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How flexible are you with the 180 days?


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How much flexibility do you give yourself? We're newer to homeschool and in the last 8 months I have been pretty strict about making sure a homeschool day is a full on day of work. I think that's just the way I am wired, I couldn't count a day unless it's a full day of all subjects. I would have a really hard time counting it if that wasn't the case and maybe feel like I'm cheating a bit.

But this question has been bugging me because in the blogs, Youtube and forums that I follow, I see other moms being a lot more flexible with sick days or days where other stuff happens or even taking mental health days. I feel like I will get there but at the same time I'm hesitant to do that. The few days we've taken that were unplanned I've tacked on to the end of our year. But seeing so many viewpoints and opinions, my brain understands it should be more flexible but my hand is saying don't you dare!

Edited by ifsogirl73
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I count equivalent hours.  We use an online planner, HomeschoolSkedTrack, and any day we do school is logged as a day.  We usually hit 180 days around January/February, but around 900 equivalent hours* around May.

So what's an equivalent hour?  It's the time I have devoted to teach a lesson, and is equivalent to that amount of lesson time in a school.  So I set our math time for 60 minutes (older kid, longer material).  Sometimes it takes him 30 minutes, sometimes 60..I don't adjust the time in the scheduler when he's more efficient.

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Even ps's have field trip days, guest speaker days, 1/2 days, etc that are all counted toward their academic yr.   

We are pretty serious homeschoolers in terms of what we accomplish in a school yr.  Our actual direct school days (not counting field trip days or 1/2 days) typically amt to 165+ days.  172 days is where I am OK saying any day count responsibility ends.   But, honestly, goals are more important to me than days.  

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For me a day includes, at bare minimum math and writing. After that I'm more able to flex if a need arises, like puke or in-real-life friends or something marginally educational. Legally, my only requirement is 180 days, but that just barely seems like enough time to do all the interesting or necessary things. We do things over the summer, but I count that as enrichment and keep it confined to half days. Lest I sound like a fearfully strict task master, we do have scheduled breaks where no work is done, no matter what all is going on with math.

 

ETA I'm speaking from a middle school and high school perspective. I should have noted the subforum before I answered.

Edited by SusanC
all sorts of things change as we get older
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I count any day we do the majority of book work. I aim for 170 days because I figure at public schools kids can have up to ten absences. Our state doesn't require any number though. We were in the 180s last year and this year is looking to be similar. I'd even be ok going lower because I don't count testing, field trips, or party days. We just school any day we don't have something better to do year round.

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In our state we have to count 180 days, so I make sure that we do something educational for that many days.  But, on the rare occasion that I have a mildly sick kid, they may just do math and watch documentaries (or just watch documentaries if math is too much).  If we do a field trip, they might do their math in the car if they need to do a lesson that day to stay on the schedule that we've set for ourselves.  While we do all scheduled work most days, I also do comparisons between what I plan to do during a year and where we are in the school year.  If we're more than halfway through our math book by the midpoint in the year then we're more likely to take a day off from it when we have another activity planned, for instance.  If we hit a snag and are a little behind, we don't take the day off.  And my kids appreciate that for some subjects, when we finish the book they are done for the year - I don't start a new grammar or math book with 7 days left in the school year.  So, if we wind up with a few days without some subjects, that's OK.  One of my kids does the 'Dave Ramsey snowball' at the end of the year - double up on one subject, finish it early, then use that time to double up on another.  They like having a last week that is mostly reading for fun.  That is less of a thing now that they are in high school, but was common in the K-8 years.  We have also had years where the last week of school was almost entirely field trips.  Several times we have had multi-day trips during the school year.  My kids did several lessons of math/language arts while in the car/plane but most of our learning was the destination (national park, historic site, museum, etc).  

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My state has no requirements for days/hours.

I do, however, assume about 180 school days will happen and plan out my days accordingly. Some days they get through assigned work quickly, some days not so quickly. If I have a curriculum that they can complete in a "school year" working 4 days per week, I have no problem with skipping that subject on Fridays (or whatever). And like @Clemsondana mentioned, I periodically assess where we are in relation to where I want us to be and make adjustments as seems reasonable.

