We…or should I say I am trying a new approach to school next year. Every year after Thanksgiving I find myself in a schooling slump. I have all sorts of school planned, don’t do it, and then we end up playing catch up for two months after the New Year. I know a lot of people avoid this by not putting specific dates on specific lessons, but really, I have to have dates on lessons. I’d likely not finish school ever if I didn’t have that goal. I find that any time I take a break during the school year, I have a hard time getting back into the swing of things.
I’ve tried several approaches to planning my school year. The first one was to plan a week off about every six weeks and a couple weeks off at Christmas. This was a dismal failure. I was constantly playing catch-up and then by the time May and June rolled around I was sick of school and ended up not finishing the math lessons. It was very frustrating.
The next approach was to schedule no time off at all in the fall except for a week at Thanksgiving and 4 weeks off around Christmas/New Years/Anna’s birth and then a week off a couple of times in the spring. This was bad, too. More catch-up. Add into that the fact that I was pregnant and we moved into our house and sheesh. It went better than the first approach though.
The third approach was to schedule no time off at all. Knowing that I have a hard time getting back on the wagon, this year I scheduled one week off a Thanksgiving and one week off at Christmas. That’s it. Plus, it’s only a four-day school week, which has been a real blessing. It’s been working much, much better than either of the two previous years. There is still the factor of my being pregnant and very sick and so we get behind in school, because I just don’t do it while I’m sick.
My plan for this next year is the one I’m most excited about so far. We are only going to take six weeks off this summer starting around the beginning of June. In the middle of July, using the four-day week again, we will start school and go until Thanksgiving when we’ll take 6 weeks off, then begin again in January. I am hoping that this will dispel any school exhaustion and allow me to sew like a banshee for that time – I always find myself wanting to sew instead of school at this time of year…plus I have to sew two new stockings; one for Anna and one for Isaac. If we need any other time off we can take it, but must do extra work on Fridays and the weeks before and after to make up that time.
So our schedule will look something like this:
Finish this year’s school on May 28
Summer break from May 29 to July 18
School for 18 weeks from July 19 to November 19
Fall/winter break from November 20 to January 2
School for 21 weeks from January 3 to May 27
Other good things about this schedule are that from the middle of July on through half of September, it is deathly hot around here and the kids hardly go outside so we might as well school during this time. Then about the time we take the fall/winter break the weather is still really nice and the kids can spend a lot of time outside. When we start up again will sort of be around when it can start freezing and being too chilly to go outside much. Not that it ever gets that cold or that I can predict the weather, but still, the schedule meshes well with typical nice weather patterns.
So that’s my current tentative schedule. I’ll post a more thorough one in the near future, PLUS what new and fun curriculum I’m going to get. WOOHOO!! It's been fun figuring out what my own schooling schedule should look like. How true it is that there is no one HS schedule for everyone and you have to spend a few years learning what you need to do to get on a good rhythm. FUN STUFF!!