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I've always schooled year around and never taken more than 2 weeks off. I'm trying something new this year and taking Thanksgiving to Christmas off, and I'm wondering what that's going to look like. I know we need to do ANKI, music and reading daily, but is that it? Whenever we take time off I always find some special focus areas to clean and projects to do around the house. Here is my schedule:

Week 1 - Thanksgiving (might school through Wednesday depending on DH's schedule)
Week 2 - Visitor
Week 3 - Trip
Week 4 - Recovery from trip (we're brats)
Week 5 - Christmas
Week 6 - Probably back to school despite it still being December

So, we're busy. What do I need to know about taking this much time off? I assume that my plan of ANKI, music and reading is enough?

Yes, I overthink things. It's my way.

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Just now, mom2bee said:

Looks good to me!

What all is in your ANKI decks?

Every state on a map and state capitol. Every country on a map, country capitol, and flag. These are released at 2-5 per week depending on age and taught out of context. 

Math facts, 5 per day. I use this to teach how to use the Al Abacus before starting a curriculum and then they have the regular review already in place.

Vocabulary from language curriculum. I add this in every week while reviewing their work. There is no limit to this because they just learned it and it's never overwhelming.

Grammar from language curriculum. Same as last point.

Spelling rules from Reading Lessons Through Literature. One per week at most.

English Grammar Recitation (MP). One per week at most. We do not do spelling and grammar on the same week.

SOTW review cards from the Activity Guide.

Apologia review questions.

Poems from Shel Silverstein and Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization (IEW).

Material from Living Memory as it lines up with their studies.

We do long recitation in the morning. This is an entire spelling rule, poem or fact that needs to be taught in context. I have some things not in context like geography because they're just cold, hard facts I want memorized. I also use a separate deck for reviewing songs on piano and violin. I used ANKI for ear training.

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1 hour ago, Slache said:

I've always schooled year around and never taken more than 2 weeks off. I'm trying something new this year and taking Thanksgiving to Christmas off, and I'm wondering what that's going to look like. I know we need to do ANKI, music and reading daily, but is that it? Whenever we take time off I always find some special focus areas to clean and projects to do around the house. Here is my schedule:

Week 1 - Thanksgiving (might school through Wednesday depending on DH's schedule)
Week 2 - Visitor
Week 3 - Trip
Week 4 - Recovery from trip (we're brats)
Week 5 - Christmas
Week 6 - Probably back to school despite it still being December

So, we're busy. What do I need to know about taking this much time off? I assume that my plan of ANKI, music and reading is enough?

Yes, I overthink things. It's my way.

We always took off Thanksgiving through about the middle of January.

I don't know how doing ANKI, music, and reading is actually time off. o_0 But yes, it's more than enough.

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If you're taking off, why are you doing ANKI? And how can you stop your dc from reading, assuming they are a reader? 

Healthiest thing I ever did was bang my head so bad I had to take 3 months off, actually, really fully OFF. Try it. Just the 5 weeks, but actually really fully off. It's an exercise in boredom, letting your dc be BORED ENOUGH that they figure out how to do things for themselves. If you're constantly doing ANKI and this and that, you're driving it for them. They need the chance to do things for themselves.

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

If you're taking off, why are you doing ANKI? And how can you stop your dc from reading, assuming they are a reader? 

Healthiest thing I ever did was bang my head so bad I had to take 3 months off, actually, really fully OFF. Try it. Just the 5 weeks, but actually really fully off. It's an exercise in boredom, letting your dc be BORED ENOUGH that they figure out how to do things for themselves. If you're constantly doing ANKI and this and that, you're driving it for them. They need the chance to do things for themselves.

If ANKI isn't reviewed it piles up. I was thinking of telling them they have to do it once a week to keep it from piling up too much. Music and reading are about 30 minutes total, just drills and Bible. When we take time off my eldest composes songs and writes, my second paints every day and organizes things. They definitely have a lot of time to get bored.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Your ANKI has an attitude problem. :biggrin: Only dogs make things pile up. Can you pause ANKI or tell him to behave better?

No. It's spaced repetition, so it's all predetermined. What I've done in the past is completely stop adding in new material the week before and by the time the break starts they have less than 20 cards a day, so it takes less than a minute. I really only do the bare minimum for breaks, except Bible.

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1 minute ago, Slache said:

No. It's spaced repetition, so it's all predetermined. What I've done in the past is completely stop adding in new material the week before and by the time the break starts they have less than 20 cards a day, so it takes less than a minute. I really only do the bare minimum for breaks, except Bible.

https://help.fluent-forever.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360017839951-Pausing-Anki-decks  ANKI training tips, so you don't have piles. :smile:

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

This is only for new cards. So if you have 5,000 cards set to release at 20 per day you can suspend that, but if you suspend reviews you miss the ideal recall window and forget the information. Eldest has nearly 5,000 cards and hardly ever forgets. If he takes a week or so off he loses most of his newer ones and has to start over. The difference between 18 months and 19 months is workable, but if he doesn't do it in December he will lose all of November and then some.

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3 minutes ago, Slache said:

Eldest has nearly 5,000 cards and hardly ever forgets.

So just bring me briefly up to speed here. He *reads* the info on the card or he *recites* to a prompt on the front side of the card? 

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Just now, PeterPan said:

So just bring me briefly up to speed here. He *reads* the info on the card or he *recites* to a prompt on the front side of the card? 