We school year-round and take breaks when we need/want them. We've currently done 160 days for this school year (which I count from July 1 - June 30), so we'll end up with quite a bit more than 180 this year, but last school year we had fewer because we took some extra breaks in the fall. My kids accomplished what I wanted them to accomplish.

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It depends on the ages of my kids.  I think it depends on how you function and how your kids feel about it too.  if you feel they are burnt out, then I would definitely take the afternoon off or so. 

I understand about feeling guilty.  I was there myself.  But I think the beauty of homeschooling is that we are in control of our kids education. 

One year we did school on Christmas.  😅  And when I say school, I probably just read to them and did a little math.  I don't honestly remember.  My husband brought it up one year not too long ago and my oldest has reminded me every year thereafter.  I mean usually Christmas is full of running from one household to another, so I can't imagine a year when we did school on Christmas. 

last year, we did school on Christmas eve.  I mean why not.  We are home.  My kids play on the ipad everyday anyhow.  It was like another day for us. 

Since my kids are older we don't do any school work on Christmas day.  They will probably resent school if they did.  😂

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I am very flexible, but do not cheat.  A day that my 1st grader learns and practices math and reading and writing and explores the world on field trips or at co-op is school. We only do math 4 days a week anyway, and sometimes 3 on field trip weeks because of co-op one day and the field trip one day. We make up those days by starting our math curriculum a month before co-op starts and doing 4=5 day weeks of it to start the year off and doing it for a couple of weeks after co-op ends  I use curriculum and experiences and outside activities and co-op classes as part of my curriculum.  So I don't have to complete a 1st grade purchased curriculum to prove I did 180 days of school.  I record daily what my kids do.  So some years if my 1st grader has a library STEM class or a library storytime once a month or once a week or whatever, that might be their LA or their science for that day, even though we are doing another curriculum at home for the year.  We obviously won't do every single lesson in a particular curriculum when we do those things.  But said student is gaining education in other ways those days.  

My high schooler has a very creative schedule to get her job, dance rehearsal hours, co-op, scout projects, etc. in as well as her school.  But we use those as part of her curriculum as much as possible (filling out job applications, paperwork on scout projects, resumes, college application essays, etc. may be her English for a day if she spends a long time on those.)  She may do math on Saturdays on a week she works a lot.  I still give her five days of school credit, even if she spreads it out over 7 days.  

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I don’t count days but my kids are done when they are done and it is different for every subject. I pretty much make them “finish the book” no matter what.  I’m also in NJ where we are unregulated.  If I were counting days, I would count a day of basics (math and LA) as a day, or a field trip as a day, or a day of co-op as a day, as well as a full day of all academic subjects. 

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1 hour ago, desertflower said:

One year we did school on Christmas.

One year on the Fourth of July, my kids asked me if we had school. It was funny and a sad testament all at the same time. 

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Thank you all! This is so helpful as it gives me insight to how to approach it. I think part of my thinking is like a lot of you, get it done and if we have extra time in the end that's great to use as we please.

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We have to count 175, anything less and you have to have an approved excuse like a doctor’s note in your portfolio.🙄

I would say my commitment to rigor fluctuates based on the season. Fall/winter I am certainly more apt to enforce full school days. Spring/summer is meh. Field trip to the lake, berry picking, or splashing in puddles is totally counting as science in the spring. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I counted a library trip, picnic, and Wild Kratts as school one day this week. 

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My state requirement is for 172 days of 4 hours or 688 hours. Starting counting in August - we usually hit that in January or February LOL I don't keep the same count as I once did but I know we are more than fulfilling our needs. 

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1 hour ago, AnneGG said:

I would say my commitment to rigor fluctuates based on the season. Fall/winter I am certainly more apt to enforce full school days. Spring/summer is meh. Field trip to the lake, berry picking, or splashing in puddles is totally counting as science in the spring. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I counted a library trip, picnic, and Wild Kratts as school one day this week. 

