When do you start / end your homeschool year and why?scheduling
Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:50 PM
So I'm curious... when do you start/end your homeschool year and why/how do you choose to do it that way?
Please share your experience as I would like to explore our options or, rather, possibilities for the future.
Posted 17 September 2008 - 11:01 PM
We school the last week of August through the end of April. I chose this schedule for a few reasons. The first is that we do state testing each year and it is always the second week of May. I like to have our school year done before testing otherwise we lose our motivation to school when that final test is taken. Second reason is that we get spring fever horrible here and want to be outside enjoying things instead of inside doing school. And finally, we don't do a lot in the dead heat of Summer in late August so we might as well spend our time inside an air conditioned room learning something great. It has worked for us for three years now. You are right that each family has their own plan and reasons for that plan.
Oh and I should add that we stop schooling the week of Thanksgiving and don't start up again until the first of the year. That is our extended vacation instead of spring break and days here or there.
Posted 17 September 2008 - 11:05 PM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:33 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:33 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:43 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 04:28 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:11 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:31 AM
So, we now school year round. I have young ones, so we do a 3 week on, 1 week off rotation. This gives them a shorter period of time to do their best on their work to "earn" their week off. There have been times when, if dd didn't complete her work in that 3 week time frame, we had to use a day or two of her week off. She was NOT happy, and it's only happened twice
Plus, our church does ALOT during the holidays. Schooling year round gives us an opportunity to alot more periodic time off during holidays, family functions, etc.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:38 AM
I also have to submit standardized test scores to our county by August 1st, and that gives me time to give the CAT tests in mid-June, receive the scores by the 1st half of July, and get them mailed to the county.
We don't do school from mid-June through mid-August. My hubby's family is big on summer vacations (both my SIL and my MIL have beach houses and they want my children to join them). I also then have time to look through the purchases I made at the homeschool convention and to write lesson plans and pick up all of my school supplies (not only paper and pencils, but any items I need for science experiments, any books I need to purchase for supplementary reading, etc.)
By the middle to the end of August, though, even my kids are getting antsy! They want to start school. The new books are sitting on the shelf and they've been playing video games all day for 2 months and they're bored!!
During the school year, we take a week off in October for our own family vacation -- we're going to Myrtle Beach in 2 1/2 weeks!!! We take a week off at Thanksgiving, two weeks off at Christmas, and a week off at Easter.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:52 AM
Of course, I do slowly build up the material and don't start everything all at once.
It works well for us.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:05 AM
1. Year 3 Redesigned has a supported start date of Aug 18, I figured waiting until Sept. 15th would give me plenty of time to actually be ready.
2. This past year was rough on our schedule, a lot of life happened so we were still doing 2nd grade studies in July-September lightly.
We started this year on September 15 (yep, Monday) and we'll go 9 weeks on and 1 week off (plus holidays) through July 3rd, our math will actually end on July 31. I hope to take August off and start again in September of 2009.
Our studies really do not end, they become lighter.
We have lessons Mon-Thurs with a light Friday, Friday is our field trip/nature walk day so every week we get a break plus our formal studies end around lunch everyday (we have fun stuff after). This makes a difference. We cannot take too much time off without consequences.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:58 AM
We took off a couple of weeks in the spring (I always get spring fever), a couple of weeks in late August/early September (usually hot weather, no AC, too lethargic to work, lol), and then whenever else we needed a break (to go to Disneyland in the middle of the week in May, for example). We put our books away at Thanksgiving and took them out around the middle of January.
For the sake of Sunday school teachers and grandparents, I "promoted" the dc in the fall. I did this by looking dd in the eye and saying, "You're now in 4th grade. Congratulations.":D
Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:09 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:47 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 09:00 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 09:38 AM
I know people that are on all types of schedules. One friend goes 4 weeks on one week off. That schedule would never work for us since it seems to take a week to get organized and the week before a vacation I have a hard time keeping them focused.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 09:57 AM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:00 PM
We school 9 weeks on, 1 week off. In addition, we take a week at Thanksgiving, 2 at Christmas, a week at Easter.
