Friday, August 18, 2006

Alternative School Year Plan

Many people have asked us, "Have you started school yet?" or "When do you start back up?" We do things a bit different here. We work on a schedule of 3 weeks on, 1 week off, with 3 weeks off for summer and 2 weeks off at Christmas. So we pretty much school most of the time, but with lots of "breaks" to allow my wife (who does most of the teaching) a chance to recover and plan for another short burst. This is what works for us. You may have to do something different. If you are an unschooler, this is probably irrelevant to you.

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~Patricia said...

Excellent idea! We actually followed that schedule for a couple of years. It didn't work as well when the boys were older, but at the time, it was perfect.

Kathleen said...

This is also what we do. It works very well for our family, although since they had each spent a couple of years in public school, it took a bit for my children to understand why they had to do "schoolwork" in the summer. Now, a couple of years later, they "get" it!!

KarenW said...

I love the flexibility of homeschooling. Each family can do what is best for their needs in any given year - or day!

Sarah said...

I liked following the "traditional" school year when we started homeschooling -- ironically, because I'd come from a public school where we were forced onto a track system. There is nothing more useless to a 10-year-old than a month and a half of sitting around the house with nothing to do in January (we had school from August 19th through December 20th, then again from February 14th through June 30.)

I think it was probably four years after we started homeschooling before I finally got tired of starting school on the first Monday after September 1st. And of course, right when I was completely annoyed with the "traditional" schedule, we moved across country at the end of September. We didn't start school till our schoolbooks were unpacked, a week before Halloween. I remember spending a week and a half doing nothing but ripping up smelly old carpets and wishing we had cable, because the broadcast networks we could get in our house were showing nothing but the end of the OJ Simpson trial.

Then again, saying we had a 36 week school year is probably inaccurate. We took off on vacations and spent one day a week doing nothing but going to the library and dance class (and later, volunteering at a reenactment museum.) I think the thing that worked for us was having a really straightforward schedule and then not caring if we abandoned it at will. If/when I have kids, my biggest rule will probably sound something like "there are far more important things to do today than follow the plan we made last month."

Malissa said...

interesting idea! we're just getting started here so I'm sure I'll be doing lots of finding what works for us.

we are starting the Tue after Labor day due to my employee situation:)
who know what we'll do next year.
I'm excited to start this journey.