Love this!

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25 minutes ago, theelfqueen said:

My state requirement is for 172 days of 4 hours or 688 hours. Starting counting in August - we usually hit that in January or February LOL I don't keep the same count as I once did but I know we are more than fulfilling our needs. 

This is my plan too 🙂

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6 hours ago, ifsogirl73 said:

How much flexibility do you give yourself? We're newer to homeschool and in the last 8 months I have been pretty strict about making sure a homeschool day is a full on day of work. I think that's just the way I am wired, I couldn't count a day unless it's a full day of all subjects. I would have a really hard time counting it if that wasn't the case and maybe feel like I'm cheating a bit.

But this question has been bugging me because in the blogs, Youtube and forums that I follow, I see other moms being a lot more flexible with sick days or days where other stuff happens or even taking mental health days. I feel like I will get there but at the same time I'm hesitant to do that. The few days we've taken that were unplanned I've tacked on to the end of our year. But seeing so many viewpoints and opinions, my brain understands it should be more flexible but my hand is saying don't you dare!

If your state has no requirement for number of days, then there's no point in being to focused on how many days you did school. Also, there are 365 days in a year; no one should have trouble having enough official days.

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Where I am there's no requirement for number of days, so I don't count it at all. Are you required to count it? If so, I'd count it very flexibly if your kids are young. A little more strictly if your kids are older.

 

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While respecting your local requirements, I'd keep in mind that the 180 days / 900 hours rules are designed for classrooms.  When I was in school they scheduled in ten minutes between every lesson to walk from one classroom to the next - right off that's an hour a day that my homeschool doesn't need.  I also don't need to go on teaching a concept until 30 kids get it, which might easily take an hour - if my kid gets the lesson in fifteen minutes of one to one, we move on.  I don't need to have the kids painstakingly write out answers to everything so I can check that they understood - they can tell me in two minutes what they might need 15 minutes to write out.  We don't lose time for assembly, sports days, school dentist or any of that stuff.  The bottom line is, with a class of three kids that I know intimately, I can achieve a comparable amount of work in a much more efficient amount of time.

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8 hours ago, Kiara.I said:

Where I am there's no requirement for number of days, so I don't count it at all. Are you required to count it? If so, I'd count it very flexibly if your kids are young. A little more strictly if your kids are older.

 

I do have 180 days to keep in CA. And going into high school in the fall so I want to make sure I do this right.

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8 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

While respecting your local requirements, I'd keep in mind that the 180 days / 900 hours rules are designed for classrooms.  When I was in school they scheduled in ten minutes between every lesson to walk from one classroom to the next - right off that's an hour a day that my homeschool doesn't need.  I also don't need to go on teaching a concept until 30 kids get it, which might easily take an hour - if my kid gets the lesson in fifteen minutes of one to one, we move on.  I don't need to have the kids painstakingly write out answers to everything so I can check that they understood - they can tell me in two minutes what they might need 15 minutes to write out.  We don't lose time for assembly, sports days, school dentist or any of that stuff.  The bottom line is, with a class of three kids that I know intimately, I can achieve a comparable amount of work in a much more efficient amount of time.

Thank you for the insight. I understand the 30 vs 3 kiddos and hope to get into my groove as you have.

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The requirement in my state is "equivalent" to 180 days/900 hours (990 for high school). At the beginning of the year, I set out my basic schedule of days, weeks, breaks (that coincide with the public school where DH teaches), etc. I look at how many days per week and minutes per day I will schedule for my  kids to do each subject (not how long it actually takes, but how long I have planned for it to take). I do some rough math, make sure that it is approximately 900 hours, pat myself on the back, and then..... never, ever think about it again until the next year.

I don't count or mark down the days as we go through the year. I don't mark off spontaneous park days or beach days or museum/aquarium/zoo trips (boy, oh boy, do we miss those!) and tack them on at the end of the year. My school year runs September through August, and we do enough informal learning outside of scheduled "school days" that we will always be over and above the state's requirements. 