Front and back of card:

Screenshot_20210713-102815.png

Screenshot_20210713-102824.png

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This is just me personally, but with Saxon, if there are newer concepts fairly recently, they can be easy to forget, and then it makes it frustrating to go back and potentially have 3-4 kinds of problems that are not remembered.... and then I will end up slowing down because it is needed.  

So I have broken up a Saxon lesson into 3 or 4 days, so there is really not very much to and it doesn't take long, but it seems like it really works out better.  

I think it can depend where in a book it is -- you may know if recent lessons have new material, or if they have been more review of things remembered well from a previous year.  

 

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We take long breaks all of the time and always have for the past 27 yrs.  Summers are typically 10-11 weeks off.  This summer (bc we started back to school so early last yr bc everything was still shutdown and finished our yr in early May), our break is 14 weeks long.  My kids read all summer bc they like to read.  Other than that, the only thing we have continued is violin (and on a much less regulated schedule bc we are taking advantage of having our lives back.)  

I have never had kids experience major concept drop, at least nothing that less than a week of review doesn't get them back up to speed.  Our school yrs are focused on studying to mastery and progressing at whatever speed that is.  Down time is down time with whatever they want to do with no academic requirements from me.

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We took 5 weeks off for summer-sometimes we do a bit more. I think what you have planned sounds fine. My kids always lose a bit in math and languages. It's usually my goal to do math once a week (or other subjects-just something small), but that never happens. It doesn't take long to review and get the kids back to where they were before.

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I try not to take long breaks, since we really do have retention issues when we do. So I think doing a few things during vacation makes sense.

We also don’t have issues with kids not learning how to entertain themselves 😛 . They have quite a lot of time each day during the year. They wind up more scheduled during vacations, if anything, due to camps/traveling/relatives.

Edited by Not_a_Number
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I think with Saxon, maybe you could try to have a stopping point a certain place in a book.

Like — in the first 60 lessons it might be fine to take a long break.

I would definitely not take a long break during the last 30 lessons.  
 

You might have a decent idea of what concepts are mastered and what concepts are a work in progress, and be able to look and see.

I think Saxon is not a mastery program but one where it’s fine to take breaks between books, for sure, but maybe worth looking at in the middle. 

Edited by Lecka
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We pretty much only take breaks that are one week or more.  We usually establish a good weekly routine that doesn't flow as smoothly if we take off random days, so we minimize that.  We start in August and go until Thanksgiving, when we take a full week.  Then we usually do 2-3 more weeks until we've finished our first semester.  We usually take 3ish weeks in December and start back right after New Year's.  Then we blast through until...either spring break or the end of the year, depending on what is going on.  Some years the kids have required standardized testing over spring break for several days and some years we travel.  We finish our school year by mid-May at the latest and take off the rest of the month and all of June and July.  

Sometimes summer is busier than the school year, especially now that they are older and have sports and also youth activities at church, plus the picking, snapping, shelling, and shucking that we do to process our garden veggies.  But, everything in it is their choice - they pick whether they want to do camps or workouts or lessons or youth activities or if they want to have the summer off from a particular activity.  I love being able to give them that autonomy without the stress of getting work done.  Now that I have a high schooler, that kid does choose to do some school work in the summer but it's been the odd or fun credits - last summer it was a coding class and the personal finance requirement, and this year it's been a self-chosen science fiction elective, a bit of drawing to finish of the last fine arts requirement, and some reading and hands-on garden work towards a horticulture elective.  

I rarely noticed much drop-off in math, or at least no more than what I'd see if we didn't do a particular concept for a few weeks during the school year.  Reading was never an issue because the kids read a lot anyway, and they were actually more likely to try something new or challenging in the summer once they got bored.  I will say that our programs are less memorization-based, so I might make different choices if that was a priority for us.  

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On 7/13/2021 at 10:21 AM, Slache said:

This is only for new cards. So if you have 5,000 cards set to release at 20 per day you can suspend that, but if you suspend reviews you miss the ideal recall window and forget the information. Eldest has nearly 5,000 cards and hardly ever forgets. If he takes a week or so off he loses most of his newer ones and has to start over. The difference between 18 months and 19 months is workable, but if he doesn't do it in December he will lose all of November and then some.

It has been a while since I've used Anki actively, but I'm intrigued by this issue. Could you export a deck including the spacing information, and then at the end of vacation reimport it? Doesn't solve the mental side of suspending practice, but may keep the numbers needing review from getting overwhelming. With 5000 cards presumably split into many decks it would be a huge hassle to do all of them, but perhaps you could experiment with the lowest priority deck. Or not, I just remember trying to juggle this in the past.

In the summer we often have a couple of weeks where we collectively decide to do some work, for a variety of reasons. If we can do the needful between 9am and noon that seems to work for us.

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5 minutes ago, SusanC said:

It has been a while since I've used Anki actively, but I'm intrigued by this issue. Could you export a deck including the spacing information, and then at the end of vacation reimport it? Doesn't solve the mental side of suspending practice, but may keep the numbers needing review from getting overwhelming. With 5000 cards presumably split into many decks it would be a huge hassle to do all of them, but perhaps you could experiment with the lowest priority deck. Or not, I just remember trying to juggle this in the past.

In the summer we often have a couple of weeks where we collectively decide to do some work, for a variety of reasons. If we can do the needful between 9am and noon that seems to work for us.

It's all one deck. I have separate decks for new cards and then I unsuspend and throw them into "John". This way when he reviews it's Greek, math fact, history date, Spanish! It's better for the brain to have it randomized.

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