Last year, 4 weeks from the end of the school year, dh looked at me and said "I need a vacation." I asked if he could wait until we finished school, he said no. So then that was another week. I think we finished in May.
I haven't counted to see when we'll finish this year.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:36 PM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:45 PM
She was due back on campus on August 21. So, we started our academic year the following Monday, August 25. She will be done on May 19. So, the plan is for us to be done the previous Friday, May 15.
We'll also take off any weeks when she is home on break, which makes for a very compressed year for us. We'll have only 30 full weeks.
Of course, that doesn't count the field trips and projects and educational DVDs and stuff that will happen during those weeks "off." But I planned all of our formal curriculum over those 30 weeks.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:48 PM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:24 PM
We like taking summers off because you have to take advantage of nice days in Washington! We'll take half-days in September to go to the zoo and things as well--in the spring it's overrun with field trips and the summer has day campers, so Sept-Oct is by far the best time to visit our zoo.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:36 PM
Some times I'll take a month off in the summer if we are really busy. But we still do some light work nature studies, some math etc. The one year we took all summer off the kids had forgotten a lot of what they had learned before break.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:47 PM
In the summer, I do toss a math fact sheet out now and then, and we do a lot of summer workshops, and camps for fun (erm...also with their friends).
Posted 18 September 2008 - 04:14 PM
We school year round, because I like the consistent schedule - but we're only doing sit down school work about 3-4 days a week. So when we start or end a book, or a curriculum, or a unit is not defined by the record keeping calendar - when we finish it, we start anew.
We moved last year, so it threw life for a curve ball... seems like each year I get a curve ball, so it's easier for us to school year round - and not worry about whether we are behind or ahead of the calendar.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:25 PM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:12 PM
Our schedule fits my needs. I need the down week for life and planning. I need the long summer off to keep me motivated and going yr to yr.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:17 PM
As to why--it just sort of evolved that way. We start two weeks ahead of the public schools to give us some wiggle room for vacations during the school year. Over the summer we do school-lite to give everyone a break without forgetting everything.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:25 PM
I don't have to start declaring our intent to home school until the 2009/2010 school year, so I have time to work on the plan I just mentioned, if I need to.
Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:44 PM
Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:49 PM
For instance, I plan to take off 2-3 weeks around Christmas as it is always hectic, we want to visit family and enjoy all that surrounds the holidays. Then my oldest son goes to his dad's for a week. When he returns, we will start back up. After we do, we will likely finish in late April (we started in July). We will take a few weeks off, then start back again in say, mid-late May. We will just keep on keeping on in this fashion and not really have those big 3 month long type breaks.
This is the PLAN. I'll let you know how it works! LOL
Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:18 PM
Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:21 PM
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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:47 PM
Posted 19 September 2008 - 01:19 PM
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Posted 22 September 2008 - 10:19 PM
Breaks for travelling to dr. with Dad
Breaks in December when we do more baking/decorating--so we don't have to feel harried!
Breaks when mom/kids need them
Shorter summer break (6 weeks) means kids don't forget as much too!
Posted 22 September 2008 - 10:33 PM
I generally dislike the review period *we* have to take when we take more than a few days off so I avoid long breaks unless absolutely neccessary. I feel very tired and unmotivated during the holidays so that is like our long break for the year. Although, dd does a page or two of math here and there when dd will do it without complaint. So we are just wrapping up in two months and we just go started in August!!!!
Posted 23 September 2008 - 01:33 AM
Posted 23 September 2008 - 02:25 AM
Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:47 AM
I think that is one of the great things about home schooling - flexibility to your own family's schedule. My husband has odd hours working in the Emergency Room, but when he is off, he is off. As the kids have grown older our schedules have changed because of their interests, but we still try to plan a big family trip once a year - something that we can all talk about and remember for years to come.