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14 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

The requirement in my state is "equivalent" to 180 days/900 hours (990 for high school). At the beginning of the year, I set out my basic schedule of days, weeks, breaks (that coincide with the public school where DH teaches), etc. I look at how many days per week and minutes per day I will schedule for my  kids to do each subject (not how long it actually takes, but how long I have planned for it to take). I do some rough math, make sure that it is approximately 900 hours, pat myself on the back, and then..... never, ever think about it again until the next year.

I don't count or mark down the days as we go through the year. I don't mark off spontaneous park days or beach days or museum/aquarium/zoo trips (boy, oh boy, do we miss those!) and tack them on at the end of the year. My school year runs September through August, and we do enough informal learning outside of scheduled "school days" that we will always be over and above the state's requirements. 

Oh my goodness you are so right! This is what I need: to plan it, put it in my binder and then move on to our everyday homeschooling. I really like the way you consider you homeschool September to August and also take into account the informal learning. We actually do a lot of learning outside of our sit down work because I find so many things that I have the kids watch just for fun and to continue learning. A lot of science and history shows end up in our queue this way. 

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1 hour ago, ifsogirl73 said:

I do have 180 days to keep in CA. And going into high school in the fall so I want to make sure I do this right.

For high school i tend to think more in terms of Carnegie Units, which define a credit in terms of hours, with the hours for a credit ranging between 120-150-180. For an interest driven elective I shoot for 120 hours, whereas a science class or writing with literature component comes in cluster to 180. 180 hours works out to an hour each school day of 36 week school year. Mostly I try to estimate hours of content and effort because I worry about overwhelming my dc with the firehouse of knowledge and wisdom. 😄

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We do our "regular" school 4 days/week and "light" school 1 day/week. "Light" school for elementary and middle school means math, art, and any outside the house stuff like PE at the private school, speech/debate, and drama. Even my high schoolers keep to this schedule. "Light" for them means math and things like SAT prep, a once a week vocab lesson, some geography games, etc. Probably 2-3 hours of work.

I plan for 36 weeks of this schedule. That works out to 144 days of "regular" school and 36 days of "light" school, which has always been plenty to get through my purchased curricula and any homegrown plans. Those are our 180 days and it doesn't matter if some of those days turn into park days or sick days or the teenager has to work or whatever ... those are still our "school" days. Then the work gets done whenever it gets done.

We do not do summer school. At all. They need the break and would revolt if I mentioned it. And to be honest, so do I!!! 🙂

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2 hours ago, ifsogirl73 said:

I do have 180 days to keep in CA. And going into high school in the fall so I want to make sure I do this right.

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/homeschool.asp

"California Education Code (EC) Section 33190 requires a copy of the Affidavit be kept at the school. Requirements of what must be included in the Affidavit are also outlined in EC Section 33190. EC Section 48222 states:

"The attendance of the pupils shall be kept by private school authorities in a register, and the record of attendance shall indicate clearly every absence of the pupil from school for a half day or more during each day that school is maintained during the year.""

I don't see 180 days stated there. I started homeschooling with a PSA when my DS16 was in 5th grade and he is now in 11th grade. We have never been asked for record of attendance. Honestly, California department of education is very hands off for homeschooling.

When my teens started dual enrollment, the community college just took my homeschool transcript and PSA without issues.

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I live in an 180 school day state.  The answer, for me, is dependent on a lot of factors.  For reference, I taught for a decade before I started homeschool.  I taught first and second grade mostly.  Not every day of the year had every subject.  There were field trips and assemblies and parties and field day and....

In general, if we finish a text before the end of the year, we drop the subject.  (Now, my sixth grader just finished her math for the year and we will do other things because I don't want to take a quarter off of math.)  But if we finish the grammar text in mid May, we won't replace grammar for the rest of June.

