:00.
My high school students will usually start some classes they don’t enjoy as much for the next year. Serena works on doing extra classes that she enjoys, and all of the kids work on reading, arts and crafts, hands on learning, field trips, and do lots of exploring nature on nature walks.
- Kids loose so much over a long summer break I think its silly to constantly have to review the same materials at the beginning of the year, also giving kids 3 months off of school is just asking for boredom and trouble (remember I have 5 boys.) 😉
- Between our many doctors appointments, household tasks, and the extra works that needs to go into special needs kids education, I NEED BREAKS!!! This helps me be the best parent and teacher for our children. Schooling year round allows me so year round school lets us work for on average of 3 weeks and then get a week off.
- I have some kids that NEED structure and being left to do whatever they want each day for 3 months will make them children I wouldn’t want to be around. They would melt down and loose it really…
Have we ever taken a summer off of homeschool? YES we have taken summer off, the beginning of our homeschool years we would take every summer off before I had kids who needed structure and routine. It was also before I realized that boys just stay out of trouble so much better when they are given things to keep them busy!!
Figure out how many school days you need in each month:
Find out how many days of instruction your state requires. In our state there are no requirements, testing, or reporting. So I go with the average amount of days required in most states which is 180 days. But I plan our year for 190 days, I do this because it leaves me 10 days of extra school. Having this cushion is really nice when there is a virus that gets passed through the whole house, I have surgeries or feel terrible, or just have a day full of doctors appointments.
Next I write each month out on a sheet of paper and write the amount of days needed next to each month. To the left is a picture of my months written out with the amount of days next to each month. I try to give us a week off each month but also for months like December when there are Holidays I will give us some extra time off. Don’t mind my scribbling I am always moving things around on here to fit what works us best.
This is a forever changing schedule, if something comes up I try to use our scheduled time off and just plan to do school when we had originally planned a break. There are times things have come up where we have needed more than just the scheduled time off, so I just go through and change the months accordingly. Times like this are when planning for 190 days really comes in handy.
Map Out Your Days On A Calendar:
Now that I know how many days of school we need in each month, I need to fill in a calendar accordingly. I use the Schoolhouse teachers planner and fill in my monthly calendar pages for the year. I love this planner because I have TONS of different options for scheduling and because it’s digital I can use it for all of the kids. I use the total amount of days for each month written on my piece of paper above. When filling the days in I make sure to take consideration of Holidays, surgeries, a busy appointment week etc. This helps everyone be aware of what days we have school and what days we have off as much as I can in advance.
To the right is a screenshot of my September calendar using the Schoolhouse Teachers planners. Instead of typing each word out for every day of the year, I just type “school” 1 time then copy and paste onto each day we are planning a school day then do the same with “no school” days.
When I’m finished, I print a yearly calendar for each child and add it to their planner for the year. I do keep a hard copy on my computer for those times “something happens to their calendar.”
That is how we plan our school days for the upcoming school year.
Stop back tomorrow, I will be sharing how to choose a homeschool curriculum and how to put that all into a calendar for you and your students.
What does your homeschool year look like? Do you homeschool year round or take a break off in the summer? Leave a comment letting me know, I would love to hear.