For the rest of the year, it is a balance.  If most days we get to most subjects and are making steady progress in each subject, I don't worry about a day that we skip math or writing and only read once in a while.  In normal times, we have co-op twice a month.  Those classes are mostly enrichment.  We will skip math that day and only do reading in the afternoon.  I have no problem calling a school day for my sixth grader that had archery, art and newspaper in the morning at co-op and then literature reading (and maybe science reading) plus music practice in the afternoon. 

My high schoolers have syllabi that contain the amount of work they need to get done for the class.  If they have a day they only read or want to double up on a day and have a day to do something else, they have that freedom and I still count 180 days.

Now if most weeks you aren't getting to most subjects most days and your children are over the age of 7, I would reconsider.  If, especially if you have younger children, you are powering through all the subjects every day with no flexibility, I would consider loosening up.  And, you need to keep your children in mind.  My kids struggle in spelling, so we almost never ever skip spelling.  They tend to be quick at math so I am likely to say, you have a robotics competition coming and a lot of writing this week, why don't you skip math today.  When they are learning to read I will prioritize phonics and reading practice, when they are fluent and reading a lot on their own, I will drop any skill work I have planned when we need a break.

 

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We will homeschool to the equivalent to 180 days. 
my son has a syllabus that he follows for his classes and he likes to double up at the beginning of the year and finish early. If he finishes early, I will count it as a school year’s worth of work, 180 days. 
 

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We school year round. I live in a state where I do not have to track hours. I don't schedule anything; we just pick up the books and do the next thing. When one book finishes, we start the next one.  It all works out. 

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1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

We do our "regular" school 4 days/week and "light" school 1 day/week. "Light" school for elementary and middle school means math, art, and any outside the house stuff like PE at the private school, speech/debate, and drama. Even my high schoolers keep to this schedule. "Light" for them means math and things like SAT prep, a once a week vocab lesson, some geography games, etc. Probably 2-3 hours of work.

I plan for 36 weeks of this schedule. That works out to 144 days of "regular" school and 36 days of "light" school, which has always been plenty to get through my purchased curricula and any homegrown plans. Those are our 180 days and it doesn't matter if some of those days turn into park days or sick days or the teenager has to work or whatever ... those are still our "school" days. Then the work gets done whenever it gets done.

We do not do summer school. At all. They need the break and would revolt if I mentioned it. And to be honest, so do I!!! 🙂

I absolutely love all of this!

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1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

We do our "regular" school 4 days/week and "light" school 1 day/week. "Light" school for elementary and middle school means math, art, and any outside the house stuff like PE at the private school, speech/debate, and drama. Even my high schoolers keep to this schedule. "Light" for them means math and things like SAT prep, a once a week vocab lesson, some geography games, etc. Probably 2-3 hours of work.

I plan for 36 weeks of this schedule. That works out to 144 days of "regular" school and 36 days of "light" school, which has always been plenty to get through my purchased curricula and any homegrown plans. Those are our 180 days and it doesn't matter if some of those days turn into park days or sick days or the teenager has to work or whatever ... those are still our "school" days. Then the work gets done whenever it gets done.

We do not do summer school. At all. They need the break and would revolt if I mentioned it. And to be honest, so do I!!! 🙂

Very encouraging because this 4 regular/1 light school days is what we are very close to following but I was counting the light days as half 🙄 you gotta learn I suppose.

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/homeschool.asp

"California Education Code (EC) Section 33190 requires a copy of the Affidavit be kept at the school. Requirements of what must be included in the Affidavit are also outlined in EC Section 33190. EC Section 48222 states:

"The attendance of the pupils shall be kept by private school authorities in a register, and the record of attendance shall indicate clearly every absence of the pupil from school for a half day or more during each day that school is maintained during the year.""

I don't see 180 days stated there. I started homeschooling with a PSA when my DS16 was in 5th grade and he is now in 11th grade. We have never been asked for record of attendance. Honestly, California department of education is very hands off for homeschooling.

When my teens started dual enrollment, the community college just took my homeschool transcript and PSA without issues.

Thank you for including that. I need to go back and read it carefully because 180 days is what I wrote down to make sure they were covered. Maybe I incorrectly did that.

My upcoming 9th grader is planning on dual enrollment and then transferring to a four year university so it gives me a better perspective to focus more on learning and stop stressing about days.

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4 minutes ago, ifsogirl73 said:

My upcoming 9th grader is planning on dual enrollment and then transferring to a four year university so it gives me a better perspective to focus more on learning and stop stressing about days.

My 11th grader was thinking of going the AS-T path but we were advised to apply as freshman in his senior year since his intended major is highly popular.

Check out IGETC if your upcoming 9th grader is interested in transferring.

https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/transfer-requirements/general-education-igetc/

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1 hour ago, freesia said:

I live in an 180 school day state.  The answer, for me, is dependent on a lot of factors.  For reference, I taught for a decade before I started homeschool.  I taught first and second grade mostly.  Not every day of the year had every subject.  There were field trips and assemblies and parties and field day and....

In general, if we finish a text before the end of the year, we drop the subject.  (Now, my sixth grader just finished her math for the year and we will do other things because I don't want to take a quarter off of math.)  But if we finish the grammar text in mid May, we won't replace grammar for the rest of June.

For the rest of the year, it is a balance.  If most days we get to most subjects and are making steady progress in each subject, I don't worry about a day that we skip math or writing and only read once in a while.  In normal times, we have co-op twice a month.  Those classes are mostly enrichment.  We will skip math that day and only do reading in the afternoon.  I have no problem calling a school day for my sixth grader that had archery, art and newspaper in the morning at co-op and then literature reading (and maybe science reading) plus music practice in the afternoon. 

My high schoolers have syllabi that contain the amount of work they need to get done for the class.  If they have a day they only read or want to double up on a day and have a day to do something else, they have that freedom and I still count 180 days.

Now if most weeks you aren't getting to most subjects most days and your children are over the age of 7, I would reconsider.  If, especially if you have younger children, you are powering through all the subjects every day with no flexibility, I would consider loosening up.  And, you need to keep your children in mind.  My kids struggle in spelling, so we almost never ever skip spelling.  They tend to be quick at math so I am likely to say, you have a robotics competition coming and a lot of writing this week, why don't you skip math today.  When they are learning to read I will prioritize phonics and reading practice, when they are fluent and reading a lot on their own, I will drop any skill work I have planned when we need a break.

 

So much insightful help! I feel I'm on the path to that balance. We do finish all of our work every day we count and we definitely focus and go back and work again on work that they may struggle in . This has been incredibly surprising to me that we work on it for a few days and it clicks to where we move forward and it's not an issue again. I struggled with that when they were in public school as I didn't know exactly what the issue was and identifying it took a bit.

I do know I have loosen up a bit. We do a lot of days that I have not counted that include many of the activities many of you mention. I also take days when I can see mentally they need it but, again, I don't count those days. So this is what I'm still learning.

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9 minutes ago, ifsogirl73 said:

So much insightful help! I feel I'm on the path to that balance. We do finish all of our work every day we count and we definitely focus and go back and work again on work that they may struggle in . This has been incredibly surprising to me that we work on it for a few days and it clicks to where we move forward and it's not an issue again. I struggled with that when they were in public school as I didn't know exactly what the issue was and identifying it took a bit.

I do know I have loosen up a bit. We do a lot of days that I have not counted that include many of the activities many of you mention. I also take days when I can see mentally they need it but, again, I don't count those days. So this is what I'm still learning.

Maybe it would help if you give yourself an "allowance."  Like you could say that you will count 1-2 days a month as school where there was just reading and creative endeavors.

How old are your children?  If they are young, remember a lot of school is what we might consider play at home--listening to stories, baking, physical activity, crafts, nature walks.  I remember, a few years ago, a mother crying because her six year old was having a hard time sitting for 5 hours of school. She was so relieved when we explained that six year olds in school do not sit for intense one-on-one focused schooling for 5 straight hours.

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28 minutes ago, ifsogirl73 said:

My upcoming 9th grader is planning on dual enrollment and then transferring to a four year university so it gives me a better perspective to focus more on learning and stop stressing about days.

My dd1 completed IGETC and received an AS in Math, while high school, but we decided to have her apply as a freshman. There are more financial aid and scholarships for freshman vs transfer students. Also it’s easier to get into competitive majors as a freshman. 

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I was always pretty strict about full 180 school days.  

If we were having a short field trip,  then I’d expect we’d do at least math and language arts on the same day.

If we had a field trip that would last most of the day, then I would count it as a school day, but it did need to be educational.  Hanging out at the creek in 5th grade all day wasn’t educational in my book. It was a vacation day.  But hanging out all day in a museum was educational and would count as a school day.

In high school, I was even more strict. Field trips were on weekends because I had a lot of content to cover and if we took days off from our content, we’d have had to make up that day. Not everyone feels like I do about covering a lot of content, but it was important to me.

However: caveat: I didn’t know it until my oldest was in 11th, but he has slow processing speed. So, what would take one kid an hour to do, always took him 2. So, if I didn’t stick to learning all day and pushing “fun, with a bit of educational value” days to the weekend, he’d never get through the content.  For a kid who can blaze through the work and retain it, I could have loosened up.

My youngest is in a cyber school this year (oldest graduated last year), and there is no time wasted in the cyber school. It’s school all day, every day, so no special speakers or 10 minute classroom change breaks or pep rallys.  My cyber schooled son still works for a good 6-8 hours a day on schoolwork. This son doesn’t have slow processing speed. He just wants all As and that’s what it takes. So, even with normal processing speed, it still takes most kids a long time to do high school level work. Gifted kids might work faster of course.

Edited by Garga
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12 hours ago, Arcadia said:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/homeschool.asp

"California Education Code (EC) Section 33190 requires a copy of the Affidavit be kept at the school. Requirements of what must be included in the Affidavit are also outlined in EC Section 33190. EC Section 48222 states:

"The attendance of the pupils shall be kept by private school authorities in a register, and the record of attendance shall indicate clearly every absence of the pupil from school for a half day or more during each day that school is maintained during the year.""

I don't see 180 days stated there. I started homeschooling with a PSA when my DS16 was in 5th grade and he is now in 11th grade. We have never been asked for record of attendance. Honestly, California department of education is very hands off for homeschooling.

When my teens started dual enrollment, the community college just took my homeschool transcript and PSA without issues.

I used to have regular conversations with the BJUP rep when we saw each at conventions. He had been a private school administrator before doing BJUP, so he thought he knew it all, lol. He was a great guy and we liked to give each other a hard time. 🙂 Anyway, he was steadfast in his insistence that private schools were required to have a 180 day school year; I was steadfast in telling him to show me the education code. He never could, of course, but he knew it was in there. It is one of those urban legends that we can never defeat. 🙂

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3 hours ago, Slache said:

I expect 180 days worth of work to be done. We are academically rigorous but lax on the calendar.

Why 180? Why not 179 or 181? Why not just do the work until you're finished, however long that takes?

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I am so glad your comments led me to research this more. The code itself does not state any days or hours but I think I saw this at some point and took it as part of the homeschool requirements. Glad this is dislodged from my brain now.

As per National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2018 report, public school attendance requirements for California are: 180 days consisting of 3 hours for Kindergarten, 3.8 hours for grades 1 to 3, and 4 hours for grades 4 to 12.  (Unless otherwise noted, home school requirements are either the same OR are not specified by this state.)

I found it on on a California homeschool facts website.

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33 minutes ago, ifsogirl73 said:

I am so glad your comments led me to research this more. The code itself does not state any days or hours but I think I saw this at some point and took it as part of the homeschool requirements. Glad this is dislodged from my brain now.

As per National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2018 report, public school attendance requirements for California are: 180 days consisting of 3 hours for Kindergarten, 3.8 hours for grades 1 to 3, and 4 hours for grades 4 to 12.  (Unless otherwise noted, home school requirements are either the same OR are not specified by this state.)

I found it on on a California homeschool facts website.

Ah, see, a source such as HSLDA, or one of the California state groups, would have been better. I have noticed that third-party sources don't always have the correct information, as here; there's no point in even mentioning what is required of public schools. I'm also glad you have dislodged it from your brain. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Ellie said:

Why 180? Why not 179 or 181? Why not just do the work until you're finished, however long that takes?

That's pretty much what I do. I have a full reading curriculum and a full math curriculum and all the other things and I want them done within a school year.

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9 hours ago, ifsogirl73 said:

I am so glad your comments led me to research this more. The code itself does not state any days or hours but I think I saw this at some point and took it as part of the homeschool requirements. Glad this is dislodged from my brain now.

As per National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2018 report, public school attendance requirements for California are: 180 days consisting of 3 hours for Kindergarten, 3.8 hours for grades 1 to 3, and 4 hours for grades 4 to 12.  (Unless otherwise noted, home school requirements are either the same OR are not specified by this state.)

I found it on on a California homeschool facts website.

Some public schools gets funding based on daily attendance so they are very particular about kids being in school and asking for doctor’s note. My school district is funded through property taxes and is not particular about daily attendance. 

4hr for 180 days for a minimum of 4 high school classes would mean an hour a day per subject. Community college lecturers are generally quoting 8 to 10hrs per week estimates for classwork (lectures and assignments) time commitment.

Private schools are funded by tuition and whatever other fees they charge so attendance is a non-issue. 

ETA:

didn’t meant to quote Ellie. 

Edited by Arcadia
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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

Private schools are funded by tuition and whatever other fees they charge so attendance is a non-issue. 
Ok. That wasn't the point of my comment, but ok.

Some public schools gets funding based on daily attendance so they are very particular about kids being in school and asking for doctor’s note. My school district is funded through property taxes and is not particular about daily attendance.
AFAIK, all public schools get funding based on ADA. The funding that the public schools get based on ADA comes from your property taxes (and mine).

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 2:20 AM, Ellie said:

Why 180? Why not 179 or 181? Why not just do the work until you're finished, however long that takes?

The NZ school year for primary and intermediate is 200 days. 

For those of us more unschooly by philosophy, day count is bizarre. I never counted. I actually never even thought about it. We set a routine, we worked diligently during those hours, we tried to do it everyday during the formal school terms, and we assumed that kids learned valuable things during their free time. In fact, for my older boy I had to create classes out of his free time activities to meet the required class load when he applied to American universities. I was quite eye opening to realize how much he had accomplished without any structure, requirements, or tests. 

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On 4/7/2021 at 6:59 PM, MeaganS said:

We just school any day we don't have something better to do year round.

We aren't year round, but we don't take nearly as many breaks as the public schools, so we tend to either start a little later or end a little earlier (not both the same year, lol), but we don't take as long off for Christmas, and some holidays we don't take off at all. We might vacation at a different time, but not usually excessively, or else if we do, they still end up getting work done in the car, or we have something educational that can count (we like our museums). 

I am not shy about counting outside enrichment, but not absurdly so. Our kids did Saturday gifted classes for years that were fun, but they were real and intense. One of my kids took a hands-on state history class, the other took classes where they did engineering style tasks like getting an egg from Point A to Point B without breaking it--they had a budget and a choices of materials. Even the fluff classes were things like art, which we are required to teach in our state.

On 4/8/2021 at 11:56 AM, SusanC said:

For high school i tend to think more in terms of Carnegie Units, which define a credit in terms of hours, with the hours for a credit ranging between 120-150-180. For an interest driven elective I shoot for 120 hours, whereas a science class or writing with literature component comes in cluster to 180. 180 hours works out to an hour each school day of 36 week school year. Mostly I try to estimate hours of content and effort because I worry about overwhelming my dc with the firehouse of knowledge and wisdom. 😄

This, though I balance it with "finishing the book." I don't think I finished a public school textbook more than once or twice in my entire school experience, so if we actually finish mainstream resources, I definitely don't worry about hours. I have average to slow workers, so they're not flying through and sitting on their bums halfway through the year. 

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